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NASUWT membership provides legal cover and representation to members when they need it most. It’s another reason to be part of the NASUWT, as this member's story illustrates
An Essex teacher, whose passion for playing music was ruined after a fall in the classroom, has received significant compensation with the help of the NASUWT.

Ingrid Leatherdale was a maths and music teacher at an Essex secondary school when she fell while having to balance precariously to turn on a projector during a lesson.

To reach the projector switch, Mrs Leatherdale had to climb onto a chair and stand on a table - something she did several times a day because the school had failed to provide a ladder for her to use. On this particular occasion, as she stepped back off the table onto the chair after turning on the machine, she fell.

Mrs Leatherdale said: “When I fell, I expected to hear screams of laughter from the children, but they were silent. Later, one of them told me it was because they heard my bone crack when I landed.”

After the fall, Mrs Leatherdale settled the class and went to explain what had happened to her head of department in a neighbouring classroom – who she also found standing on a desk to reach equipment.

Mrs Leatherdale was taken to hospital that day and was found to have suffered a serious fracture to her right arm.

She was offered an operation to have her wrist fused to relieve her pain but, due to her love of playing piano and her career as a music teacher, she wanted to retain movement in her wrist.

Instead, Mrs Leatherdale underwent nine operations over a 10-year period to ease the pain and was one of the first UK patients to receive a wrist replacement. Sadly, the operations and wrist replacement failed to relieve the pain totally and, eventually, she had no choice but to have her wrist fused in August 2020.

Mrs Leatherdale, who had to give up teaching music but still continues teaching maths, said: “The support of the NASUWT and the solicitor appointed for me kept me going and resulted in the compensation that means I can finally be financially secure.”


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