Teacher Wins Almost £500,000 Following Head Injury
A teacher who was awarded almost half a million pounds’ compensation after receiving a brain injury after being hit over the head with a skateboard by a violent pupil, was among a 72% rise in personal injury compensation pay-outs to teachers in the past year.
The case was reported in The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/04/13/teacher-awarded-almost-half-million-pounds-hitover-head-skate/)
Teachers are facing enormous pressures in the classroom, with many teachers deciding to leave the profession as a result. The union body, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT)was awarded tens of millions of pounds in compensation last year after facing attacks from pupils, injuries and discrimination in the workplace. Other union bodies were awarded similar amounts.
A surge in violent pupils
According to Department for Education statistics, there has been a recent surge in violent attacks from students in the classroom. In 2016, the number of pupils suspended or expelled from school for physical attacks on an adult increased by approximately 10%.
The NASUWT teaching union said it secured £27.7 million from teachers’ employers for its members during the past 12 months. This represented a 72% increase on £16.1 million in compensation in 2015, up from £19.8 million and £20.7 million in 2014 and 2013 respectively.
The total compensation awarded to teachers last year is thought to be approximately £60 million.
In the most recent case, a 47 year old teacher in the south-west of England was awarded £455,177.40 after being injured when a student struck her on the back of the head with a skateboard causing a head injury.
A 44-year-old teacher received more than £98,000 for serious psychological injuries following an assault by a pupil.
A female teacher was so traumatised by being head butted on the nose by a student at a school in the north east of England, she has decided to leave teaching.
Another teacher received almost £48,000 in compensation after being subjected to a “prolonged assault” by a female pupil at an academy school in the north west of England who “flew into a rage” after being told to stop chewing gum.
A teacher in the North West was hit by a ceiling panel, worsening a pre existing condition, received £20,000.
A teacher from the Midlands received almost £15,000 for injuries suffered after being pushed to the ground by a pupil.
Teachers were awarded record amounts of compensation in 2016. The pay-outs related not only to injuries sustained by attacks from pupils but also discrimination and unfair dismissals.
End of term assessment
Chris Keates, the general secretary for NASUWT is quoted as saying “If employers took the welfare of staff seriously and followed good employment and health and safety practices, these cases would never have to be taken and members would have been spared the stress and anxiety of pursuing legal claims.
Behind every one of these cases are teachers who have had their careers, lives and health blighted in the course of simply trying to do their job and improve the lives of children and young people.”
Accusations have been thrown at the Government for cutting health and safety spending by English councils. Mrs Keates went on to say that “failure to respect the rights of employees and to comply with employment law is also prevalent.
Employers flout the law, but it’s the teachers and the taxpayers who pay the price.”
Compensation awards are important but cannot prevent teachers leaving their chosen profession or recovering from the traumatic experiences. The worrying trend of increased violence in the classroom surely needs to be dealt with in alternative and preventative ways than after the attack compensation awards.
At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you are a teacher and have suffered an injury in your workplace that was not your fault and would like a free claim assessment, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.