Page last updated at 14:33 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Attacked teacher's 280k payout

Sharon Lewis
Sharon Lewis suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the attack

A teacher who was assaulted by a pupil has been awarded 280,000 - one of the highest awards given to a teacher, it is believed.

Sharon Lewis, 31, was attacked while working as a special needs teacher at Woodlands School, Aspley, Nottingham.

A 13-year-old boy jumped on her, compressing her spinal chord and damaging nerves around her shoulder.

She also suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and has been told she will never be able to teach again.

Miss Lewis told the BBC she was with a group of pupils when the boy ran from another corridor and jumped on her for no particular reason.

"I'm coping a lot better now but it's something I deal with day to day. I have good days and bad days."

I'd like to see more support for teachers who are victims of violence
Sharon Lewis
She added the compensation would allow her to make a new start: "I've been told I won't be able to work full-time again and this will go some way towards giving me a new future."

Miss Lewis said she was not angry at the pupil who attacked her.

"It's almost becoming an expectation that teachers will experience violence and they have to accept that. I'd like to see more support for teachers who are victims of violence."

Chris Keates, general secretary of the teachers' union NASUWT, said: "I would like to think that lessons can be learned from Sharon's experience but unfortunately our casework shows that they will not.

"Regrettably there is still a culture in some schools, particularly where pupils have serious behavioural problems, that being assaulted is all part of the job."

In September 2007 a teacher who worked in Staffordshire was awarded 402,000 in damages for a career-ending injury caused by a pupil in a secure unit.

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Sharon Lewis said she will never teach again



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SEE ALSO
402,000 for teacher hit by pupil
07 Sep 07 |  Education
Pay out after teacher assault
26 Mar 02 |  England

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