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Last Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007, 00:10 GMT
Rise in teacher compensation cash
Teacher generic
Many payouts were due to assaults on teachers by pupils
Scotland's schools and colleges spent more than 250,000 on compensation payments to teachers last year, figures have revealed.

Claims ranged from 38,000 for distress caused by a wrongful prosecution based on false allegations to 750 for a teacher who slipped on a stairwell.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) report shows that a total of 180,300 was paid to union members.

A further 70,000 was found to have been spent on legal fees.

Broken cheekbone

Ronnie Smith, EIS general secretary, said many of the claims could have been avoided if employers took health and safety more seriously.

He added: "The number of incidents remains far too high and the amount of compensation paid out is actually up slightly on last year.

"This shows that more still needs to be done in our schools, colleges and universities to ensure the safety and well-being of teaching staff.

This clearly illustrates just how serious such injuries can be, and the heavy price that employers will have to pay if they fail in their obligations to protect their staff
Ronnie Smith

"All employers, including schools and colleges, must take the health and safety of their employees seriously."

Many of the payouts were due to assaults, including a teacher left with a broken cheekbone and nose after a punch to the face was awarded 2,300, while another received 1,750 for a kick to the groin.

Although Mr Smith conceded there was no easy solution to reducing the number of assaults on teachers, he cited the growing number of psychiatric injury claims as a major concern.

However, it was the traditional compensation awards for slips, trips and falls that made up the bulk of the claims.

A teacher who slipped in a corridor, carrying a large box, was given 20,000 for injuries to the hand and wrist.

Two falls from ladders led to payments of 13,000 and 10,000, while a teacher was awarded 10,000 for sustaining post-concussion syndrome after being hit on the head by a falling object.

A shoulder injury due to moving gym equipment led to a 11,500 payout, and a PE teacher who lost their voice due to ""environmental/acoustic" conditions was awarded 8,000.

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