Damages paid to teachers top pound;20m

Teachers have been awarded an estimated pound;20 million in compensation for personal injuries, employment disputes and criminal suits over the past year.

One case included the rape of a female teacher by a 12-year-old boy with severe learning difficulties as she sat next to him during a one-to-one tutorial at a special needs centre in County Durham.

The woman, in her 30s, locked herself in a lavatory to telephone police while the attacker escaped in her car. Eventually he was given a life sentence.

National Union of Teachers' figures reveal the teacher, employed by a fostering agency, received just pound;11,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for the incident in 2004. The union said an inquiry into the possibility of a negligence claim against her employer concluded "the incident could not have been foreseen".

NUT members who won more compensation include a teacher from Liverpool who dislocated her hip using a toilet designed for primary pupils. She got Pounds 13,958.

An east London lesbian teacher who asked for paternity leave to assist at the birth of her partner's baby received pound;20,000 from her Catholic school after it refused, saying her lifestyle was unacceptable and telling her to leave.

The union also helped a member on one of the Tube trains attacked in the July 7, 2005 London bombings to win pound;4,400 for psychological injury.

The NUT could not give a total compensation figure, but said the previous year's was more than pound;7 million.

The NASUWT secured pound;6,877,197 in compensation for members. The biggest payouts included pound;330,000 for a Birmingham member assaulted by an intruder on school grounds.

A Yorkshire teacher received pound;165,000 from her employer for four years of pupil assaults that left her with a dislocated collar bone, broken eye socket and stress.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers said it secured more than pound;4 million in 321 compromise agreements reached before employment tribunals.

There was also more than pound;1.5 million in successful personal injury claims.

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