Schools lack guidelines for online abuse on teachers

According to union NASUWT, the majority of UK schools have no guidelines in place to support teachers who receive online abuse from parents and pupil.

Almost a third of 1,507 teachers that responded said they had been subject to social media abuse over the past 12 months.

In nearly half of cases (45 per cent, even when abuse is reported, no follow-up action is taken in, with one in three teachers (38 per cent) feeling it is necessary to stop using personal social media accounts over potential privacy and abuse concerns.

While 83 per cent those responding to the survey said their school had a social media policy in place, over two-thirds (68 per cent) said these contained no reference to supporting their own staff should they become victims of online abuse

It is not just pupils who are subjecting teachers to abuse, with 50 per cent saying parents had posted inappropriate or insulting comment to or about them.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said:“The findings of this survey paint a shocking picture of what is happening in our schools, where on a day-to-day basis teachers are getting no support despite being subjected to appalling levels of online abuse, while pupils’ ability to view and share inappropriate online content seems to continue virtually unabated.

“Most worryingly it appears that rather than setting a good example to their children, even some parents think it is acceptable to abuse and threaten teachers online.

“This has to stop. Being a victim of online abuse can be a very traumatic experience, which can potentially ruin lives and careers. Government must act to put more safeguards in place to protect teachers and pupils alike and ensure our classrooms remain a safe and secure environment for all.”

Read more