Scotland

Compensation payments to injured teachers top £450,000 in a year

Science teacher Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Most claims were for accidents in classrooms and within the school grounds

Compensation of more than £450,000 has been paid out to teachers who have been assaulted by pupils or injured in slips and trips, union figures show.

Payouts for incidents of violence made up £76,877 of the £469,758 secured by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) for members over the past year.

In one case, a teacher was awarded £12,452 and had to undergo an operation after a pupil kicked their kneecap off.

The highest payment of £220,000 went to a teacher who fell on a wet floor.

In that incident, the member of staff suffered a fractured hip and other serious injuries following the slip in a dark corridor.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said the union would always stand up for its members and "pursue appropriate compensation for injuries suffered at work".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The highest individual payment was £220,000 for a teacher who fell on a wet floor

But he added that it was the union's desire to to eventually report a zero figure for compensation "due to the elimination of these types of work-related injuries".

Other payments highlighted in the EIS figures include:

  • A teacher who received £45,000 for rib injuries after being punched and kicked by a pupil.
  • Another was given a payout of £17,125 after receiving a "flying kick" that left them with injuries to the lower back and hip.
  • One union member received £2,300 after suffering headaches, sleep disturbance and panic attacks as a result of a parent shouting and swearing in their face.
  • A teacher on a school trip was awarded £31,000 after falling in a car park.
  • Another secured £20,000 as a result of becoming unwell due to dusty classrooms.
  • Compensation of £19,907 was paid to one teacher who suffered concussion after a shelf came down on their head.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: "This year's figure of over £450,000 in compensation for teachers and lecturers injured at work demonstrates that there is still a long way to go towards the aim of eliminating workplace injuries in our schools, colleges and universities.

"These environments will never be entirely risk-free, but it is essential that all facilities are as safe as possible for learners and staff alike.

"The most common cause of injuries continues to be accidents such as slips, trips and falls.

"These are also the types of incidents that are entirely avoidable with correct adherence to appropriate health and safety procedures in the workplace."

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