Six-figure stress settlement awarded to teacher

6th January 2012 at 00:00
Payment is the largest of its kind to have been paid to an EIS member

A teacher has received a record six-figure settlement as a result of an occupational stress case.

The EIS union said it highlighted the problem of growing numbers of teachers falling victim to stress.

The out-of-court settlement - the largest ever paid to an EIS member as a result of occupational stress - followed an employer's failure to act upon repeated reports of excessive workload.

The exact figure awarded has not been disclosed but formed part of almost pound;650,000 in compensation for work-related injuries - another record figure - secured by the EIS for members from November 2010 to November 2011.

"The growth in the number of cases involving psychiatric injury and stress-related illness must be a warning to employers that they need to take account of their employees' mental, as well as physical, well-being," said general secretary Ronnie Smith.

"The fact that this record compensation award arose from a workload- related case, which was compounded by a lack of management support, is no coincidence.

"This clearly illustrates just how serious such injuries can be, and the heavy price that employers will have to pay if they fail in their obligations to protect their staff."

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said it expected councils to minimise the risk of stress or injury, and any related claims, through their own local health-and-safety procedures.

The EIS dealt with about 100 compensation claims this year - double the level of a decade ago. Of these, 32 were successful. A number resulted from assaults by pupils: one teacher was kicked between the eyes and suffered severe facial injuries.

But the main cause of injury to teachers and lecturers was slips and trips.

"Sadly, the evidence from the past year is that educational employers still have a great deal of work to do to improve the safety of our schools, colleges and universities," said Mr Smith.

Examples of compensation for EIS members in 2010-11

Nature of claim: Award

Exposed to asbestos, causing mesothelioma: pound;49,500

Injuries to both feet, a fracture to toe and injury to right leg due to falling object: pound;15,000

Psychiatric injury, anxiety and depression, arising from work-related stress, caused by workload and poor management: pound;7,500

Noise-induced hearing loss due to high levels of noise within technical department: pound;7,500

While intervening in a fight between two pupils, claimant suffered injuries to lower back. Also suffered psychiatric injury and was off work for long period: pound;7,131

Fell while getting into car. Ground covered in snow and ice. Injuries sustained to ribs, back, neck and shoulder: pound;3,250

Fell while standing on chair, no stepladders provided. Cuts and bruising: pound;3,145

Claimant was taking class playing football, was kicked and punched on the side of head: pound;1,000.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a TES/ TESS subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order today