Humza Yousaf has not read major Scottish school violence report, but says government ‘very sincere’

Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth came under fire at the weekend when she admitted she had not read the report

Humza Yousaf says he has not read a union’s report on violence in Scottish schools, but insisted the government is “very sincere” about tackling the problem.

Opposition parties hit out at Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth at the weekend after she admitted she had not read the teaching union’s report on teacher assaults.

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In the Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS) report, a third of the 800 teachers surveyed in Aberdeen said they had been attacked in their classrooms.

Humza Yousaf arrives at Holyrood with Jenny GilruthHumza Yousaf arrives at Holyrood with Jenny Gilruth
Humza Yousaf arrives at Holyrood with Jenny Gilruth
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Speaking to BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, Ms Gilruth said she had not looked at the specifics from the research conducted in Aberdeen because it would be a matter for the local authority.

On Monday, the First Minister was asked about the issue as he campaigned in Glasgow

He told journalists: “Jenny has not only convened a number of summits on school violence, she has met with the EIS on a number of occasions.

“As a former teacher herself Jenny knows this issue inside out, has taken proactive action to make sure she is addressing the issue of violence in schools.

“She is very sincere, we as a government are very sincere, about tackling the issue of violence in schools.

“I know it’s a very emotive subject, understandably so. What we want to try to do is make sure we get that absolute balance right where we are eliminating violence in schools and making sure we are doing what we can to support pupils as well as support the teaching staff who do an incredible job.”

Asked if he would expect the Education Secretary to have read reports on violence in schools, he said: “First and foremost Jenny was previously a teacher, has in the role engaged with a number of teachers, engaged with the EIS, read numerous reports, hosted violence in schools summits, and is taking the issue exceptionally seriously.”

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Asked if he had read the report himself, the First Minister said: “I haven’t read personally the report in question, here.

“Of course Jenny Gilruth, I and others will make sure we continue to engage with the EIS.”

On Sunday, the Conservatives’ Liam Kerr said it was “disgraceful” that Ms Gilruth had not read the report, while Labour’s Pam Duncan-Glancy said she was “ignoring” concerns from teachers.



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