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Pupil assault compensation case - Craig Hearne

A design and technology teacher has secured significant compensation thanks to his NASUWT membership, after an attack by a pupil left him with life-changing injuries.

52 year-old Craig Hearne from Caerphilly was attacked by a pupil in January 2020, suffering permanent nerve damage to his face and ongoing psychological injuries.

The incident occurred when the 13-year-old pupil, who had a history of violent behaviour towards staff and other pupils, swung a catering lid at Mr Hearne, severely injuring his neck.

He required specialist hospital treatment for a deep laceration of his neck and was unable to work for a month afterwards. The assault has resulted in a permanent loss of sensation on the right side of his face and ongoing psychological trauma.

Mr Hearne turned to the NASUWT and was able to access legal services from Thompsons Solicitors through his union membership. After a series of detailed discussions with Mr Hearne’s employer, Thompsons secured a significant compensation settlement.

According to Mr Hearne, the pupil, who has since been excluded, had previously been involved in 15 incidents - 10 included violence towards staff. On one occasion in 2019, he had come into school armed with a weapon made of a wooden pole and nails sticking out of it.

Mr Hearne said: “On the day of my attack, the pupil had assaulted two other staff members, yet he was still able to go on to attack me. He had a long history of violence towards staff and pupils, but there haven’t been appropriate measures implemented to address his behavioural needs.

“I hope by taking this action, robust behavioural procedures will be implemented and strictly adhered to, so that others won’t have to endure the physical and psychological distress that I have had to experience.”


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