Although extreme violence to teachers is rare, the fact remains that in the UK, 29% of teachers report having been physically assaulted by a pupil (ATL, 2008a). The ways in which responsibility for such assaults are attributed can have legal, educational and managerial implications. In the current study, teachers (N = 66), pupils (N = 68) and parents (N = 64) from a large secondary school in the UK read an incident report form outlining an incident depicting a pupil physically assaulting a teacher. The incident report was manipulated such that, prior to being assaulted, the teacher had either separated the assailant pupil from another pupil using a physical or non-physical intervention. Results revealed that participating parents' and teachers' evaluations of the assailant's parents and the teacher differed from those of pupils in several ways. The results are discussed in terms of group-based responsibility for deviant behaviour and implications for teacher behaviour in response to pupil on teacher violence. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.