A TEACHER won over £450,000 in compensation after being assaulted by a pupil, teachers’ union NASUWT said yesterday, warning that cuts to health and safety are putting school staff at risk.
Recent figures by the union showed that compensation payouts to teachers have soared during the past 12 months.
NASUWT secured £27.7 million from school bosses for its members in that time, representing a 72 per cent increase since 2015.
The union warned that teachers are becoming more vulnerable in the workplace due to government cuts to health and safety inspections.
Equalities legislation has also been undermined, leaving employers with little incentive to improve working conditions and working practices.
The union highlighted the case of a 47-year-old teacher from the south-west of England who was injured when a pupil struck her on the back of the head with a skateboard.
She was left with a head injury, and had to reduce her working hours, eventually leaving her job. She was awarded £455,177.40 in compensation.
In a separate case, a 44-year old teacher from the north-east was headbutted by a pupil, which led to serious psychological problems and her being unable to return to teaching.
The school’s insurers denied liability, but NASUWT led a successful claim for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, totalling £98,139.00.
Another teacher working in a young offenders’ institute was left with breathing difficulties when she inhaled a chemical used to clean blood off the floor following a fight between inmates.
Later, it was found that the chemical is not suitable for use when there are other people present.
The teacher was taken to hospital and told that the chemical had burnt the lining of her lungs. She received £10,000 in compensation.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “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.
“Unfortunately, the government has given little incentive to employers to improve working conditions and working practices following cuts to health and safety inspections and the callous undermining of equalities legislation.”