Teaching unions have warned that pupil behaviour and violence in schools has worsened in recent years.

Two teachers and a pupil were stabbed at Amman Valley School, also known as Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, in Carmarthenshire, south-west Wales on Wednesday.

Knife attacks on teachers are rare in the UK, but unions have said staff are increasingly dealing with poorer behaviour among pupils since the pandemic.

Government figures released just last week showed that the number of school suspensions in England rose to more than 260,000 in the spring term of 2023, the largest number on record for one term.

The Department for Education (DFE) data also showed there were 3,039 permanent exclusions in the spring term last year.

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, has previously spoken about the “serious” problem of violence in schools and he said some teachers have discussed the need for stab vests and bodycams.

A poll of more than 6,500 NASUWT union members in May and June last year, suggested that 89% feel the number of pupils exhibiting violent and abusive behaviour has increased in the past year.

It found that 37% of NASUWT members who responded to the survey had experienced violence or physical abuse from pupils in the last 12 months.

After the knife attack at a school in Wales, Mr Roach said: “Schools should be places of safety and sanctuary, and it will be of the utmost concern for every teacher whenever that sense of safety and security has been broken.

“No teacher should have to fear being assaulted at work, and everything that can be done must be done to ensure the safety of staff and pupils.”

Mair Wyn, who has been a governor at Amman Valley School for 34 years, said “times have changed” and “a teacher’s job is very dangerous”.

She said: “You looked up to a teacher in my time, you were afraid of a teacher. But I think every school is under danger really when you think about it, you don’t know what’s around the corner.”

In July last year, maths teacher Jamie Sansom was stabbed by a 15-year-old boy in a school corridor at Tewkesbury Academy in Gloucestershire.

The teenager was sent to youth detention at Bristol Magistrates’ Court for 14 months for the attack.

An investigation by the PA news agency before the pandemic found that thousands of children had been caught carrying weapons at school.

Data obtained from police forces in England and Wales, under Freedom of Information laws, showed knives were involved in 1,260 incidents between April 2017 and summer 2019 – more than half of the incidents reported overall.

A female teacher was stabbed to death by a pupil in a classroom in Leeds a decade ago.

Ann Maguire, 61, was stabbed in the back by 15-year-old Will Cornick as she taught a Spanish class at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds in April 2014. Cornick was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 20 years.