Record damages for teacher injured by child

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The Independent Online
A primary school teacher has received record compensation from her local education authority after being assaulted by a 10-year-old boy.

Hazel Spence-Young, who taught at the Frederick Bird Junior School in Coventry, received pounds 82,500 for neck injuries which, six years later, require her to wear a surgical collar.

The out-of-court settlement was believed to be the largest sum paid for injuries to a teacher in a mainstream school.

The National Association of School Masters/Union of Women Teachers is expected to use the case of Mrs Spence-Young, from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, to highlight its campaign over rising violence against teachers.

Mrs Spence-Young's case featured in a television documentary in April last year. She was left permanently in need of a neck brace and with her right arm partially paralysed after the incident, in which she had been trying stop the boy leaving detention. The injuries were caused when the boy hit her under the chin.

The injured teacher's solicitor, Jerry Bartlett, legal adviser for the NASUWT, said: "The city council was negligent because the teacher was not warned that the child had a history of violent behaviour.

Coventry City Council's chief education officer last night said that the authority had not accepted liability for Mrs Spence-Young's injuries, even though its insurance company had paid the compensation.

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