A teacher at a secure school in Peterborough has been awarded £16,500 in accident at work compensation, after tripping over a chair and breaking her hip.
Sixty seven year old Jean Hadlow, from Bourne, near Peterborough, was employed at the Clare Lodge Children’s Home, which is a secure unit for teenage girls, when she tripped over the chair while attempting to attract the attention of two work colleagues.
Mrs Hadlow broke her hip in the accident and was awarded £16,500 in accident at work compensation at Lincoln County Court.
However Peterborough City Council, who operate and run the school, challenged the courts decision and launched an appeal, claiming that Mrs. Hadlow’s injuries were the result of an ‘unfortunate accident’, which the council could not be held responsible for.
Judges at the Court of Appeal dismissed the challenge by ruling that the accident was in fact caused by the councils “breach of duty”.
The court was told that the school had a strict policy that no member of staff should be left alone with more than two pupils at the same time, as many of the girls had behavioural problems and could sometimes be unpredictable and even dangerous.
On the day of her accident Mrs. Hadlow’s teaching assistant was running late and she requested that another member of staff stayed with her until she arrived.
Unfortunately this did not happen and Mrs. Hadlow, who had been attacked by a pupil in the past, was left alone in the classroom with three girl students. Realising her predicament Mrs. Hadlow tried to attract the attention of the two carers who had escorted the girls to the classroom but tripped over the chair in the process.
The Court of Appeal ruled that Mrs. Hadlow had acted appropriately and that her injuries were a result of the council’s negligence.