Sexual Abuse By A Teacher Compensation Claim
By Meg Sodha. Last updated 20th January 2022. Were you a victim of sexual abuse by a teacher? Did sexual abuse in the education system leave you with physical or psychological injuries? If so, you could be entitled to claim compensation for the suffering you have endured.
Sexual abuse, assault and harassment are things nobody should have to experience. And when the perpetrator of such acts is someone in a position of authority, such as a teacher, the betrayal of trust can be difficult to come to terms with.
Although the physical effects of abuse can be very severe, they are not the only kind of injury that can result from an incident of sexual abuse.
Psychological damage resulting from sexual abuse can also have a serious impact on your quality of life. In some cases, it can affect you for years after the abuse stops.
At UK Law we understand that claiming for abuse perpetrated by a teacher can be difficult. Our friendly team is available to discuss the matter sensitively with you. They can help you understand your next steps and the rights you have to seek compensation. For more information, you can:
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Claim online using our form
- Use the ‘live support’ option to the bottom right of this screen for immediate help
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Sexual Abuse By A Teacher
- What Is Sexual Abuse By A Teacher?
- Sexual Offences Under The Law
- How Schools Should Protect Children From Abuse
- Types Of Sexual Abuse By A Teacher
- Sexual Abuse By A Teacher Compensation Calculator
- Is There A Time Limit On Sexual Abuse Claims?
- I Was Sexually Abused By A Teacher, What Should I Do?
- How To Report Sexual Abuse And Non-Recent Sexual Abuse
- Claim For Sexual Abuse By A Teacher On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Related Guides And Resources
Appalling as it is, sexual abuse in schools can happen. In this article, we examine the ways that sexual abuse in schools can happen and how the law defines offences like this. Furthermore, we will look at what duty of care schools have to protect children and students from harm.
Having looked at the forms of sexual abuse that might occur in schools, we will go on to look at what a claim for compensation could consist of.
In addition, we will look at the different avenues available to you in making a compensation claim for sexual abuse by a teacher. For example, you could make a criminal injury claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which aims to compensate victims of violent crime in England, Scotland and Wales.
There are time limits that apply to making claims for sexual abuse. However, we will examine these time limits and the exceptions that may apply to your specific circumstances.
Moreover, we will look at how people under the age of 18 can receive the compensation they deserve.
If you still have questions after reading this guide, our team is on hand to help. Just give us a call to speak with an advisor and receive free legal advice about making a claim.
Sexual abuse occurs when someone is forced or coerced into sexual activities. When a child is sexually abused, they may not realise that it is happening, or they may think that this behaviour is normal.
Legally, children under the age of 16 cannot give consent. This means that many children in a school setting are automatically unable to give consent to sexual activities. Furthermore, according to Section 16 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is an offence for anyone in a position of trust (such as a teacher) to engage in a sexual relationship with someone to whom that trust extends (such as a pupil).
Despite the protection this legislation aims to give children, the Crime Survey for England and Wales found that an estimated 7.5% of adults aged 18-74 experienced sexual abuse before they turned 16. Additionally, the police recorded 73,260 sexual offences in England and Wales by the end of March 2019.
The survey also found that men were more likely to have experienced sexual abuse by a person in authority or a position of trust than women.
These figures were provided by the Office for National Statistics.
Clearly, this problem is severe and the consequences can ruin young lives. If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse as a child, you could be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with our team today for information on how to claim.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 is a piece of legislation that defines a range of sex-related crimes. Child sex offences are clearly defined in this legislation. Section 9 of this Act states that it is illegal for someone over the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity with someone under the age of 16.
Most children in a school setting will be under the age of 16. This automatically precludes consensual sexual activity between a teacher and a pupil. But even if there is a pupil in sixth form or college who is 17 or 18, the teacher being in a position of trust means that any sexual contact between the two would be illegal.
There does not need to be physical contact between a teacher and a pupil for abuse to take place. Non-contact sexual abuse can occur, and it could include things like:
- Forcing a child to take part in sexual conversation or activities online
- Making a child watch pornography
If you’ve experienced sexual abuse by a teacher, or if your child has been sexually abused by someone in a position of authority, you may be able to claim. Our panel of specialist solicitors can handle your case sensitively and help you get the compensation you are owed.
Under the Education Act 2002 and the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, schools have a responsibility to make arrangements to safeguard pupils.
For instance, they should make sure that any staff hired to work at the school undergo appropriate checks to ensure that they are suitable for the role.
This often involves carrying out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check which would flag up criminal records held by the applicant. However, there are different levels of DBS checks and the more in-depth check will provide more detailed information on any criminal records held.
If a school or business working with children fails to carry out the necessary checks, it can put children at a higher risk of experiencing harm. Furthermore, it could mean the school is partially liable.
For instance, if a DBS check confirmed that the teacher had been suspected or convicted of child sex offences in the past, but chose to employ them anyway, they could be partially liable for any abuse that occurred.
Alternatively, if a school failed to perform a DBS check on a teacher who had a criminal record for sexual abuse against children, then they could be deemed in part liable for any abuse that occurs while the teacher is employed.
Schools should take any allegations of sexual abuse by a teacher seriously. It’s important that allegations of abuse are dealt with quickly, fairly and consistently. The safety of the child should be ensured in the handling of allegations.
Sexual abuse by a teacher can manifest itself in a number of ways, including contact or non-contact abuse.
Contact abuse is where the teacher and child have a physical relationship. This can include things like using an object or body part to penetrate a child or making a child take part in sexual activities. It also includes sexual touching of the child’s body, whether or not they are clothed.
Non-contact sexual abuse can include things like showing a child pornography or a teacher exposing themselves to a pupil. It can also involve things like online communication of a sexual nature.
There are many ways a teacher can sexually abuse a pupil that are not listed above. If you’ve experienced an incident of this nature, there are various charities that can offer support. For example, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
There are different avenues you could take to seek compensation. Firstly, there are instances where you may wish to make a personal injury claim against the teacher or institution responsible for the incident of abuse.
For instance, the school may have had prior knowledge of the teacher’s criminal record and details of previous sexual abuse incidents and hired the teacher anyway. In these cases, the school may be partially liable so you could claim against them.
However, often claims are made through the CICA. As mentioned earlier, the CICA seeks to provide victims of violent crime a way to seek compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.
The scheme sets out a tariff of injuries detailing compensation amounts that are likely to be awarded to victims of sexual abuse. We have created a table using figures from the tariff of injuries to help you understand the figures of compensation you could receive.
|Sexual Assault||Minor: Frequent sexual acts not involving penetration that occur over clothes.||£1,500|
|Sexual Assault||Serious: Sexual acts not involving penetration that occur under clothes.||£2,000|
|Sexual Assault||Minor: Sexual acts not involving penetration that occur over clothes.||£1,000|
|Sexual Assault||Serious: A pattern of repeated physical sexual acts that occur under clothes.||£3,300|
|Sexual Assault||Severe: Resulting in a mental illness that's permanently disabling and has been confirmed by a psychiatric prognosis.||£27,000|
In addition to the above, you can claim for special expenses in a claim to the CICA. However, they must be necessary, reasonable and incurred as a result of the criminal injury you’re applying for.
This can include things like damage to property or equipment which you relied on as a physical aid, for example, spectacles. If you’re claiming for special expenses, the goods or services can’t be available for free from another source.
For more information on how you could claim and the compensation you could receive following sexual abuse by a teacher, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.
With CICA claims, the claim should be made as soon as possible which, for adults, is generally 2 years after the incident happened. If you reported your abuse to the police while you were under 18, then you have until your 20th birthday to make a claim.
If your abuse was not reported to the police while you were a minor, then you should do this as soon as you can. The two-year time limit for claiming will begin once the abuse is reported to the police.
If a minor is seeking compensation through the CICA, a parent or person with parental responsibilities could act on their behalf in making a claim.
We understand it may seem complex, so please don’t hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions. A friendly advisor can discuss your case and help you understand the process of seeking compensation.
Sexual abuse by a teacher can be traumatic and overwhelming. Below, we have provided guidance on steps you may wish to take following this type of incident:
- Seek medical attention: It may feel difficult but seeking medical care can mean any injuries you’ve sustained following an incident of sexual abuse are treated. Even if the abuse happened a long time ago, you could seek help for any psychological damage. There are Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) that specialise in providing treatment and support to those who have experienced sexual abuse.
- Gather evidence of the abuse you suffered: This could include things like photographs or records of communication between you and the perpetrator. Additionally, any medical treatment you received could provide medical records that could be used as evidence in your claim.
- Report the crime to the school authorities and the police: Although this may feel difficult, it’s important that you make the police aware of the incident. It’s also necessary to do so in order to claim through the CICA.
Although it isn’t a legal requirement to work with a solicitor, it may benefit you when making your claim.
An experienced solicitor will be able to offer advice as to whether you should make a claim through the CICA or against the perpetrator or school directly. Furthermore, they could help you build a strong case to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Sexual abuse is a crime and as such should always be reported to the police. In addition to this, you should report the abuse to the school so that they can take the appropriate action against the perpetrator.
Furthermore, the NSPCC offer guidance on how to report non-recent sexual abuse. You can watch their online video for adult survivors of childhood abuse for further help with this.
You may be concerned that using a solicitor could incur large legal fees. If so, you may find the option of a No Win No Fee agreement (NWFN) helpful.
The NWNF agreement is a contract between you and your solicitor. It dictates the conditions that need to be met before they receive payment. It means that:
- You won’t be asked to pay an upfront fee before the case starts or fees that could incur while it’s ongoing, such as medical costs.
- If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t pay solicitor fees.
- If you succeed in your claim, the work they have done on your case will be covered by a “success fee”.
The success fee is a legally capped percentage of your compensation. It will be agreed upon by both you and the solicitor before the claim begins.
If you feel that a No Win No Fee agreement could benefit you, why not give our team a call? If your claim has a good chance of success, they could connect you with a solicitor from our panel.
Alternatively, our team can answer any questions you may have about claiming following sexual abuse by a teacher. Simply:
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Claim online using our form
- Use the free ‘live support’ option, bottom right for immediate, on-the-spot help
- Visit our guide for help making a claim following sexual abuse by a family member.
- For more information on criminal injuries compensation, our guide could help.
- Read our guide for guidance on how long a criminal injury claim can take.
- Visit our guide on claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record.
- See the Office for National Statistics for more information on child abuse in England and Wales.
- Visit the NHS for help following domestic abuse.
Thank you for reading our guide on claiming following sexual abuse by a teacher.
Guide by FS
Published by NS