HEADTEACHERS at Fife secondary schools have been asked what more can be done to stop the "unacceptable" rise in incidents of violence and physical attacks. 

Councillors were told there had been an increase in verbal and physical attacks in and out of the classroom while the "sickening" practice of filming fights and posting them on social media was also slammed. 

Fife Council leader David Ross said a "number of high profile incidents" had been highlighted recently and a meeting had taken place with head teachers to discuss the "nature and causes" of the violence and what can be done in terms of prevention and early intervention.

Dunfermline Press: Fife Council leader David Ross said the issue of violence in schools is being taken 'very seriously'. Fife Council leader David Ross said the issue of violence in schools is being taken 'very seriously'. (Image: Fife Council)


At the full council meeting last week SNP councillor Craig Walker said: "There's no doubt that the increase in incidents of violence in schools are a great cause for concern, as is the sickening practice of these being filmed and shared on social media for what seems to be some apparent pleasure for those watching."

Back in February a report on bullying and violence in Fife's schools was ordered by councillors after a shocking video of a classroom fight reached the First Minister.

The attack at Waid Academy in Anstruther was condemned at Holyrood and local representatives asked for detailed information on the extent of the problem and how it is being dealt with.

Last week Cllr Walker said such incidents were becoming "more violent" and asked the Labour councillor what the council was doing to try and prevent acts of aggression and to support teaching staff. 

Cllr Ross said: "We're all aware of the serious nature of these incidents, although I'll continue to stress there's no evidence that it's worse in Fife than the rest of Scotland. 

"Although it's certainly not explaining the whole reason, the pandemic hasn't helped with kids being out of school and not socialising and that is an issue. 

"We're in regular discussion with the education service on this and they are continuing to take action and support staff, improve reporting processes and focusing on attendance, PSA support and further training for staff. 

"A report will be coming back to the scrutiny committee but it's not something we should just leave to them and that's why we met with a number of school heads to look at what more can be done."    

Fife Council figures show that there were 1,207 violent incidents reported in their schools in 2021 and that more than doubled to 2,985 in 2022.

By mid-March of this year there had been 639 incidents.

Cllr Ross added: "It's something we're taking very seriously and the education service are continuing to work on it. 

"I'm sure the whole chamber is very concerned that we address this."