The EIS has secured almost £170,000 in compensation settlements for members injured at work over the past year.

This amount represents a significant decrease on the previous year’s figure (£700,000). The payments were awarded for a wide range of workplace injuries, including those caused by accident, assault or poor working environment.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “Unfortunately seeking compensation for teachers and lecturers who are injured at work remains a critical area for the EIS. Whilst the sums involved do represent success for the EIS in pursuing appropriate compensation for injuries suffered at work, our clear preference would be to see these types of injuries eliminated entirely from our schools, colleges and universities.”

Mr Flanagan continued, “The most common cause of injuries remains ‘slips, trips and falls’. These types of incidents are entirely avoidable with correct adherence to appropriate health and safety procedures in the workplace. It is essential that the relevant employers take all possible precautions to ensure that all facilities are as safe as possible for staff and for students.”

Mr Flanagan added, “Sadly, assaults on teachers at work are also a recurring problem, and one that must be dealt with appropriately by the authorities – including police involvement where a teacher has been physically assaulted or placed under severe threat. Teaching professionals should have the right to expect a safe working place, and to be properly supported by their employers where issues related to their safety do arise.”

Mr Flanagan added, “Our recent national members’ survey confirms that many teaching professionals continue to feel vulnerable in their places of work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. All employers have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees in order to protect both their physical and mental health.

“This means having robust mitigations in place – such as regular risk-assessment of schools, enhanced cleaning regimes, and adequate ventilation of classroom space – to seek to ensure a safe and secure environment for learning and teaching.”