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Teacher wins £140k settlement in case against council over assault by five year old

Hillingdon Council has agreed to pay more than £140,000 in damages to a teacher's assistant who was attacked by a five-year-old pupil while at school.

The Central London County Court was told that the claimant, Aleksandra Aukett, now suffers chronic back pain, PTSD, and depression due to the boy pinching, punching, and kicking her during the attack, according to reports.

The London borough settled on the second day of trial, after the conclusion of the factual evidence, but before the expert medical evidence began.

The claimant's barrister, Gemma Witherington of Crown Office Chambers, said that "it was apparent from the cross examination that the Defendant's witnesses did not have a safe system of work in place in that each admitted they had not given the claimant the risk assessment for the child in question".

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Witherington added: "In any event that risk assessment did not consider the risk of violence posed by the child and the risk he would attack pupils and teachers.

"The behaviour log for the child showed an increasing escalation of violence towards others in the run up to the claimant's assault. The claimant was therefore left in a vulnerable position and it was foreseeable she would be at risk of assault."

According to reports, the London borough claimed Ms Aukett had been trained in how to restrain pupils and de-escalate incidents. In addition, it was argued that a risk assessment had been carried out concerning the five-year-old student, which identified his violent behaviours.

A spokesperson for Hillingdon said: "The welfare and safety of staff and pupils in Hillingdon is of paramount importance. This was a very unique case and we regret the distress caused to Ms Aukett."

Adam Carey

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