Work injury settlements for teachers have increased by almost 24 percent according to figures released for 2012 by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).
The total amount of compensation recovered for teachers who sustained avoidable injuries at school in 2012 is estimated to be in excess of £25 million after the NASUWT revealed the total value of work injury settlements for teachers paid to their members exceeded £15.6 million.
The two smaller teaching unions – Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) – are believed to have each obtained around £5 million for its members in compensation for teachers injured at work in preventable accidents.
The largest individual teachers work injury settlement amounted to £382,930, and was paid to a teacher from the north-east who had to abandon his career after developing complex regional pain syndrome due to a pupil slamming his arm in a filing cabinet drawer.
Other significant work injury settlements for teachers included a special school teacher (£279,381) who suffered a back injury and emotional trauma after falling from a minibus and a technology teacher (£240,000) who developed asthma and sinusitis due to working in a poorly ventilated workshop for ten years.
Commenting on the size of the work injury settlements for teachers awarded in 2012, Chris Keates – NASUWT general secretary – said “Behind every one of these cases is a person who has been damaged physically or mentally. The distress and pressure of the incident to the individual teacher and their family has often been compounded by years of legal action and court proceedings before any award is made. While compensation is important, it can never make up for the fact that many of these teachers suffer permanent physical and mental injury and often cannot continue in their chosen career.”