Agenda item


To receive the report of Sarah Fryer, Head of Schools Personnel Service.


Peter Nathan, Director of Education, introduced the report which responded to a Panel Member request – corrected as having been proposed by Cllr Ruby Sampson.


The rise in incidents in the last academic year was noted, and that a working group had been established, and a number of actions had been taken. A Violence and Aggression Against School Staff Policy had been prepared to provide guidance for schools and would shortly be printed and made available. A survey of school staff had been circulated: around a thousand responses had been received, which were currently being collated and would be shared in due course. It was noted that nearly a third of all those responding advised that they had not experienced an incident.


Questions were invited from Members.


Members asked to see the Violence and Aggression Against School Staff Policy when finalised.

ACTION:  Peter Nathan


Noting that incidents that were reported but resulted in no visible injury could still be painful and serious, in response to Members’ queries it was advised that the survey would show more incidents than the figures reported in the report as the survey was broader and many incidents would have been at a level expected to be addressed within the school. It was acknowledged that schools should have risk assessments and appropriate strategies in place, and that good quality training was offered to schools. However there was no requirement for schools, other than community schools, to use the reporting system, or buy back into Schools Health and Safety. The survey was done because of the increased number of incidents, and that schools were experiencing more children with more complex needs coming into the system. Officers advised that there had been a high level of support and engagement from head teachers. An outcome of surveying the data would be to show schools the importance of appropriate staff training.


It was also confirmed by officers that incidents were considerably higher in primary rather than secondary schools. There were more issues with dysregulated younger children. Schools may employ short suspensions, but did not permanently exclude young children. Nurture groups worked to socialise children so they could come back into school. As they got older, children with special needs could often cope with primary school, but then may go on to special schools or units for their secondary education.


Members requested to receive more information about de-escalation training.

ACTION:  Peter Nathan


With regard to the survey, it was confirmed that a thousand responses from the approximate 5,500 to 6,000 staff in Enfield was a good return rate.


It was confirmed that the CLASSI reporting system was the Council’s system. The data was used as part of children’s risk assessments and information would be transferred to a child’s new school. When an internal transfer took place, information was shared and protocols were followed.


The Chair thanked officers for providing the update report and for attending the meeting.


The Panel AGREED to note the update in response to an item proposed by Cllr Sampson on incidents of violence against staff in school.

Supporting documents: