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NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union secured compensation of £14,292,313.90 for members during 2023.  

The compensation was awarded for successful claims relating to unfair dismissal, redundancy, discrimination, health and safety and personal injury.

The figures are being released on the eve of the NASUWT’s Annual Conference, which is being held over the Easter weekend in Harrogate.

A teacher in Wales who suffered a number of physical injuries and emotional trauma after being assaulted by a pupil was awarded £150,000.

The teacher, who worked at a school for boys with social, emotional and behavioural issues, was headbutted and punched by a pupil, leaving him with injuries to the face, mouth and head, as well as psychological trauma.

 The Union took legal action after his employer denied liability for the incident and the injuries suffered. The court ruled in his favour and awarded him the compensation.

An assistant headteacher was awarded over £43,000 in damages after it was found she had been unfairly dismissed. The 48-year-old, who also taught art and design and the Welsh Baccalaureate, was made redundant after her school,  which had been created through the merger of two previous schools, went through a management restructuring at the end of which she lost her job.

At employment tribunal it was successfully argued that the dismissal was unfair because the employer failed to offer her vacant positions as suitable alternative employment and they selected her role as assistant headteacher for redundancy, but made her wholly redundant, including her part-time teaching role, without application of the employer’s redundancy policy.   

The NASUWT supported a member of Pakistani Muslim background with a tribunal claim for discrimination on the grounds of both race and religion. 

They had faced a campaign of discriminatory treatment by their employer, especially in comparison to their white and non-Muslim colleagues, as well as general hostility in their working environment. 

Some examples included: being berated in departmental meetings for making simple requests; given unrealistic deadlines for work (in comparison to colleagues who were given more time) and being refused access to information pertinent to their role.  They also witnessed derogatory comments regarding race being made.

A confidential settlement was negotiated for a substantial payment of compensation before the case reached a final hearing.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“The level of compensation we have secured for teachers who have suffered physical and mental harm, discrimination and abuse at work is an indictment of an education system that is failing in its duty of care to the profession.

“No amount of compensation can make up for the often devastating impact of physical and mental injury at work.

“Teachers have a right to be treated with dignity and to be safe when they go to work. NASUWT will never hesitate in pursuing legal remedies where employers fail in their duty of care to their staff.”


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