Changing the Culture – reducing violence in schools

changing the culture low res

Do you work in a school? Are you concerned about the levels of violence and abuse?

There are still spaces if you wish to attend. GMB members are welcome to attend without prior registration, just turn up on the day. Registration is from 9:30 am with a 10:00 am start, at the County Ground, County Road in Swindon –  SN1 2ED  . Lunch is provided.

The Agenda and Speakers details can be downloaded here (PDF)

GMB believes that it is time to change the culture, so that violence against school staff from pupils is seen as unacceptable. We have organised a conference in Swindon on 12th April, during the school holidays, and we would really like school staff affected by the problem to come along. There will be opportunities to explain your own experiences in a supportive environment, if you wish to, but feel free to come along and just listen.

The purpose of the conference is to find solutions, and we have invited experts, as well as representatives of school management, and from politicians from all parties.

Almost half of school support staff in the area covered by Wiltshire Council have experienced violence from pupils in the past 18 months, according to a recent survey conducted by GMB. A year ago a similar survey conducted among Swindon school support staff revealed very similar results.

GMB, the trade union that represents school staff including teaching assistants, caretakers, office staff, bursars, librarians and cleaners, released the figures yesterday from a survey they carried out with their members – with 48 per cent reporting physical violence against them, and only 32% reported that they had experienced no abusive behaviour from pupils.

The details of the multi-disciplinary conference are as follows:

“Changing the Culture”
12th April
10:00 AM
County Ground
 SN1 2ED

Key speakers will include Dr Amanda Holt from Roehampton University, a leading academic expert on violence by children; Gary Rubin, a partner in the law firm Blackfords LLP, Karen Leonard a national officer of GMB trade union; and Councillor Fionuala Foley, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services for Swindon Borough Council. 

The conference will also hear from Martha de Bruxelles, a teaching assistant from a Trowbridge School, and Peter Baldrey from Wiltshire NASUWT (the teaching union), as well as experts in child behaviour, and school management.

The conference is free, and is open to anyone working in a school, or in the education sector, and to school governors. Anyone interested in going should email their details to



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