A South Auckland school teacher was beaten unconscious by a student as he checked corridors during a rainy lunchtime.

The Southern Cross student has been suspended until the Board of Trustees meets this week to discuss further action and whether police need to be involved.

Principal Robin Staples said the teacher was monitoring the hallways during a wet day when the male student attacked him last Friday.

The teacher was still away and Mr Staples said he was to meet him last night to discuss how he felt about returning to work.

"I understand that he's been to the doctor and is coming along fine."

Mr Staples said the school was investigating the incident so it could present the facts and a recommendation to the school's board.

"We're interviewing students that were there, we're interviewing staff. We're getting statements through the whole thing."

Southern Cross, in Mangere, has Years 1 to 13 students, and Mr Staples said the student who attacked the teacher was in the senior school, which is Years 7 to 13 students.

He would not be drawn on the exact age or year of the student or what provoked the attack until the matter had been fully investigated.

"It was a very wet lunchtime and the students were in the corridor and we're trying to verify from people who were there and saw what happened as to what the facts are.

"As we get those facts we'll be able to make those decisions appropriately," he said.

Secondary Schools Association president Patrick Walsh said the attack was an example of the "disturbing trend" of increasing verbal and physical assaults on teachers by students.

Ministry of Education figures show 238 students were stood down in 2008 for physical assaults on teachers. And ACC figures showed 442 teachers needed treatment after assaults at school during 2008 and 2009.

Mr Walsh said the rising number of attacks was indicative of the breakdown of values in society and the influences of dysfunctional families and violent video games.

"There's also a general lack of respect among some young people towards authority figures."

Mr Walsh said he could not be sure of a solution.

"Although we have asked the Minister [of Education] for clearer powers on search and seizure of weapons ... in terms of violent behaviour, I don't think that's something that schools can address themselves. I think that's an issue that has to be addressed by the community and society at large."

Another Southern Cross student was suspended after he assaulted a student during a rugby league match with Howick College last Wednesday.

Mr Staples said the school took a "very hard line" on violence and was treating both incidents seriously.

"We've been very confident with how we've been going and these attacks have been isolated incidents."

Recent attacks on teachers:
MAY 2010
Te Puke High School, Bay of Plenty: Maths teacher Steve Hose is stabbed four times with a knife by a student.

MARCH 2009
Avondale College, Auckland: Teacher Dave Warren is stabbed in the back by Tae Won Chung, 17, who was jailed for 18 months and ordered to pay $10,000 to his victim.

Waitara High School, Taranaki: A 15-year-old girl is suspended after pushing a teacher to the ground and "thumping" her.

Rangiora Borough School, North Canterbury: An 8-year-old boy is suspended after kicking and punching a teacher.