THE number of violent attacks on teachers and other school staff in the Borders more than doubled last year with around three incidents being recorded every day.

During the 2018/19 academic year there were 282 violent attacks on teachers with a further 244 assaults involving other school staff recorded across the Borders.

In total for last year there were 671 incidents recorded in local schools - more than double the 306 incidents from the previous year.

The shocking figures were obtained under Freedom of Information and portray an escalation in violence at both primary and secondary schools in the region.

During 2016/17 422 incidents were recorded, with 335 deemed violent.

The following academic year, of the 306 recorded incidents 258 were classed as violent.

But last year 595 of the 671 incidents were aggressive enough to be recorded as violent.

The largest teaching union, the EIS, believes that cuts to education budgets are partly to blame.

A spokesperson said: “Pupils can display disruptive or aggressive behaviour for a wide range of reasons and it is important we take steps to understand the variable causes of that behaviour.

"However, cuts to education budgets have reduced the number of specialist support staff such as pupil support assistants and Educational Psychologists available to work with any pupils who require additional support.

"Local authorities have a duty of care to all their employees and it is important they take the necessary steps to ensure that our schools are as safe as possible, without damaging the open and welcoming environment that our schools seek to provide.”

It has become easier to report incidents in recent years, and the EIS does believe that attacks in previous years may not have been recorded.

The spokeswoman added: "Many cocal authorities, including Scottish Borders, have adopted a more streamlined approach to the recording process of these types of incidents.

"This, along with encouragement for members to ensure cases of this nature are recorded, could be a significant factor in the rise of reported violent incidents in the Borders.

"Whilst further investigation is required, if this turns out to be the case it would suggest significant under-reporting in previous years."

Education bosses at Scottish Borders Council have vowed to take action if required in protecting teachers and other school staff.

A spokesperson at Scottish Borders Council told us: “We are clear that any act of abuse in a school is unacceptable.

"Alongside our headteachers, we’ll continue to closely monitor incidents of this nature and take appropriate action to protect staff including identifying where further interventions are required.”