Teacher awarded £350,000 after pupil assault caused life-changing injuries

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A teacher who suffered life-changing injuries was awarded £350,000 in compensation after a pupil assaulted her in the classroom, union figures show.

The teacher in the East of England was left with a brain injury, loss of sight in her left eye and hearing in her left ear, bleeding kidneys, a damaged bladder and psychological injuries as a result of the incident.

The six-figure payout was among cases in which education staff were awarded settlements over issues such injuries, discrimination and bullying in the workplace, as well as contractual disputes.

The NASUWT teaching union secured more than £15.1 million in compensation for its members during 2022, according to figures released ahead of the union’s annual conference in Glasgow over Easter.

In one case, a teacher from the South East was awarded £100,000 after a pupil kicked a football at her head with force while she was walking to her classroom.

A personal injury claim was submitted and the settlement was negotiated following court proceedings.

The NASUWT also secured £115,000 for a teacher from the Yorkshire and Humberside region who was dismissed after experiencing work-related stress following a restructure.

She was required to undertake a job which consisted of three merged roles, involved significant additional management responsibilities and required expertise outside her existing skill set.

The teacher was absent from work due to the pressures of the role and the impact of the resulting excessive workload. She was placed on a sickness monitoring process which led to her being dismissed.

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “The level of compensation we have secured for teachers who have suffered physical and mental harm, discrimination and abuse at work is an indictment of an education system that is failing in its duty of care to the profession.

“No amount of compensation can make up for the often devastating impact of physical and mental injury at work.

“Teachers have a right to be treated with dignity and to be safe when they go to work. The NASUWT will never hesitate in pursuing legal remedies where employers fail in their duty of care to their staff.”

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