Teachers awarded tens of millions in injury and discrimination payouts last year

Compensation totalling tens of millions of pounds was paid out to teachers last year for serious and long-term injuries and discrimination in the line of work, figures have revealed.

One 59-year-old teacher from London received £185,000 after she slipped a disc in her back when she was knocked to the ground twice in a week by two pupils.

Another teacher, 55, in North Wales was given £100,000 in compensation when he knocked his head on a concrete floor as the chair he sat on collapsed. It was later discovered that three bolts were missing.

Smaller payouts were also paid out including one for £55,000 to a female science teacher in the north west of England who tripped on torn lino in the lab causing her chronic back syndrome.

Teaching union NASUWT said it had secured £16,077,328 from employers for its members over the last 12 months.

NASUWT general secretary, Chris Keates, said many of the injuries would be reduced if employers "took the welfare of staff seriously" and followed good health and safety practices.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said it secured more than £5 million for members in compromise agreements, almost £400,000 for members who lodged employment tribunal claims and nearly £900,000 for injuries.

The NUT, which keeps its overall compensation figures private, said there were two cases of personal injury compensation paid to its members last year.

One included a £46,000 payout to a teacher who suffered "severe psychological injury" following "a sustained campaign of bullying and harassment by senior leadership".

Another NUT member was awarded just under £4,500 after she fractured a finger on a defective doorknob, causing her long-term aches and a deformity.

The union said it offered legal help in 130 cases last year, including 71 involving criminal activity, 57 in employment cases.

The figures were published on the first day of the NUT and the NASUWT's annual spring conferences, in Brighton and Birmingham, respectively.

The ATL's will be held next weekend in Liverpool.