A teacher in London received £ 850,000 in compensation after being punched in the face and kicked during a science lesson by a student with a history of violence against other children and teachers.
The attack was so severe that it left him with severe psychological trauma, which led to a split under the Mental Health Act for his own safety, according to his union NASUWT.
Since then, he has not been able to return to the classroom, and medical experts say he is unlikely to work as a teacher again, hence the size of the settlement, which is considered a record in this case. The teacher worked in a chain of academies whose insurers would take over the bill.
The incident happened in January 2017, while the teacher was in a science class at an unidentified academy in the capital. “After a previous incident, the student was removed for three days and I was reassured that they would no longer participate in my classes,” the teacher said in a report on the attack posted on the NASUWT website.
However, when the student returned to school, he appeared in class. “When I saw him at the beginning of class, I said he shouldn’t be there and I asked him to leave, and he went out and closed the door,” said the teacher, who asked not to be identified.
“Then I had my back to the door and didn’t realize he was back in the room. The rest is a little blurry as he attacks me again. Worst of all, the school knew that this student was a danger. This was not the first time he was violent – he was violent towards other children as well as teachers. “
The teacher suffered physical and psychological injuries as a result of the termination of his career, including head injuries, tinnitus, hearing loss, bruising, back and ankle injuries, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder.
The £ 850,000 personal injury award was part of the £ 15 million compensation that NASUWT provided to its members last year in a number of cases, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment, union-related harm and health and safety.
Details of the case and the agreement reached were revealed Thursday on the eve of NASUWT’s national conference in Birmingham over the Easter weekend.
In one case, a Wales drama teacher was rewarded with almost £ 80,000 after being fired for developing life-threatening asthma after renovating her classroom in 2013. After the renovation, she had a number of problems with mold on the walls of the classroom and a crack in the floor.
The teacher began to suffer from severe headaches, rhinitis, coughs and wheezing while teaching, and eventually had an asthma attack at school and was taken by ambulance to a hospital where she was diagnosed with late-stage asthma, probably caused by working conditions. . NASUWT has managed to file lawsuits for unfair dismissal and discrimination on disability.
Dr Patrick Roach, Secretary-General of NASUWT, said: “While compensation is a recognition of the personal and in some cases financial loss that members have suffered, it can never compensate for the impact that unfair treatment, discrimination and physical injury have on people.
“The money awarded cannot compensate for the emotional, physical and mental suffering that members have experienced, as well as the fact that for some their experience has left them unable to continue working in teaching.”
He said these cases would probably be the tip of the iceberg. “There is no doubt that many other teachers will be expelled from the profession without adequate compensation for bad, discriminatory or unfair treatment because they were too scared to go out or believe that nothing can be done.