Teachers win £1.7m in accident claims

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In one case, a report to the National Union of Teachers' annual conference revealed, a teacher in Wales won £2,500 compensation after falling off a desk in the classroom.

The teacher had been trying to pin up pupils' work on the walls while standing on the desk. The union claimed the local authority should have provided the teacher with a step-ladder.

In another case, a primary school teacher in Somerset won £9,159 compensation when her employers ruled she was unfit to teach because she had lost her voice as a result of years of speaking to her pupils.

In a third case, a teacher - also from Wales - won £2,500 because she injured her foot when it went through the steps on an approach to a temporary classroom.

One of the biggest awards was £220,000 given to a technology teacher from Worcestershire who suffered significant respiratory problems through years of inhaling dust and fumes in woodwork lessons.

In addition, the union won £250,000 for members who claimed criminal injuries compensation awards after assaults.