A teacher has won six-figure compensation after being attacked by a pupil for asking him to do work

The settlement was among more than £11m won by a teaching union on behalf of members last year

A teacher has been awarded more than £150,000 in compensation after a pupil assaulted her for asking him to get on with his work, union figures show.

The teacher, who worked in a primary school in Cheshire, secured just over £155,000 after she suffered severe injuries to her hand and wrist after being assaulted by a pupil.

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After asking the misbehaving pupil to get on with his work, the student attacked her, grabber her neck and then right hand.

A teacher has won six-figure compensation after being attacked by a pupil for asking him to do work (Photo: Shutterstock)
A teacher has won six-figure compensation after being attacked by a pupil for asking him to do work (Photo: Shutterstock)

The student twisted her wrist and dug his finger into her arm, leaving the teacher with ligament damage to her wrist, hand and fingers.

More than £11m compensation last year

The six-figure payout was among cases in which education staff were awarded settlements for injuries and discrimination suffered in school.

Overall, the NASUWT teaching union secured more than £11.7m for its members across the UK over the past 12 months.

The latest compensation data shows that in one case, a couple were awarded nearly £50,000 after they were dismissed by an independent school in London when one of them fell ill and was temporarily unable to work.

The figures were released ahead of the NASUWT's annual conference on Friday, which will be held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Unfair and wrongful dismissal’

The NASUWT also secured more than £48,000 for a couple from Dyfed, Wales, who were dismissed from their roles at an independent secondary school in west London after one of them became ill.

The couple were never provided with a formal contract of employment by the school, but they were employed on an ongoing basis as timetabled teachers.

In August 2018, they advised the employer that due to one half of the couple being ill, she would be unable to return to work for the start of the term but she would do so as soon as she recovered.

Her partner also advised the employer he would have to stay at home in Wales to look after her. The school then refused to employ them any further.

The NASUWT brought claims of unfair and wrongful dismissal on their behalf and they were awarded £28,935.99 and £19,220.20 respectively in 2020.

Emotional, physical and mental distress

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: "While compensation is recognition of the personal, and in some cases financial loss, that members have suffered, it can never make up for the impact which unfair treatment, discrimination and physical injuries have on individuals.

Dr Roach said that compensation cannot make up for the “emotional, physical and mental distress” that victims experience, adding that some were left “unable to continue” in the profession.

He added: "Furthermore, these cases are only likely to represent the tip of the iceberg. There is no doubt that many other teachers will have been driven out of the profession without proper redress for poor, discriminatory or unfair treatment because they were too fearful to come forward or believed nothing could be done."

"Too many employers believe they can act with impunity as the Government fails to take any action to secure compliance with employment law, allowing poor employment practices to flourish as a result of the excessive freedoms and flexibilities it has given to schools.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "No teacher should face discrimination or ill-treatment in the workplace.

"It is right that in the very small number of cases where such issues are identified, schools look to correct any poor practice."