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Injured teachers awarded millions


Teachers were awarded millions in compensation in 2009 after accidents at work

Teachers were awarded millions in compensation in 2009 after accidents at work

Teachers were awarded millions in compensation in 2009 after accidents at work

Teachers were awarded millions of pounds in compensation last year for accidents or injuries at school.

One West Sussex teacher was awarded £173,595 in an insurance claim after dislocating their right ankle while on playground duty. In another case, a female teacher in the West Midlands was given £112,000 after seriously injuring her shoulder and arm as she tried to stop a 13-year-old attacking another pupil.

Members of the NASUWT teaching union alone were handed almost £8.8million in compensation in 2009. Amongst these was one of the highest ever pay-outs received by a teacher.

In that case, first revealed last year, Sharon Lewis was awarded £279,708 after being assaulted by a pupil while working at as a special needs teacher in Nottingham. The boy jumped on her back, putting her in a headlock and she fell against a wall, on to the floor, hitting her head on a window.

The NASUWT teaching union, which supported Miss Lewis in her case, said that the teacher had suffered post-traumatic stress as well as back and neck injuries.

One of the NASUWT's largest out-of-court settlements was for a teacher in St Helens who slipped on a patch of mud while walking between school buildings in September 2004, injuring her left hip and spine. She received £80,000.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said she was pleased the union had been able to successfully pursue the claims of many of their members. But she added: "It is of deep concern that many of the claims could have been avoided if employers at school and local authority level abided by their statutory duties and responsibilities.

"The fact that compromise agreements are entered into so readily by employers is in itself an indication that they recognise that in many cases they have breached their legal duties. Millions of pounds of tax payers' money could be saved every year if all employers took their legal responsibilities seriously. Whilst the sums of money involved might seem very significant, no amount of money can compensate for no longer being able to pursue your chosen career."

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) were also awarded large sums in 2009. A music teacher from the South West was awarded £40,000 in an out-of-court settlement after her wrist was crushed when a door blew shut on a windy day.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) won almost £4 million for their members in "compensation agreements" - an agreement between a teacher and their school to part company. Some £774,000 was won for ATL teachers as compensation for injuries. And in two separate cases teachers won £180,000 and £43,881 after being assaulted at work.