The NASUWT teaching union has claimed that teachers have won millions in compensation last year. The awarded amount was for being subjected to discrimination and serious injuries at work.
- £185,000 was awarded to a teacher in London for suffering a slipped disc in her back due to a knock from disruptive pupils
- £100,000 compensation was awarded to a teaching staff in North Wales for a chair that buckled under him
- A compendium of £55,000 was received by a teacher in the North West for a trip accident which resulted in a chronic back syndrome
- A teaching staff received almost £4,500 for a fractured and deformed finger from a faulty door handle.
In total, the union has stated that they had claimed over 16 million pounds for their members in the last year alone.
The Health and Safety Act 1974 impose the responsibility of the health and safety for staff and students to the school employers to adhere to. The employers may be the academy trust, local authority or the governing body and they can be sued for negligence if they fail in their duty of care.
The General Secretary of NASUWT, Chris Keates acknowledges the legal obligation and feels that employers need to take the welfare of those working in schools much more seriously to prevent the high number of injuries. It is an unnecessary drain of resources of public money spent to redress claimants and devastates the lives and health of teaching staff. Furthermore, such negligence is far more widespread than at first perceived and with the government cuts to funds it will be unlikely to improve.
Despite the compensation awarded to help sufferers it can never completely remove the enduring physical and mental injury. Some teaching staff may be unable to continue in the profession they had chosen.