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Calling Police to an assault by a pupil in school

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by shipscat, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. shipscat

    shipscat New commenter

    I am curious to know if anyone has directly called the police after being assaulted by a pupil who is over the age of criminal responsibility?

    Keeping details vague - but I am aware of a colleague who was assaulted deliberately with an object and some staff suggested that the police should be called. However the person concerned was persuaded by others not to take this course of action.

    Can senior management stop you from calling police or bring any sanctions against someone who does?

    Just curious.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. IanG

    IanG Occasional commenter

    They can't stop you from calling the police/bring sanctions if you contact the police, BUT they could make things very difficult if you do. I was hit in the eye with a snow ball last year from 5 yards away (clearly deliberate) and had to go to eye clinic as I wear contact lenses and eye closed up pretty quickly. On return the pupil had been put into isolation for the day and grunted an apology. When I pushed for contacting the police I was informed that the pupil was 'normally good', parents would kick up a fuss and that it wouldn't look good on me/school if police were informed....

    As always, union should be consulted.
  3. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    You can report an assault at a police station. You don't need anyone's permission.
  4. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    'Aware of a colleague' - you then?! (Sorry but often this is the case although you dont have to say)

    I think there are matters that can be dealt with in school that on the streets would be assault and police (with the strong threat of police if it occurs again.) If its serious though I don't see why police should not be called with the full backing of SLT.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    IF the colleague calls the police, effectively going over the heads of SLT, then their position at the school is likely to become untenable.

    Yes, of course they can, but it isn't necessarily the best thing to do. Only the colleague concerned can decide if it was serious enough to warrant this.

    Clearly your colleagues, who know more than you should post here, are divided on what to do...TES responses are likely to be similar.
    pepper5 and freckle06 like this.
  6. shipscat

    shipscat New commenter

    No definitely NOT me - I have always said that if I was seriously assaulted that the police would know before SLT.

    I hope it remains that way.

    Should senior management be able to put pressure on a member of staff when a clearly criminal act has taken place? Is that not in some respects perverting the course of justice and should be actionable in its own right?
  7. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    I would like to see notices at school entrances similar to those in doctors' surgeries and government offices which say that violent and abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. Teachers and support staff should not accept this. And slt should be supporting them if they are assaulted.
    zee210, saluki, HelenREMfan and 13 others like this.
  8. dancemad

    dancemad New commenter

    Years ago a student made a threat to me in writing via social media ( I’d given him a detention and he didn’t like it) and the head I was working for at the time suggested I call the police and sorted cover for my lessons whilst the police came into school to chat to me. The police advised that I could press charges but instead I agreed they would go round to the students house and just give them a harsh message about doing this kind of thing again. I was worried when I first got the message but the school and it’s support were fantastic and I miss working there. Sadly the school no longer exists as it merged and became an academy and the head retired. But any worry I had was totally eliminated by such a brilliant team. The head also ensured the student was dealt with properly within school and I never had to teach him again. The student was later expelled for a wide range of things he’d built up over a number of years.
  9. shipscat

    shipscat New commenter

    I am sure there is one in our reception, but I guess it only applies to adults!
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    If the member of staff who was assaulted wants to call the police, then they have the legal right to do so. It doesn't matter where the assault occurred. Carrying out an assault on school grounds does not protect an assailant from the consequences of their actions. SLT should be supporting the victim of the assault whatever decision they make regarding whether they contact the police or not.
  11. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I very much agree that the police should be called if a crime is committed in school.

    I'm not a criminal investigator.

    I don't understand it when parents threaten to go to the police if the school doesn't "deal" with something. I wish they would jut go there first! particularly if it is assault on the way in or home from school and not even on the school grounds.

    I did call the police once, anonymously, when I saw a pupil had a dangerous weapon. The police came. The head called a staff meeting and tried to get the "culprit" to own up, but I never did.
  12. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    I reported a hate crime against me to the police. Don't suppose it went down too well.
    Cooperuk and grumpydogwoman like this.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Of course they can't stop you.

    Of course they'll make your life hell if they're that way inclined.
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    In two of the schools I worked in, I know of colleagues who were assaulted (or threatened with assault; or implied assault - as in, some very disturbing images of abusing a teacher) and, when SLT took a softly-softly approach, the teacher made it clear they would call the police. Only then was the student dealt with more severely, with parents involved. It's sad that on both occasions (two different schools, two different SLTs, two different teachers, two different students) each teacher had to hold their nerve - emphatically stating they were involving the police - to essentially force SLT's hand to take it seriously. For info: neither teacher was ousted or pushed out afterwards; however, they also were pretty kick a** in the first place, so weren't easily shaken/intimidated....
    install, Cooperuk and pepper5 like this.
  15. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Over twenty years ago I worked in a school where a student attacked a member of staff with a chair. She had a miscarriage. The head "persuaded" her not to involve the police and the student had a few days off school. He hung around the local park and shouted swear words at those students who were still at school. She left the school very soon after, which was not a surprise. The student ended up in prison some years later, after a serious assualt on someone.
    I am quite happy with a member of staff reporting an assualt to the police - and if SLT don't like it, then perhaps they need to reconsider "duty of care"
    pepper5 likes this.
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Many years ago, a colleague, who lived local to the school, called the police when teenagers started lobbing things into his garden, late at night. It turned out that some of these were students of the school. The parents of some of these miscreants then complained to the Head, who gave my this teacher the 'these kids are from deprived backgrounds' speech.
    pepper5 likes this.
  17. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Regardless of what crime is committed you have a choice over whether the to go to the Police or not. If the issue can be dealt with satisfactorily in-house (and I mean to the satisfaction of the victim) then fine there is no impediment.

    But if this cannot (or is not forthcoming) then the option of going to the Police is always available. The idea that SLT can them "make like difficult" is a nonsense and, if it happens, may very well, itself, constitute a criminal offence. ( I am in no way a legal expert but an offence of "attempting to pervert the course of justice" (or similar) may possibly have some mileage)

    Teachers (and other staff) have rights and that includes the right to seek legal redress if issues arise. They also have the right to be protected from criminal action by others and be offered support when such action arises.
  18. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

  19. Cooperuk

    Cooperuk Senior commenter

    I was assaulted in school a few years ago, by a student who was truanting from lessons for the third time that day.

    The school did nothing about it and 'lost' the violent incident form I filled in and submitted (which backfired when the LEA head of HR called me and asked what had happened and where the form was as I was off for two weeks).

    I reported it to the police - it went to court - the kid was advised to plead guilty as he'd boasted about it in front of other kids and staff. He was prosecuted and I received £10 in compensation. Yippee.

    The school still did nothing about it, other than give me a hard time for embarrassing them. The SLT at that school had lost control of behaviour by that time. No-one from my days works in that department anymore. We all left.

    I'd call the police again in a heartbeat if I was assaulted and the school did nothing.
    strawbs, mothorchid, bonxie and 2 others like this.
  20. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    That sort of notice is completely irrelevant if a good behaviour policy is in place. It would then go without saying that "stuff" is not tolerated, and everybody would know it.
    People do these things repeatedly because they know that nothing has been done about similar, and nothing will continue to be done. Putting a sign up makes zero difference, much as me standing delivering a lesson whilst holding a sign saying "those not behaving will be sanctioned" is equally non effective. It's the action, not the signage which deters, because school offenders are repeat attenders who always know just how much they can get away with.

    I hate seeing those signs at counters because for me it is always a precursor to phenomenally bad service. They put those signs there to make you feel as if you are not allowed to be annoyed at convoluted administration, slow and derisory service, overpriced nothings, long waits for disinformation,; Is that how we want our schools to appear by putting such a sign up?

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