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Teacher wins £250K payout after falling off table

Teaching union said no stepladders had been available for teacher, who was forced to give up her job through injury

Details of compensation payouts received by teachers have been revealed by teaching unions

A teacher has received a personal injury payout of £250,000 after she fell from a table that she'd been standing on while putting up a wall display.

The teacher's local authority, in the east of England, initially denied liability but the NEU teaching union argued that no stepladders had been available, forcing her to climb on a chair and table to reach the wall.

The woman, who had to give up her job after suffering a fracture and aggravated symptoms to her foot, as well as fibromyalgia and depressive illness, is one of two teachers to receive £250,000 after representation by the NEU last year. 

The other, in the Midlands, was subject to five years of “continuing incidents” of pupil violence against him, as well as poor behaviour, causing him to suffer “worsening health and eventual breakdown”.

The cases are both outlined in the NEU annual report for 2018, released this week, while the NASUWT teaching union has also released details of compensation claims that it won for its members last year, which it says amounted to more than £13 million. 

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Other cases won by the NEU include that of a female teacher at an academy in the North West, who received nearly £48,000 after she suffered a prolonged assault by a female teenage student who "flew into a rage" after she was asked to stop chewing gum. "The member suffered blows to her stomach and bruises to her hand as she prevented the violent student from entering her classroom," the annual report states.

Teacher compensation payouts

It adds: "The member suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. When she discovered that the academy had failed to report the assault to the police, contrary to academy policy, she made the report herself." 

Other personal injury payouts outlined in the NEU report include £25,000 paid to a teacher in the West Midlands, after she slipped on a “poorly maintained and water-logged surface” in the school grounds, fracturing her spine and suffering psychological injuries.

Another teacher from the West Midlands in a special school received £4,000 after she suffered bruising to her face and minor depression, following an incident in which a deaf pupil with learning difficulties threw his head backwards, hitting her in the face.

The NASUWT annual report 2018 highlights three criminal injury compensation awards totalling £150,279 in cases which involved pupil assaults against teachers, as well as more than £690,000 in payouts following employment tribunal judgements.

The union says it will publish more details ahead of its annual conference, which takes place in Belfast over the Easter weekend. The NEU says it does not publish an overall figure for compensation payouts per year.

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