Council chiefs have promised that all incidents of online abuse on social media are taken seriously after concerns were raised of ‘nasty poisonous’ attacks on teachers.

Conservative councillor Todd Ferguson quizzed North Ayrshire’s Labour administration on the online abuse of teachers after School Leaders Scotland published a report on “concerning”videos being published on the TikTok platform featuring abuse of teachers.

Councillor John Bell, cabinet member for education, said council officials respond to all incidents raised, but admitted that the authority doesn’t gather statistical data on the issue.

Cllr Bell said: “North Ayrshire Council treats any abuse of staff seriously and seeks to respond accordingly. We do not gather statistical data to offer in relation to online abuse of teachers and school support staff however we do respond to any complaint or concern raised by a member of our staff.

“Staff in schools will approach their head teacher or head of centre with any concern. The head might be able to investigate, dependent on the circumstances and information available, but would certainly be able to offer support and advice.

“If it is found that the online abuse is coming from another member of staff then there are policies to protect individuals who are subject to this abuse. The individual has recourse to the Dignity and Respect at Work Policy and grievance procedure.

“Occasionally parents will post unfair and ill-informed information online. When schools are made aware, they will invite that parent to discuss their concerns and seek to reach a resolution.

“If a pupil is found to be the culprit, the school’s response will be in line with policy and take into account individual circumstances.

“Furthermore, like every other citizen, any member of staff can contact the police who can investigate and who can ask social media channels and online platforms to divulge information about users.”

Cllr Ferguson asked Cllr Bell to hold talks with education services officials about ways of reminding pupils of the dangers of TikTok and the “quite nasty and poisonous” videos published there.

whether the Cabinet Member could have a discussion with Education services about reminding students about the dangers of TikTok and its appropriate use after videos that “were quite nasty and poisonous”.

Councillor Bell said he would ask for more information to be provided to pupils about the dangers of social media and about the importance of using it with respect for others.