This Case of the Week follows a trial at Plymouth County Court where our client gave evidence about an assault on her by a pupil.

Our client worked in a challenging environment, but she had concerns for her safety with a particular pupil who had previously made threats towards her. Despite immediately reporting the threats, it did not result in any specific pupil assessment.

A short while after registering her concern, after telling the pupil off for shouting, he placed her in a headlock and injured her.

Our client’s employer denied responsibility, claiming it was her fault that she was assaulted because she had shouted at the pupil.

After hearing the evidence we had gathered, the Judge found our client’s employer had breached its duty of care to her by failing to undertake a specific risk assessment concerning the pupil and failing to act upon our client’s concerns. The judge awarded our client compensation for her injuries.

Commenting on the case, Clare Nash from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Our client was working in a demanding environment that required her to respond and deal proactively with challenging behaviour. For her employer to suggest that an assault by a pupil whom she had specifically reported was of her own making was abhorrent. It is the employer who has a duty to make sure workers are reasonably safe when at work – a duty it significantly breached.”