Figures provided by teachers' unions show that compensation totalling millions of pounds was paid out to members of the profession last year for injuries sustained in the course of their work.
The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers said that it had secured a payout of £185,000 for a 59-year-old teacher from London who slipped a disc in her back after being knocked to the ground by two pupils. A 55-year-old teacher in North Wales received £100,000 in compensation after he hit his head on a concrete floor when the chair he was using collapsed. On examination, the chair was found to have three bolts missing. A science teacher from North West England was awarded £55,000 after she tripped on a torn floor cover in the school laboratory, sustaining injuries that have left her with chronic back syndrome.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers achieved settlements totalling nearly £900,000 for its members who were injured at work.
The National Union of Teachers does not make public its overall compensation figures. However, it made reference to one case in which a teacher received £46,000 in compensation for severe psychological injury as a result of 'a sustained campaign of bullying and harassment by senior leadership' and another in which a member was awarded just under £4,500 after she broke one of her fingers on a defective doorknob, which resulted in long-term pain and a deformity.