By Deborah Lawson, General Secretary, Voice
If the headlines generated by the recent consultation on preventing and tackling serious violence are to be believed, teachers could soon be held accountable for failing to know that a pupil in their class was involved in violent crime
While the headlines could be accused of sensationalising the proposals and the implications for teachers and schools, they do have some merit. School leaders, teachers and the whole education workforce are, like the rest of society, rightly concerned about the rise in violent crime.
However, it seems that in the Government’s rush to appear tough on knife crime and the causes of knife crime, its consultation, while advocating a multi-agency approach, appears to suggest this can only be achieved by imposing new duties, to be carried out alongside existing ones – despite evidence to the contrary from Scotland. The consultation, and much of the recent commentary, is focused too much on the ‘legal duty’ and not enough on the causes of violent crime.