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TEACHERS PAYOUT FOR STRESS COULD LEAD TO OTHERS

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A compensation payment to a teacher for overwork and stress could open the door to settlements of up to a quarter o...
A compensation payment to a teacher for overwork and stress could open the door to settlements of up to a quarter of a million, says a solicitor for the National Union of Teachers.

The Guardian reports in its education section (p2) on the case of Muriel Benson, awarded£47,000 without liability by Wirral MBC after leaving a Birkenhead secondary school (see LGCnet).

NUT senior solicitor Graham Clayton said: 'The duty of care on an employer is breached when that level of stress is so great that no reasonable, normal person could be expected to withstand it.'

Doug McAvoy, NUT general secretary, who said he knew of 116 cases in the pipeline, said: 'This case is clearly a warning to teachers' employers that neglect of a stressful situation could lead to significant medical damage.'

Neil Fletcher, education secretary of the Local Government Association, said: 'There is no evidence that teaching is becoming more stressful. This case was settled out of court and so it doesn't change the law . . . We don't expect it to lead to an acceleration of claims that would be acceptable.'
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