Compensation amounting to tens of thousands of pounds has been paid out to teachers assaulted in Scotland’s schools in the past year, new figures show.
One teacher received £38,777 – the largest compensation payment secured by the EIS teaching union in 2021 – after suffering serious injuries in a classroom attack.
Smaller amounts were paid to two other teachers assaulted by pupils – one was given £2550 for an unspecified injury, while the other suffered an arm injury and secured £1750 compensation.
Two further payments were made to teachers assaulted at work – one of £8920 for an incident that caused serious injuries, and another of £6000 to a teacher who suffered a badly injured hand.
In all, 18 EIS members were awarded compensation totalling £167,685 after being injured at work in the past year, a significant drop on the previous year’s figure of £700,000.
The majority of payments were for accidents, including £14,137 given to a teacher after they opened a door which hit another door, causing a shoulder injury.
Payments totalling more than £31,000 were given to claimants who either slipped or fell at work.
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “The most common cause of injuries remains slips, trips and falls.
“These types of incidents are entirely avoidable with correct adherence to appropriate health and safety procedures in the workplace.
“It is essential that the relevant employers take all possible precautions to ensure that all facilities are as safe as possible for staff and for students.
“Sadly, assaults on teachers at work are also a recurring problem, and one that must be dealt with appropriately by the authorities – including police involvement where a teacher has been physically assaulted or placed under severe threat.
“Teaching professionals should have the right to expect a safe working place, and to be properly supported by their employers where issues related to their safety do arise.”
Flanagan said seeking compensation for teachers and lecturers injured at work remains a “critical area” for the union and called for these type of injuries to be “eliminated entirely from our schools, colleges and universities”.