EDUCATION bosses are investigating after a whistleblower wrote to education minister John Swinney to allege dire conditions in a Glasgow secondary.

The anonymous teacher claims children behave "like animals", teachers have no control and assaults are rife.

However, the head teacher of the school in question has robustly denied the charges, even hosting the Evening Times for a visit.

Calling themselves Tired Teacher, the letter writer contacted Mr Swinney claiming to be at the end of her tether.

Also sending her lengthy plea for help to several high profile politicians, the writer claims to be at "breaking point".

The email reads: "You may dismiss this email as another disgruntled teacher angered by the lack of pay rise...but I loved my job and a pay rise would not have changed that.

"However the current way I have been abused by pupils has changed my feelings. I now leave work as soon as possible and have given up any extra curricular activities I used to do in school because it is not worth the hassle.

"Several teachers at meetings have commented on how we wish we could wear body cameras or record our classroom to hear some of the things we have to deal with."

Detailing alleged incidents - which include swearing, racial slurs, sexual assaults and physical threats - she says she does not feel safe in her job at Bannerman High School.

The teacher complains that pupils are dealt with by restorative justice - where they are encouraged to talk about their feelings - and that this does not work.

She expresses concerns that the school no longer has a campus police officer and adds: "All anyone needs to do to see how bad this is is watch the school at lunch time.

"The children's behaviour I can only equate to animals."

However, Bannerman head teacher Seonaidh Black said the claims were "grossly exaggerated" and expressed shock that a teacher would call children animals.

Ms Black claims restorative justice was instigated in response to approaches from teachers.

She also said the campus police officer service was not renewed because behaviour was improving in the school and so it was not believed necessary.

Ms Black said: ""It is really, really concerning that a teacher would refer to children as animals.

"I don't see how you can be a teacher and think that about children.

"We know we have young people who are experiencing trauma in their daily lives so we take a nurturing approach to working with these pupils.

"We have had a nurturing approach in Bannerman Secondary School for at least the past 10 years.

"How are our pupils supposed to learn about resilience if we don't model it and we don't speak about it?"

Of a school roll of slightly fewer than 1200, around 500 pupils have additional support for learning needs, ranging from low level, short term needs to pupils with conditions such as ADHD.

The school has a dedicated support base where pupils who cannot cope in mainstream classes are given support.

This, Ms Black said, has helped slash the number of exclusions in the school and keeps youngsters who would otherwise miss out on an education in learning.

The writer of the anonymous letter claims to have worked as a teacher for 20 years and has taught in various Scottish schools as well as overseas.

They say they have been at Bannerman for at least five years and claim attainment is falling.

Bannerman is in the top 10 schools in the city's education league tables and figures show the number of school leavers earning three or more Highers has risen from 24 per cent in 2012 to 35 per cent in 2018.

Ms Black has taught in the Baillieston school since 2001, first as a principal teacher of English, then as deputy head before becoming head teacher two years ago.

The head teacher invited the Evening Times to tour the school and speak to pupils and teachers yesterday.

She said: "The final day of term can see the young people very highly strung but I wouldn't have invited you out to the school if I hadn't been confident of what you would see here.

"What is described here does not represent my experience in this school.

"I have seen very positive changes in Bannerman, the attainment has increased hugely since I first arrived.

"Raising attainment has been a big, big driver in this school. Staff have done a huge amount of work to support our young people.

"Every decision we make has the child at the centre."

The letter writer claims to work many extra hours a week and use her own money to buy resources.

She adds: "I am asking you Mr. Swinney how can we do our job successfully and create the next generation of purposeful and successful young people when we live with the fear of assault, racial abuse, sexual harassment and verbal abuse by the very pupils we are charged with caring for.

"We can handle the budget cuts as we are used to them now. But how can we handle everything else when leadership is trying to cover up the level of abuse we receive on a daily basis?"

In response, a Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The allegations in this letter are clearly extremely worrying.

"We know Glasgow City Council shares our view that no teacher should have to suffer abuse in the workplace and we are confident that, as the responsible education authority, they will investigate.

“We all want pupils to behave in a respectful manner towards their peers and staff.

"Our refreshed guidance on preventing and managing schools exclusions, published last year, includes guidance on managing challenging behaviour.”

Ms Black said she was disappointed the teacher had not approached senior members of staff for support.

She added: "I genuinely was shocked and angry when I was shown the letter but when you read the it you realise it is not actually factual.

"If it was actually factual then we would deserve this but these are sweeping statements that are offensive towards our young people, our parents and our staff.

"Yes, it is very tough being a teacher. I am mindful of how hard it is to be a teacher.

"I would encourage this teacher to come forward and speak to me. Nobody can support somebody if they don't know who they are."

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed and saddened that this teacher has chosen to make public these unsubstantiated allegations rather than bringing their concerns to either the headteacher or education authority.

"We are particularly concerned about the language being used to describe the young people.

“We have been investigating this further and we would encourage the teacher to come forward and be supported.

“Our staff should know that if they have any concerns, they can report these in a variety of way - via their trade unions, their line managers or to senior staff in Education Services.”