Unions win #163;18m-plus in payouts

2nd April 2010 at 01:00

A teacher scarred for life by a falling whiteboard and another who was injured after slipping on a painted playground frog were among hundreds of teachers to win compensation claims recently, reports show.

Records suggest unions won at least #163;18 million in claims for their members last year, although the figure is believed to be far higher as only selected claims are listed.

One of the highest payments went to a member of the NUT from the Midlands whose occupational therapist told his school he should only teach small groups after he suffered a nervous breakdown.

The teacher was awarded #163;250,000 after the school ignored the advice and put him in front of classes of "violent and disruptive" pupils, causing him to suffer a second breakdown.

The NUT also won a criminal injuries payout of more than #163;40,000 for a special needs teacher who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after being bitten on the left nipple by a pupil in her reception class.

Other criminal injury claims included a teacher from Merseyside who won #163;4,000 after damaging her leg while chasing a youth who was trying to steal her car from the school car park.

Some of the most eye-catching compensation claims come from teachers who have suffered accidents at work, firing a warning shot across the bows of heads and local authorities who fail to follow health and safety regulations to the letter.

A music teacher from the South West was awarded #163;40,000 after her wrist was crushed in a door that blew shut on a windy day, impairing her ability to play instruments. Another teacher was struck on the head by a toilet cistern, an incident that cost the local authority #163;3,500.

Off school premises, one teacher was injured while carrying out a risk assessment at a museum, and another received a payout for scalding himself with coffee at a conference.

Of the total amount awarded to teachers, the NASUWT accounted for nearly #163;9 million in claims for accidents, criminal injuries and compromise agreements.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers won nearly #163;1m in injury compensation and #163;4m in compromise agreements.

The Association of School and College Leaders won more than #163;4 million, a figure that has been rising steadily in recent years because of the numbers of compromise agreements it has secured for members.


#163;40k - For being bitten on the left nipple

#163;4k - For damage to leg while chasing youth trying to steal car from school car park

#163;3,500 - For being struck on the head by a toilet cistern.

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