BBC News

Abuse of teachers leading to 'millions' in compensation

image copyrightGetty Images

UK teachers were awarded millions of pounds in compensation from schools last year after suffering "appalling treatment", a union has claimed.

The NASUWT teachers' union said its members had received £14.9m over the past 12 months as a result of attacks, injuries and discrimination at work.

One teacher received £10,000 after being racially abused more than a dozen times in 18 months, the NASUWT said.

The Department for Education said schools had a "duty" to protect staff.

The union also reported that a 54-year-old disabled member of teaching staff received £45,000 after being dismissed for querying the failure to put in place reasonable adjustments to enable him to do his job.

He had multiple disabilities, including a form of arthritis, hypertension, gout and diabetes, which the employer was aware of.

  • Teachers sent home over unruly pupils row
  • 'We are kicked, spat on, hit and sworn at'
  • Secondary school staff suffer work attacks

Other cases included members experiencing assaults from pupils, discriminatory practices related to pregnancy-related and flexible-working requests, race discrimination and discrimination based on age, sexual orientation and religion or belief.

A DfE spokeswoman said: "No teacher should face discrimination or ill-treatment in the workplace.

"The majority of schools provide safe and reasonable working environments for teaching staff, and it's important that they remain as such."

Despite winning financial compensation for many of its members, the NASUWT said it believed the recorded cases of abuse were "only the tip of the iceberg".

It added: "In most cases the money awarded does not compensate for the fact that a teacher's physical or mental health may have been affected and they can no longer work in their chosen profession."

More on this story

  • Eleven teachers sent home after refusing to teach 'unruly pupils'