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Compensation Award for Teacher

A teacher who lost her voice has been awarded a substantial compensation payment.

Joyce Walters, from Ickenham in Middlesex, taught English to foreign students at Harlington Adult Education Centre, between September 2005 and July 2006.

Mrs Walters’ classroom was next to a courtyard where teenagers played during their breaks, as a consequence she says she was constantly straining her voice to be heard.

After a doctor diagnosed non-cancerous vocal cord nodules, she missed the 2006/2007 academic year and requested a different location when she returned, but her pleas were ignored and she had to resign three months later.

The 50-year-old says she now struggles with everyday tasks such as speaking on the phone and suffers regularly from a sore throat and hoarseness when speaking loudly. She has had months of speech therapy in an attempt to correct the problems.

Mrs Walters, who taught for 12 years, took Hillingdon Council, which runs the school, to an employment tribunal and was awarded an £11,000 out-of-court settlement in October 2009. She also received £145,000 in personal injury damages in July this year.

Mrs Walters defended her payout, and spoke of the devastating impact her injuries have had on her life:

“Teaching was my calling, I adored the classroom and miss it so much, but the problems with my voice make it impossible for me to ever go back” she said.

Last year more than £20 million was paid in compensation to teachers following claims backed by unions. These include a payment to a teacher who was awarded £280,000 after she was injured when a pupil jumped on her back and the £23,000 paid to an individual when a classroom door blew shut on their wrist.

Although money rarely makes up for a loss in health, if you’ve suffered a similar injury or affliction kenneth elliott + rowe personal injury solicitors can advise you on the best course of action. Please contact Neville Filar or Adam Carr on 01708 757575


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