Staff refuse to teach ‘violent’ pupils at Edinburgh special school

Teachers at an Edinburgh special school have been sent home with no pay after refusing to look after pupils who they claim have subjected them to a litany of assault and abuse. Edinburgh News reports.

In what is believed to be a first in Scotland, a union has accused the city council of “bullying and intimidating” staff as 11 teachers at Kaimes School in Liberton are refusing to provide lessons to eight pupils over physical and verbal assaults.

The situation is so serious that Education secretary John Swinney is due to meet union leaders today.

“They refused to teach them because they’d been assaulted so many times”, said a school source. “There’s just no control.” The eight students are understood to have spent last week in a class together with seven pupil support assistants.

But an Edinburgh City Council source said the issue was a red line that was “discriminating against disabled children”. They added: “You cannot pick and choose which disabled children you provide a service for”.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, labelled the council’s action as “one of the most disturbing cases I have ever experienced of an employer failing in its duty of care”.

She said: “The teachers, and indeed other pupils at the school have, month after month, faced violent physical assaults, a constant stream of verbal abuse and threats and malicious allegations. Equipment has been smashed and classrooms trashed.”

Read more Staff refuse to teach ‘violent’ pupils at Edinburgh special school  

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Categories: Scotland and SEN.


  1. Anonymous

    The reason a significant proportion of special schools that work with children with SEMH needs continue to operate despite budget cuts and increasing pupil numbers, is down to the staff on the ground, yet when and if they feel they can no longer work safely, they are often blamed with no attention paid to the systems they are trying to work within.

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