THE number of attacks on teachers in Renfrewshire’s schools has soared by almost 60 per cent in just two years.

Latest figures show there were 181 attacks in 2018/19 – up by 66 from the 2016/17 total of 115.

Over a three-year period dating back to 2016, more than 450 violent incidents were recorded.

The figures were obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, with the party’s education spokeswoman Beatrice Wishart calling on the Scottish Government to do more to protect staff.

READ MORETeachers ‘under attack’ as levels of violence in Renfrewshire schools rise sharply

She said: “Teachers and pupils are being let down. Nobody should have to go to work with a reasonable expectation that they might be assaulted.

“We will never be able to ensure that every child gets the best possible start in life unless we make sure schools are places where both pupils and staff feel comfortable, confident and ready to learn.”

Renfrewshire Council said the figures relate to “physical behaviour,” which covers a range of incidents, such as an object being thrown across a classroom or a teacher intervening in an incident between pupils.

“We pride ourselves on providing a safe school environment and encourage any staff who feel they have been subject to violent or aggressive behaviour to report this, with clear reporting mechanisms in place and all incidents thoroughly investigated,” added a spokeswoman.

READ MORE: Demand for action on drug deaths in Renfrewshire

“There are more than 20,000 children across our primary and secondary schools and this data relates to any physical behaviour reported by a school staff member. We are working with our staff to review reporting procedures and encourage them to report any incidents.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We are supporting a number of programmes to promote positive relationships and tackle indiscipline, abuse and violence.”

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond