I Was Assaulted At Work By A Pupil, Could I Claim For An Attack At School?

Last Updated 19th June 2024. This guide is for workers who suffered injuries in an attack at a school. When you are at work, you are owed a duty of care by your employer. This means that they need to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety. We will take a closer look at this duty of care later on in this guide.

If the violence at work happened because the school failed to protect you, you could potentially claim injury compensation. Alternatively, you may be able to make a criminal injury claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you have any more questions, you can get in touch with a member of our team for free legal advice. If you have a valid claim, they could provide you with a skilled No Win No Fee solicitor to handle your claim. You can get in touch using the details below:

  • Call our claims helpline on 0800 073 8801
  • Contact us to arrange a callback
  • Alternatively, you can ask our team a question using the chat widget below

advice on teacher rights when assaulted

Select A Section

  1. What Is An Assault Or An Attack At A School?
  2. Who Do I Claim Against If Assaulted At Work By A Pupil?
  3. Teacher Rights When Assaulted By A Student
  4. Could I Claim Via The CICA After An Attack At A School?
  5. How Much Compensation Could I Claim After An Assault By A Student?
  6. Claiming Through The CICA When A Teacher Is Assaulted At School By A Pupil
  7. Contact A No Win No Fee Solicitor

What Is An Assault Or An Attack At A School?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines violence at work as “any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in the circumstances relating to their work.” Physical violence can result in injuries that may have a long-term effect on a worker’s quality of life. Moreover, violence can cause mental health injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA), employers are responsible for taking reasonable steps to protect their workers from injury or illness in the workplace. This is an employer’s duty of care.

Health and safety legislation applies to accidents at work such as slips, trips and falls. However, it can also apply to incidents of violence at work. Later on in this guide, we will look at how negligence could result in an attack at school in which a staff member is injured.

How Common Are Assaults In Schools?

Statistics from the HSE show the rate at which teaching and education professionals experienced assault and abuse at work compared to other professions in 2019/20.

These statistics showed that:

  • 1% of teachers or educational professionals were victims of assault once or more, compared with an all-industries rate of 0.6%
  • 1.4% of teachers or educational professionals were victims of threats once or more, compared with an all-industries rate of 0.8%
  • 2.2% of teachers or educational professionals were victims of any kind of violence at work once or more, compared with an all-industries rate of 1.4%

Who Do I Claim Against If Assaulted At Work By A Pupil?

You may wonder if you can get compensation if someone assaults you. If you were injured in an assault at work because of employer negligence, then you may be able to claim against your employer.

For example, you may have been made to work a role that should not be carried out by a lone worker. If you were made to work a role alone that should have been carried out with another employee for health and safety reasons, and this led to you being injured, then you could claim compensation.

In some cases, you could make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). We will look at this in greater detail further on in this guide. This is a channel that is available for people with no other option for claiming after a criminal injury.

To find out more about claiming after an attack at school, speak with a member of our team today.

How Long Do I Have To Start A Claim?

If you are eligible to make a claim for assault through the CICA, you will need to ensure that you start your claim within the relevant time limit. Generally, you will have 2 years to start a claim from the date you reported the incident to the police. You are expected to do this right away unless you can prove exceptional circumstances prevented you from doing so.

Furthermore, exceptions could be made to this 2-year timeframe in which you have to start your claim. However, you will need to show that you were unable to start your claim within this time due to exceptional circumstances.

The time limit may differ if you are making a claim against a vicariously liable party for the assault at work. For example, if you are making against your employer at the school you work at.

Contact our advisors today to see if you are within the time limit to start a claim, or if you are still unsure what to do if you’ve been assaulted by a pupil at school.

Teacher Rights When Assaulted By A Student

If you have been assaulted at work by a student, you may wonder what rights you have. The school you work at should have specific policies and procedures to follow should you have been attacked at work. They should:

  • Take steps to remove the pupil and suspend them.
  • Investigate the incident thoroughly and keep records.
  • Give you first aid if you need it, allowing you to seek further medical attention from a GP or hospital.
  • Report the incident under the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 if you have suffered a specified injury.
  • Support you by ensuring you can teach safely in the future.

If you have needed to use force when defending yourself against an assault or when trying to prevent an incident with another pupil, you may be concerned about this.

A teacher has rights when assaulted by a student, to use ‘reasonable force’ as set out in the Department for Education’s guidance. It states that reasonable force can be used to control or restrain pupils. For example, when:

  • Breaking up a fight.
  • Preventing a student from causing violence or injury.
  • Preventing a student from attacking staff or students.

If you would like to discuss whether you could claim compensation for injuries sustained from an attack at school, please call an advisor.

Teacher Rights When Assaulted By A Special Needs Student

Teachers may have to deal with the behaviour of students with special needs. Some of these students may be prone to outbursts, and some may be unable to control their actions. However, this does not mean there is no way to claim compensation if you have been assaulted at work by a special needs student.

A teacher has rights when assaulted by a special needs student for an investigation to be performed. If a school has been negligent in protecting the teacher from a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm, they may be held liable for injuries sustained by the student as a result.

For example, in 2013, a teaching assistant in Plymouth reported that she was being threatened by an autistic pupil. The school did not act on her reports, and the teaching assistant had to continue working with the student, who later assaulted her, leading to a back and neck injury.  She was able to claim compensation for the failure of her employer to protect her from the assault.

Source: https://southwest.unison.org.uk/news/2019/03/special-needs-teaching-assistant-receives-compensation-student-assault/

If you would like to learn more about claiming compensation for an assault by a special needs student, please contact an advisor.

Could I Claim Via The CICA After An Attack At A School?

Sometimes an attack at school may not have been caused by negligence. For example, a teacher could have been attacked in an unprovoked incident that could not have been anticipated. In these cases, the injured party may be able to make a criminal injury claim for assault through the CICA. The CICA is a government agency set up to compensate victims of violent crimes.

In order to make a criminal injury claim, you need to show that:

  • The incident meets the definition of a crime of violence
  • You meet the residency requirements
  • The incident was reported to the police

If you would like to find out more about claiming after a potential attack at school, speak with an advisor today.

How Much Compensation Could I Claim After An Assault By A Student?

If you were assaulted by a student at work and this happened because of employer negligence, you could make a claim against your employer. If the claim succeeds, you could potentially receive two different Heads of Loss under your compensation. These losses are special and general damages. 

General damages provides compensation for the psychological and physical suffering your injuries have caused. This takes into account factors such as:

  • Loss of amenity. 
  • The severity of your pain. 
  • How long the recovery time is expected to be.

Your injuries may be valued in line with the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a publication containing guideline compensation awards for different injuries and illnesses. 

Guideline Compensation Table

You can use the table below in lieu of an accident claims calculator to see how much general damages compensation could be potentially awarded for claiming against your employer for an attack at school. These are just some types of injuries that could be suffered. Both the injuries and the figures (except the first) are from the JCG. 

However, there is no set value to what you could receive since all claims have individual circumstances. 

InjurySeverityPayoutNotes
A combination of serious injuries with associated financial losses. SeriousUp to £250,000+Multiple serious injuries causing pain, suffering and financial expense, such as care costs, or loss of income.
Facial disfigurementVery severe scarring (a)£36,340 to £118,790Where the psychological reaction is severe and the cosmetic effect is disfiguring.
Less severe scarring (b)£21,920 to £59,090Substantial disfigurement with a significant psychological reaction.
Hip and pelvisModerate (b) (i)£32,450 to £47,810Significant pelvic or hip injuries where any permanent disabilities will not be major.
FootModest (g)Up to £16,770Strains, sprains, fractures and ligament injuries of a less serious nature
KneeModerate (b) (ii)Up to £16,770Twisting, bruising or laceration injuries, for example.
HandModerate (h)£6,910 to £16,200Crushing injuries, penetrating wounds or similar soft tissue injuries.
Damage to teeth Loss or serious damage (f) (i)£10,660 to £13,930To several front teeth.
Loss or serious damage (f) (ii)£5,310 to £9,310To two front teeth.

Special Damages

Special damages provides compensation for the unavoidable financial losses associated with your injuries, such as:

  • Travel expenses. 
  • Loss of earnings. 
  • Medication costs. 

When compensation claim is successful, general damages are always awarded. However, special damages are not.  For this reason, it will really benefit you to keep proof, like receipts, invoices, payslips, and bank statements. 

Get in touch with us today to find out how much compensation could possibly be awarded if you were assaulted by a student due to employer negligence.

Claiming Through The CICA When A Teacher Is Assaulted At School By A Pupil

As a teacher, you have rights when assaulted by a student in the UK. If eligible, you could make a claim through the CICA to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained as a result.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 contains a tariff of injuries which can be used when valuing injuries. The Scheme allows the CICA to pay compensation for a maximum of three injuries. When claiming for more than one injury, the multiple injury formula will apply. The most highly valued injury would be compensated at 100% of the tariff rate, whereas the second most is compensated at 30% and the third at 15%. Below, we have created a table containing figures from the tariff of injuries.

Edit
Type Of Injury And Level Notes Payout
Thigh Bone Fracture – A8 Both legs (thigh bones) have been fractured leading to significant disability. £11,000
Hip Fracture – A8 Fracture of a hip bone with significant continuing symptoms. £11,000
Facial Fractures (Multiple) – A8 Multiple facial fractures. £11,000
Tarsal Bone Fracture – A7 Fracture of a tarsal bone in one foot which causes significant disability. £6,200
Vertebral Fracture – A7 Fractures to several vertebrae leading to disabilities. £6,200
Collarbone Fracture – A6 Fractures of the clavicle bone which leads to continuing and significant disability. £4,600
Dislocated Jaw – A5 Disability in the jaw due to continuing symptoms. £3,500
Fractured Jaw – A5 Fractures of the jaw which do not need surgery. £3,500

It should also be noted that if you are a teacher or teaching assistant assaulted by a pupil claiming via the CICA, you could claim for lost income or special expenses. However, there are a set of eligibility criteria that need to be met in order to qualify for these payments.

Please call our team for more information on loss of earning and special expenses payments and what you could receive in compensation if you were assaulted at school.

Contact A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you’re eligible to claim for an attack at school that caused you to be injured, then you might benefit from the services of a solicitor.

A solicitor can offer a No Win No Fee agreement. You won’t generally pay an upfront legal fee when you make a claim with a No Win No Fee agreement in place. Furthermore, there are typically no solicitors fees to pay if you’re not awarded compensation.

Instead, you will pay a success fee if you are awarded compensation for your claim. The success fee is paid out of your compensation payment, and your solicitor will deduct it before you receive your award.

Please contact Accident Claims to see about making a claim:

  • Call 0800 073 8801 to speak to an advisor
  • Contact us to request to claim online
  • Alternatively, use our Support widget to contact the team

Related School And Workplace Injury Claims

We have provided these resources, so you can learn more about claiming compensation for an injury at work or school below:

If you have any questions about claiming for an attack at school, speak with a member of our team today.