Teacher attacked by pupil awarded £275,00024 March 2009
Following the incident the pupil was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to Actual Bodily Harm
A teacher who was attacked by a pupil has received £275,000 in compensation after his school failed to warn him about the dangers.
Colin, 51, who taught ICT at Kingswood Community School for eight years, has taken ill health retirement following the incident which left him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
During the incident the pupil jumped on his back and then attempted to strangle him while he lay unconscious on the ground. Colin was on his way to seek help from another senior teacher to discipline the student after he was causing problems in a colleague’s class.
Only a week earlier the same student had attacked a security guard at the library across the road from the school. Despite the head teacher knowing about the incident the pupil’s violent past was never made known to teachers.
Following the incident the pupil was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to Actual Bodily Harm. Colin contacted his trade union to seek advice and the NASUWT instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.
Colin, who had taught for eight years, joined teaching after a career as an electrical engineer. He said: “Teaching is the best job I have ever had but I have been forced to give it up as a result of this incident. If I had known this student had had a history of violence I would never have turned my back on him. Instead I’ve been left unable to cope with children and have been forced to take ill health retirement.
“More help needs to be given to teachers who find themselves in similar circumstances. Schools need to take violence seriously and the Local Education Authority needs to be in a position to provide psychiatric help from those specialising in victims of assault to ensure teachers feel mentally prepared to return to the job.”
Jim Quigley from the NASUWT said: “Every day some teachers are at risk because pupils who have a history of violence and aggression are not properly risk-assessed and preventative measures are not in place.
“More needs to be done to ensure teachers are well equipped to deal with the regrettable reality of pupil violence.”
Jane McCool from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Violence in schools is unacceptable and where a school knows a pupil is aggressive measures must be in place to ensure teachers are kept safe. In this particular case we are pleased we have been able to support Colin in his fight for justice.”
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