Suffolk teacher sexually assaulted by pupil paid £52,000 in compensation

PUBLISHED: 12:47 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:34 08 November 2017

Warren School, in Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

Warren School, in Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

A teacher sexually assaulted by a pupil at a Lowestoft school has been awarded £52,000 in compensation after a judge ruled she was discriminated against and unfairly dismissed.

An employment tribunal at Bury St Edmunds heard that a teenage pupil put his hand up a teacher’s dress and assaulted her at the Warren School last year.

She returned to school the next day, but soon went on a period of leave and later resigned in December.

The tribunal heard the teacher felt the incident was not properly handled by senior management, accusing headteacher Jan Bird of suggesting it was part of the job to deal with “challenging behaviour”.

The teacher also said she read an incident report written by the head, which she felt was “criticising her for wearing a dress”.

A doctor who assessed the teacher after the assault told the tribunal: “She was obviously very shocked and upset by the episode and I suggested that she undergo some counselling.”

At a return to work meeting after a period of sick leave, the teacher was presented with a document offering advice on working with the pupil, which she said implied she had acted inappropriately.

Employment judge Martin Warren said the teacher described herself as “utterly devastated” after the return to work meeting.

He added: “[The teacher] says that she would now like to leave Suffolk because she does not feel able to work there.

“She speaks of grieving for the loss of her job and her career and that she does not feel able to trust people in charge to keep her safe whilst she is in a classroom. She is consumed by grief in this respect and that she finds it difficult to motivate herself to get up and get dressed every day.”

The tribunal found that requiring the victim to continue working with the pupil amounted to sex discrimination and said events between the assault and resignation breached “mutual trust and confidence”, enabling the teacher to claim she had been constructively dismissed.

She was awarded £52,493 – £33,642 for sex discrimination and £18,851 on the grounds of unfair dismissal, which will be paid by the respondents, Suffolk County Council and the governing body of Warren School.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The council has supported the school in reviewing process and procedure around risk assessments and best practice and will continue to do so. Due to ongoing processes it is not possible to make further comment at this time.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other news

The tragic death of a woman in a crash on the A12 has sparked further calls for the road’s safety issues to be tackled.


A woman has died in a serious crash in north Suffolk – the second road fatality in the county during the past week.


It is the culmination of almost five years of hard work.


An army veteran who smothered his girlfriend with a duvet after an argument claimed he was ‘wiping away her tears’.

Most Read


A woman has died in a serious crash in north Suffolk – the second road fatality in the county during the past week.

Read more
Suffolk police

The 90-year-old man who was found with serious injuries at the Suffolk home where his wife’s lifeless body was discovered, has also died.

Read more
Suffolk police

The owner of the building whose alarm rang for five days in Lowestoft has apologised for the irritation - but blamed his former tenants for the disruption.

Read more

A drink driver suffering short-term memory loss drove his Jaguar the wrong way down the A47 after following a satnav, a court has heard.

Read more
Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court
Yesterday, 19:03

A serious crash closed the A12 in both directions between Wangford and Wrentham last night.

Read more
Suffolk Police

Autumn Supplement


Click here to view
the Autumn


Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy