School staffers receive £650k in accident claim payouts

Staff members of schools in Scotland have earned £650,000 in work accident claim payouts, with one teacher receiving as much as £250,000 for a ‘stress-related’ injury, sources say.

The teacher, whose name has been withheld from the press for privacy reasons, made a personal injury compensation claim based on the psychiatric injury she sustained in the wake of her employer allegedly neglecting to take steps to remedy her excessive workload. Scotland’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland, said that the accident claim payout was the largest of its kind that one of its members had ever received due to injury brought on by occupational stress.

Over the past 12 months, this case, plus others, generated £650,000 worth of damages paid out to EIS members.  Other claims included one for a teacher catching a door in the face and another where a teacher had been punched and kicked in the side of his head while playing football with a class.

Ronnie Smith, he general secretary for the union, remarked that employers needed to heed the warning of the increasing number of stress-related cases, as it has been a major problem facing lecturers and teachers.  The increase in volume of cases where stress-related illness and psychiatric injury have played a role in highlighting how important it is to take the mental wellbeing of school staff into account alongside their physical wellbeing, Mr Smith also said.

The general secretary added that it was no coincidence that the record £250,000 compensation payout arose from a case where an inappropriately high workload was not addressed properly by the teacher’s employers.

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