The shocking reasons why Wandsworth Council have paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation to teachers have been revealed.

A freedom of information request submitted by the Wandsworth Times showed that since 2014, 14 claims between teachers and the council have been settled, with eight of them resulting in some form of payout.

In total these claims meant the council had to fork out £325,272.

But a spokesman for the council said it was a shame that "most of the money" wouldn't actually go to the teacher.

“If people are injured in workplace accidents and they have a genuine claim then it’s only right and fair they receive compensation," he said.

“Sadly though, most of the sums paid out are not actually going to those who are injured but to cover the excessive fees charged by so-called ‘no win no fee’ legal firms whose costs are a huge drain on public resources.

"Many of these claims could be dealt with quickly and fairly but what’s happening instead is that lots of lawyers are getting rich off the public purse.”

As well as detailing how much the council has paid out, the FOI also revealed the reasons behind the claims.

In 2010 a girl threw a chair at another student but it hit a teaching assistant instead. This resulted in a payment of £27,700.

That same year a pupil went to throw a monitor at the claimant, but before they could it was wrestled from the student. However, the claimant was then pushed from behind and injured by the monitor. £932 was given out this time.

In 2011 a student "gouged the eye of a teacher." Six years later they were given £79,500 in compensation.

In 2012 a teacher was awarded £63,500 after they slipped on the landing of the stairs. Later that year a similar incident happened when the claimant turned to respond to another teacher, but tripped and fell over raised concrete, injuring her wrist and elbow. £53,000 was what they were given.

In 2013 a teacher suffered a "catalogue of alleged injuries, including PTSD," and was handed £62,000 as a result, while another tripped on a sandbag that had been placed along the edge of the soft play area by the premises officer in order to adjust the height of the tarmac. The council awarded them nearly £24,000 in this case.

Finally in 2014 a teacher was given £14,000 after tripping on a heavy tray of pebbles.

The six incidents that saw the claimant receive no compensation at all were:

  • A teacher sustained injury when a child fell onto her from a table (this reasoning was rejected)
  • A teaching assistant was attempting to break up a fight and was hit in the chest
  • A football was thrown into a teacher's face by a student
  • A closed cupboard door fell off an landed on someone's shoulder
  • A teacher was attached by a child which resulted in a damaged ankle
  • Someone tripped on tape around a manhole cover at the bottom of a corridor near the staff room