Huge rise in online abuse of teachers by pupils and parents, says union

The Guardian is reporting that the number of teachers facing abuse on social media from pupils and parents has more than doubled in 12 months…

…NASUWT said the figures, released the day before the union meets for its annual conference in Cardiff, were deeply worrying.

Overall, 60% of the almost 1,500 NASUWT members polled said they have had comments or information posted about them on social networks, related to their work as a teacher. This is up from 21% in 2014.

Of these, nearly half (48%) said these remarks were posted by pupils, 40% said they were put up by parents, and 12% said both parents and pupils were responsible.

The findings show that 62% said pupils had posted insulting comments, while just over a third (34%) said students had taken photos or videos without consent, a third (33%) received remarks about their performance as a teacher, 9% had faced allegations from pupils about inappropriate behaviour and 8% had been subjected to threatening behaviour.

While over half (57%) of pupils responsible were aged between 14 and 16, 38% were aged between 11 and 14, the teachers’ poll found, a fifth were 16 to 19, and 5% were seven to 11…

Of those who said they had been abused online by parents, the vast majority (64%) received insulting comments or remarks about their performance in the classroom (65%)…

Keates called for the next government to take the issue seriously and to require schools to have a zero-tolerance policy and use all sanctions available to address abuse of staff…

More at: Huge rise in online abuse of teachers by pupils and parents, says union


The examples of the kind of abuse being suffered outlined in the full article really are appalling. Chris Keates is surely correct in suggesting a clear statement needs to be made from the highest levels that it is unacceptable.

But what would a zero tolerance policy mean in practice? Please let us know what you would like to see in the comments below or via twitter…


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  1. MadgeJesss

    SchoolsImprove one wonders which social network platforms they are talking about. Surely it is possible to maintain professional privacy?

  2. SchoolsImprove

    MadgeJesss I think the suggestion is that abusive comments are made about them – not necessarily involving their own accounts

  3. SchoolsImprove

    rrunsworth At least they actually compare to previous results unlike the ATL approach of asking if things are worse now!

  4. Hope for the best

    I have seen examples of this first hand in social media forums, where teachers become the target of a few parents with obvious agendas. It stirs up hatred and ill will towards schools, which cannot be of any benefit to the pupils.

Let us know what you think...