Lewisham Council - We’ve backed a motion to protect school staff

We’ve backed a motion to protect school staff

Published on 29 November 2018

At a meeting of Full Council, our members unanimously voted to support a campaign protect school staff who face violent or threatening behaviour in their workplace.

The campaign is run by the GMB trade union president, Barbara Plant. GMB, which represents school support staff across the borough, has been campaigning for school support staff to be free from the threat of violence or intimidation at work. It has produced a charter of key demands for preventing violence in schools. GMB is asking every local authority to support the charter.

Councillor Chris Barnham, Cabinet Member for School Performance, said: ‘The GMB is doing us a real service in highlighting the injuries that people working in schools can suffer. Everyone has the right to be free from abuse in their place of work. That is doubly true of a place of education – where not only do we want adults to be safe and well, as in any place of work, we also want to provide a model of good behaviour to children.

‘Our schools do a fantastic job, and we value the teachers, teaching assistants and other support staff who make them work. Most of the time, schools run well, but unfortunately difficulties can sometimes arise. That is why we are keen to help schools have the right policies and practice in place to protect their staff, and support them if they face abuse.’

Barbara Plant, the GMB's national president and former Lewisham school teaching assistant and Lewisham school pupil said: ‘Our members, a predominantly part-time female workforce, provide invaluable support to the borough's school children.

‘We are extremely pleased to work hand in hand with Lewisham Council to make sure our members can go to work safe in the knowledge that their union and their employer are doing all they can to protect them from violent or threatening behaviour. We welcome the Council's support for our campaign and look forward to putting practical steps in place to make sure the motion becomes deeds and not just words.’



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