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Teacher attacked by pupil receives £150,000 payout for injuries and trauma

28 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Photo PA/PA Wire

A teacher who suffered injuries and psychological trauma was awarded £150,000 in compensation after a pupil assaulted him, union figures show.

The teacher, who worked at a school for boys with social, emotional and behavioural issues in Wales, was left with injuries to his face, mouth and head after he was punched and headbutted.

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

The NASUWT teaching union secured nearly £14.3 million in compensation for its members during 2023.

The figures have been released ahead of the teaching union’s three-day annual conference in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, over the Easter weekend.

Unfairly dismissed

In one case, an assistant headteacher was awarded more than £43,000 in damages after it was found she had been unfairly dismissed from her job.

The 48-year-old, who also taught art and design and the Welsh Baccalaureate, was made redundant after a management restructuring at her school.

Her role as assistant headteacher was selected for redundancy but the employer made her wholly redundant, including her part-time teaching role, without applying its redundancy policy.

She was also not offered vacant positions as suitable alternative employment, the union said.

The NASUWT also supported a member of Pakistani Muslim background with a tribunal claim for discrimination on the grounds of both race and religion.

They had faced a campaign of discriminatory treatment by their employer, especially in comparison to their white and non-Muslim colleagues.

They were berated in meetings for making simple requests, given unrealistic deadlines for work in comparison to colleagues who were given more time, and were refused access to information pertinent to their role.

They also witnessed derogatory comments about race being made, the union said.

A confidential settlement was negotiated for a substantial payment of compensation before the case reached a final hearing.

Duty of care

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. NASUWT will never hesitate in pursuing legal remedies where employers fail in their duty of care to their staff.”

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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
13 days ago

Sadly, pupil indiscipline has become more and more of an issue in schools. This has become worse since the pandemic. However, it is not because of the pandemic (although that is the excuse often used to excuse inaction!). I am sure many of my teaching colleagues will agree with me that it is declining for a number of reasons. One of the main being the lack of powers or even the will to deal effectively with it. Another being the lack of support given to schools to deal with pupil indiscipline. Another being the pressure on head teachers to keep… Read more »

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