Massive payouts awarded to teachers injured in class

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The NUT has published a small sample of personal injury cases for compensation, revealing that Teachers received £20m in compensation last year.

In total, £10.5million was paid to members of the NASUWT alone last year, while NUT members were paid £2.5million.

This includes a teacher who won £200,000 in compensation last year after slipping on a grape which was left on a stairwell.

He was awarded the six-figure sum after aggravated an existing hernia problem as he fell. He was eventually unable to work because of chronic pain.

Overall more than £20million was paid to teachers last year in compensation for slips, trips, criminal damage and unfair dismissals.

In the biggest claim, a teacher confronted by a pupil wielding a one metre ruler was awarded £459,000.

The youngster pushed the teacher on to a filing cabinet which severely injured her back and, despite an operation, her condition deteriorated and she became wheelchair-bound.

Her union revealed she was only able to return to work part-time following the incident in 2002 which was only settled last year.

In another huge compensation claim, a National Union of Teachers member working at a residential boys' school was given more than £426,000 after being sprayed in the face with an aerosol can.
He suffered depression, anxiety and breathing difficulties.

A further member of the union was also awarded compensation for slipping on a grape in a corridor, according to figures reported in the Times Educational Supplement. She was given £20,000 after fracturing her hip.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: "Behind each of these cases is a person whose life has been changed through serious injury or unfair dismissal from their chosen career.

"Compensation is important but it is cold comfort if your health is irreparably damaged or your professional career has ended."

General secretary of the NUT, Christine Blower, said: "The reason for publication is to reflect the spectrum of problems teachers can experience in the workplace, not to contribute to a league table of compensation wins."

School Leadership Today
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