A teachers’ union has revealed “shocking” figures about the amount of intimidation, physical assaults and racial and sexual harassment members face in the district’s schools.

Members of the NASUWT conducted a survey over one day to highlight the types of behaviour Bradford secondary school teachers regularly encounter.

More than 70 per cent of teachers who took part said they were confronted by verbal defiance, 69 per cent witnessed pupils swearing, a third witnessed a pupil assaulting another and just under ten per cent were involved in or witnessed a pupil assault an adult.

And 56 per cent of teachers who called for support did not receive any, said the union. A further 11 per cent reported sexual harassment and one in ten suffered racial harassment.

Irene Docherty, NASUWT negotiating secretary, said: “The results from this survey confirm the worrying levels of disruption which many teachers have to put up with on a daily basis. “NASUWT is concerned that in secondary schools where support was requested in over half those instances it did not materialise. It is also of concern that in over a third of the responses NASUWT members felt that the behaviour policy in the school did not support them most of the time.”

However, 81 per cent of respondents said they were content with the pupil behaviour policy in their school and felt that it worked at least satisfactorily.

Councillor David Ward, Liberal Democrat education spokesman, said: “Working in some of our schools is hard work. Whenever anger is directed at teachers the full support of the school authorities, Education Bradford and Bradford Council should be available.”

Coun Ralph Berry, Labour education spokesman, labelled the lack of support “shocking”. He said: “This is a big issue – when you are in trouble in schools you rely on your colleagues.”

Kath Tunstall, the Council’s strategic director for services to children and young people, said: “The local authority has been doing a lot of work with the Health and Safety Executive about tackling stress in schools and have valued the co-operative approach from trade unions in this initiative, which is making an impact.

“Any issues of concern expressed by staff are taken seriously and we continue to work closely with colleagues in Education Bradford in ensuring that the school environment is a safe place for them to work.”