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Abuse of staff in an SEBD school

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by denisemcl23, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Hi

    I am looking for advice regarding a situation within the Behaviour unit that my mum works in. My mum, an SEN is constantly abused by the pupils within the school and has been for a number of years although this year the children have been particularly violent. It is primary school. Her management seems to make comments like "it is a behavioural unit" when incidents happen and really provides no back up for her staff. Today my mum has ended up in A & E with a broken finger. This is only one in a long line of injuries. As a qualified primary teacher, I know that this would not be tolerated in our school no matter what the circumstances.

    My mum loves her job and does not want to lose it by going above her bosses head and complaining. From the way management talk, I have no doubt they would try to push her out anyway they could without allowing cause for an unfair dismissal case.

    I want to complain on her behalf! I am so tired of my mum being abused at her work.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Hi, I no longer work within an educational establishment, but within a residential care setting for children and young people with extreme behaviour difficulties, many with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and/or SEBD.
    Within our contracts there is a clause that highlights the potential risks of working with people who display violent behaviour and requiring all employees to undertake PBM training on an annual basis (similar to TeamTeach).
    I would have thought that in your situation, all staff would be offered similar training.
  3. If this happens regularly and seems to be escalating then probably there is something wrong - either with diagnosis, assessment, staffing numbers, staff training or senior management support.
    Does your mum feel like there is enough staff coverage? Does she feel that the children are not being given the correct amount of structure? Is management supportive of establishing boundaries and providing consistent disciplinary actions? Sure, you would expect a greater risk of iinjury when working with troubled kids ... but teachers ARE people, too.
    Too often administrators put untrained people in these situations and think that because staff were made aware of risks that they have no further responsibility. Or they blame staff and weasel out of taking action or making unpopular decisions. If the numbers of students in the school is down, it may be that senior management is taking on children that are really more severely damaged then they can realistically manage,
    If your mum is concerned about any of these things she should probably look for another job because administrators can hide behind contractual verbiage. Its all a grey area. Your mum should trust her instincts because these are situations in which people get hurt.

  4. I think, to be fair, working in an EBD school... abuse against staff is not acceptable, but it is expected.
  5. That is really the point I was trying to make. If it cannot be avoided then processes have to be put in place to enable staff to minimise the risk.
  6. I too work in a SEBD provision. It was my first year last year and I had two trips to AnE. The minute it becomes accepted or expected thats when it comes dangerious, especially if you think like that. I do not expect it as I believe this is a dangerious way of thinking and I certainly dont accept it.
    I urge your Mum to fight her case, its NOT ACCEPTABLE. Would also like to point out under the H&S leglislation, you need to have team teach (other courses available) as it is a way of combating the risks that these areas pose.
    Remember though, don't expect it or accept it.

  7. I work in a special school as well but in the residential side. Most of the students I work with have autism spectrum conditions and one of the young men I work with has very severe behavioural needs-he used to attend an EBD primary school. He is now almost 18 and incredibly strong! His incidents of physically violent behaviour have decreased since I first worked with him but, when they happen, they cause a lot more damage than they used to because of how big he is now. I have been injured before but not seriously-it's mainly scratches to be honest. We do get provided scratch gloves but I find they tend to hinder the mobility in your hands, particularly when you have to put a restraint hold on a student so I don't always use them but this is my choice and I know the consequences of this. Does your mum get offered similar protection? Are the staff there trained in restraint? Is there opportunities to swap with other staff when the behaviour becomes too excessive to cope with? Our place is very good for that-we all step in and help each other out when we can see that it's getting too stressful on a particular member of staff. Above all, as others have said, don't take it as acceptable. With our student, every time he has an incident, we go through it with him afterwards so he knows that it's not acceptable to hurt staff/other students and he is starting to think about his actions a lot more now.
  8. Thank you for your comments. I know that it IS expected and my mum will freely admit that. However, I cant believe it is acceptable for the LA bosses to allow these children to continue to abuse staff in the way they do. Today my mum was attacked by 5 pupils and had to cover her head to protect herself whilst they punched, kicked, bit and spat on her. Another member of staff was trying to intervene but the strength of some of these children is unbelievable. She was actually being choked by a child and the other member of staff struggled to get the child's hands from her throat. As a result of today's incident, my mum had to involve the police and is now devastated about at least two of these children having this on their record. Management actually said to the police "I mean, I just can't understand why 3 members of staff can't control 5 children". She also had the cheek to say to my mum "Are you sure you want to phone the police?" Obviously she was not around when this all happened. The other members of staff in the facility were actually out of the building chasing after 3 children who had run away.

    Since my last post there have been incidents on a daily basis and management refuse to exclude these children and say that the staff are not providing an interesting enough learning environment for these children and this is why this is happening. They seem to brush everything under the carpet and the rules change to suit them on each occasion. I am furious that this is recurring and these children are being taken out 3 days a week to soft play areas, pantomimes, parks etc. I'm so proud of my mum for making a stand today and phoning the police but devastated at the state it has left her in.

    I have only just accepted a permanent position within this local authority and I am actually wondering if this is the type of authority I want to work for. I feel so helpless in this situation. I really want to get involved but I don't know how to do it appropriately. Can I complain or raise concerns about my mothers safety at work?
  9. "my mum ... is now devastated about at least two of these children having this on their record" This seems to be not a million miles away from the Management's outlook. Could I ask, what would your mum <u>like</u> to happen, what sort of changes would she like to see implemented?

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