A DUNFERMLINE politician says she "won't rest" until issues surrounding violent incidents in schools are addressed in Fife.

Cllr Aude Boubaker-Calder, who represents the Dunfermline Central ward and is the Fife Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, said figures revealed in a recent report showed a "crisis in our schools".

The investigation which will be presented to Fife Council's Education Scrutiny Committee later this month found that recorded incidents of violent behaviour had more than doubled between 2021 and 2022.

Councillors had first recommended action in January after a shocking video of a classroom assault at Waid Academy in Anstruther was made public.

The attack was condemned by Holyrood and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The resulting report by Shelagh McLean, Head of Education and Children's services, showed that the number of violent incidents reported in Fife schools, including all those involving staff and pupils, have risen from 1207 in 2021 to 2985 in 2022, with 639 already recorded this year.

Cllr Boubaker-Calder has branded these numbers as "simply not acceptable", adding: "We must act now to ensure our young people can be educated in the environment where they can flourish in the best version of themselves.

"For the sake of the teachers, the staff and the pupils and the future education of my daughter, I won't rest until this is properly addressed.

"There is clearly a crisis in our schools.

"The recent incident in Waid Academy is just the tip of the iceberg and I am worried it will get worse if nothing is done."

She continued: "I spoke about this at the Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference on Saturday where we called for more resources and support for teachers to tackle the problem with violence.

"I personally was bullied at school both physically and mentally during my whole education and I have seen teachers been verbally assaulted during that time as well.

"I would hate to see my daughter have to endure the same because governments at all level cannot put a priority in those issues."

Of the 10,482 incidents reported in the last six years, 8350 were recorded as physical and 2170 as verbal incidents of violence, aggression or threat.

A small number were categorised as both and 840 were not categorised this way.

In secondary schools there were 1313 reported verbal incidents and 1220 physical incidents, with 96 not categorised, and in primary schools there were 5241 reported physical and 543 verbal incidents, with 510 not categorised.

In special schools, there were 736 reported physical and 110 verbal incidents.

This year there were 368 recorded across all schools in January and 271 in February.

Cara Hilton, Fife Council’s Education spokesperson and Dunfermline South representative, said: "This issue isn’t unique to Fife. We know that teachers and school communities across Scotland are concerned about violent incidents in schools and it’s something we’re taking very seriously.

"The welfare and wellbeing of everyone in our schools is our first priority and all of our schools place the importance of relationships at the centre of what they do.

"Learning about positive relationships is something that begins at home and our parents and carers have a key role to play in this.

"Any form of violence towards teachers and pupils is unacceptable and we’re committed to safe working practices and training for our staff."

Incidents of this type in schools are recorded on a system called First Contact which can be found on all PCs in schools.

A staff wellbeing strategy detailed in the report offers workers an initial 'hot' debrief and follow-up 'cold' debrief after a violent incident.

This is to ensure that the member of staff has not been physically or emotionally harmed.

Cllr Hilton added: "Our focus is to work together with school communities, trade unions and families to promote positive behaviour and de-escalate situations. We give targeted support to schools where it’s needed.

"We’ll be discussing the support in place for our school staff and young people at the next meeting of the Education Scrutiny Committee.

"I would personally reassure parents and carers across Fife that we will continue to work with all our school communities to make sure our staff and young people have a positive experience at school."

Cllr Boubaker-Calder has called for action from the Scottish Government to ease pressures by improving mental health support waiting times as well as funding for teachers, school psychotherapists and classroom assistants.

She said: "The Council needs to provide with better policies as well and support for schools to prevent, tackle those issues from the roots and ensure that schools put in place an adequate network of supports and tools for not only the teachers and the school staff but the pupils as well including the perpetrators.

"Doing nothing is not acceptable. And the numbers presented are showing this."