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Teacher racially abused by pupils got £10,000 compensation

Payout is among £14.9 million compensation NASUWT teaching union secured for its members in 2018

The NASUWT secured £14.9m of compensation for its members in 2018.

A teacher whose school failed to deal properly with 18 months of racial abuse from pupils has won £10,000 in compensation.

The payout was among £14.9 million that the NASUWT teaching union secured for its members in 2018.

The payments were awarded for successful claims including unfair dismissal, unlawful discrimination, personal injuries and criminal assault.

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The union, which released details ahead of its annual conference over Easter, said it had experienced a “significant increase last year in cases relating to unlawful discrimination by employers towards members”.

The £10,000 was secured for a 33-year-old teacher from South Yorkshire who was subjected to verbal racial abuse on more than a dozen occasions over the course of 18 months by pupils at her school.

Her employer failed to take appropriate action to address the students’ behaviour, failing to respond in some instances when the teacher reported the abuse and dealing with other incidents inconsistently.

She ultimately left the school due to the poor response from her employer.

The union said it lodged claims for racial discrimination and for constructive dismissal, and the settlement was agreed after the employer was unable to produce significant documentation demonstrating their robust handling of the racism.

The union also highlighted a settlement of £45,000 for a 54-year-old disabled member from the East Midlands who was dismissed after querying the failure to put in place reasonable adjustments to enable him to do his job. 

He had multiple disabilities, including a form of arthritis, hypertension, gout and diabetes, which the employer was aware of.

The union said he had requested a trolley to aid his mobility, for disabled parking bays to be kept free for those with disabilities, the removal of classroom equipment that was in his way and for an interactive whiteboard, large wireless keyboard and stool to be provided for his classroom. 

The union helped another teacher, aged 57, secure £9,611 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority after an assault by a pupil who was known to demonstrate aggressive behaviour left her with a PTSD diagnosis, vertigo and tremors.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “While the NASUWT has been successful in securing record compensation for members, the fact is that behind these figures is a catalogue of appalling treatment teachers have suffered at the hands of their employer.

“In most cases the money awarded does not compensate for the fact that a teacher’s physical or mental health may have been affected and they can no longer work in their chosen profession.”

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