London, Dec 1 (UNI) A mojor study has revealed that kids feel less safe in schools than their counterparts in Russia and Iran suggesting that crime on streets is entering schools as well.
The study carried out in 45 countries showed that classrooms in England were among the world's most violent with four in ten children sharing past experiences of being hit by a fellow pupil.
Nations with better records included Morocco, Russia and Iran.
South Africa ranked last.
The study by the National Foundation for Educational Research suggested that violence on the streets was spilling over into educational institutions.
''It is a truly shocking state of affairs when the rising levels of violence in our society have also entered into our children's classrooms,'' Daily Mail quoted David Laws, Liberal Democrat schools spokesman, as saying.
The study carried out by the National Foundation warned that children who feel less safe at school tend to score worse marks in reading tests.
The poll also asked teachers whether classroom disturbance, cheating, swearing, vandalism, theft and verbal abuse were a problem in their schools.
Their answers showed they had fewer concerns about these issues than teachers in any of the other 45 countries and provinces.
Children's responses, however, were in sharp contrast to that of their head teachers.
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said, ''These findings about children's attitudes to school are based around ten-year-olds' perceptions, which will obviously differ internationally.