NINE out of ten teachers in Spain say violent episodes are a continual threat in their classes.

According to a study by the CSIF union, teachers say violence in their schools, such as fights, abuse or vandalism, leaves them helpless to do anything about it.

A shocking 75% of teachers believe that they have very little or no authority over students or influence with their families, with over a quarter of those surveyed saying life is not pleasant.

The study is based on 2,000 questionnaires distributed to teachers in public primary and secondary schools in all eight regions of Spain.

Head of education at CSIF, Mario Gutiérrez believes that the cuts in teaching staff, the increase in the ratio of students per class and a shortfall of support staff are all adding to fuel to the fire.

“Sometimes teachers do not have enough authority to stop these situations,” said Gutiérrez.