The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association today outlined a proposal to deal with unacceptable behaviour by a small number of parents attending Parents' Meetings in secondary schools in Scotland.

The Association has noticed a significant rise in reports of incidents at Parents' Meetings in which individual parents have become abusive and occasionally unruly whilst meeting with staff.

“It is most regrettable that such incidents appear to be on the rise” said David Eaglesham, General Secretary.

“Although there are very few such instances, the Association has a ‘zero-tolerance' view of these and is seeking to alert schools to the need to have plans in place to deal with abusive, threatening or violent behaviour by parents.”

Reports to the SSTA within the last year have included cases of teacher being subjected to prolonged harassment, verbal abuse, threats of violence and physical assault.

“Our own Head Teachers' Panel has just prepared an advice leaflet for all schools reiterating the Association position on violence in all forms, and offering practical advice on how to deal with it. This is a timely document and we will be commending it to all schools. Application of the recommendations in this will help avoid incidents at Parents'

Meetings.”The Association is particularly concerned about the subsequent behaviour of parents who have previously been warned about their conduct within school.

“If there is a history of inappropriate behaviour, then schools, with the backing of their local authority, must consider banning these parents from attending general meetings of parents and setting up separate scheduled and supervised contact instead. This would only apply in a tiny minority of cases, but plans need to be in place for this before problems occur.”

“This is not a problem unique to education, but one familiar to colleagues in healthcare, the emergency services and front line public service in general. A consistent line on such matters is essential to protect employees.”

Further information from


General Secretary