Staff tell of 'climate of fear' in schools

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The annual conference of the NASUWT voted yesterday for young teachers to be given better training and supportin dealing with the most difficult students.

Julian Chapman of the union's executive revealed a dossier of intimidation towards teachers including threats such as: "I'm going to petrol bomb your car" and "My brother's going to stab you in the face".

Ruth Williams, a teacher from Oxfordshire, said she had received little training in behaviour management and had had no support since finishing college.

Chris Keates, the union's general secretary, said that there was a "huge problem" with teachers refusing to help junior colleagues because of fear about revealing their own difficulties.

"We have got to get this climate of fear out of the classroom where people feel unable to express the difficulties they are having," she said.

"Too few school feel able to admit when they have problems with indiscipline because they fear it will impact on the reputation of the school."