Teachers are to get new guidelines to help deal with what their union says are increasing numbers of badly-behaved children.
The New Zealand Educational Institute says teachers are facing problems not seen previously, such as sexualised behaviour among pre-schoolers and seriously violent primary school pupils.
NZEI field officer Michelle Maguren says early childhood centres are increasingly working with very young children who are disruptive.
She says the behaviour includes kicking, hitting, inappropriate touching and even bullying by very young children.
Ms Maguren says at the school level teachers are dealing with serious incidents that previously happened only in schools in other countries.