Sexual Abuse At School

Sexual abuse at school is a real issue. Statistics show that children and young people are at risk of sexual offences like rape, sexual harassment, grooming and inappropriate sexual activity from teachers, visitors or other pupils. This article explains what you can do about it as a parent. You can also claim as an adult who experienced historical sexual assault at school.

Sexual abuse at school compensation claims guide

Sexual abuse at school compensation claims guide

Throughout this article, we offer free legal advice on the subject of sexual abuse in schools and how you can work with a No Win No Fee lawyer to win damages for these crimes. It’s possible to calculate compensation as a victim of child sexual abuse in private or state schools, and we explain how.

Perhaps you were involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship instigated by someone who worked at the school? Were you subject to sexual violence at the hands of an adult who had proximity to pupils? Was your abuser allowed access to children when they should not have been?

Speak to us today for sensitive and confidential advice on how you can start your claim for compensation. Our personal injury claims team are available 24/7 and can help you begin a claim for compensation by:

  • Calling us on 0161 696 9685
  • Filling out a callback form at Advice.co.uk
  • Speaking to a member of our team at our ‘live support’ option. This is a particularly discrete way to communicate if you have concerns about being overheard.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Claims For Sexual Abuse By A Teacher Or Other Staff
  2. Calculate Compensation For Sexual Abuse In A School
  3. Special Damages Calculator
  4. What Is Sexual Abuse In A School?
  5. Types Of Sexual Abuse By Teachers Or Other Staff
  6. Vicarious Liability For Sexual Abuse In Schools
  7. Could I Claim If The School Knew The Abuse Took Place?
  8. How Do You Report Being Sexually Abused In School?
  9. How To Make A Sexual Abuse Claim Against A School
  10. No Win No Fee Claims For Sexual Abuse In A School
  11. Contact Our Team
  12. More Information
  13. Sexual Abuse Teachers Statistics
  14. FAQs On Sexual Abuse Claims

A Guide To Claims For Sexual Abuse By A Teacher Or Other Staff

Many different people have access to schools, and therefore our children. In addition to teachers and educational staff, there are support workers, temporary teachers and those in charge of school maintenance and grounds.

Child protection is a key issue in running a school, and everyone who has proximity to young people should have undergone the appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service or DBS checks. This looks at someone’s criminal record and determines if they might be a risk to work alongside children.

You could be eligible for compensation if you suffered any form of sexual abuse or harassment from an unchecked individual. We talk more about DBS checks further down, and we will also look at how sexual abuse in school is defined. 

Our guide will then go on to look at the concept of vicarious liability. We will also look at the two types of damages that can make up a claim for personal injury compensation. 

Finally, we will look at what a No Win No Fee claim is and how it can help you in the process of making a claim. 

Building A Case

Our advice helps you identify the liable party in your case properly and how you can seek compensation against your abuser. By discussing the procedures and merits of each option, we hope to give you free legal advice that can clear a pathway to compensation.

Our tables demonstrate what could be possible for you. We discuss the evidence required to prove your abuse and how a No Win No Fee lawyer can work with you, explaining legal jargon and supporting you every step of the way in your pursuit of compensation.

We know that money cannot undo the abuse. But compensation is a formal way of recognizing the harm you were caused.

Calculate Compensation For Sexual Abuse In A School

There are three main ways to approach a claim for sexual abuse compensation in a school. The first is to seek damages against a liable party personally. The success of cases such as these depends on if the individual is worth suing. If they lack the funds to pay compensation, the whole case may have been for nothing.

Another option is to claim against the school establishment. If you can prove that you suffered abuse at the hands of a staff member who was not background-checked or that the school neglected their duty of care somehow, they could be liable.

The third option is to claim through a government agency called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This body seeks to award compensation to victims of violent crime in England, Scotland and Wales. The CICA can assess your case and look at the various factors that can support it. In order to make a claim through CICA, the perpetrator does not need to have been convicted. However, the incident should have been reported to the police. 

Some typical examples:

Injury Description Value
Mental injury Disabling mental injury, confirmed by diagnosis or prognosis of
psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, lasting 6 weeks or more up to 28 weeks
£1,000
Mental injury Disabling mental injury, confirmed by diagnosis or prognosis of
psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, lasting 28 weeks or more up to 2 years
£2,400
Mental injury Disabling mental injury, confirmed by diagnosis or prognosis of
psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, lasting 2 years or more up to 5 years
£6,200
Mental injury Disabling mental injury, confirmed by diagnosis or prognosis of
psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, lasting 5 years or more but not permanent
£13,500
Sexual assault Non-penetrative sexual physical act(s) over
clothing
£1,000
Sexual assault Non-penetrative frequent sexual physical
act(s) over clothing
£1,500
Sexual assault Non-penetrative sexual physical act(s)
under clothing
£2,000
Sexual assault Pattern of repetitive non-penetrative
sexual physical acts under clothing
£3,300
Sexual assault One incident of non-penile penetrative or oral
genital act(s)
£3,300
Sexual assault Two or more isolated incidents of non-penile penetrative or oral
genital act(s)
£4,400
Sexual assault A pattern of repetitive, frequent incidents of non-penile penetrative or oral
genital act(s) over a period up to 3 years
£6,600
Sexual assault A pattern of repetitive, frequent incidents of non-penile penetrative or oral
genital act(s) over a period of 3 years or more
£8,200
Sexual assault A pattern of repetitive, frequent incidents of non-penile penetrative or oral
genital act(s) resulting in serious internal bodily injuries.
£22,000

Preparing Yourself Or Your Child

It’s important to point out how demanding all this can be. The evidence required may involve reliving old traumas and digging up painful memories about your sexual abuse. You may find the rigours of attempting a case alone too much. Choosing a specialist solicitor to deal with your claim may help make the process easier.

To help with this, we offer free legal advice about how a personal injury lawyer can stand by your side through it all. When making a personal injury claim against the school, there is a three-year time limit for starting proceedings, which runs from the date of the last incident of abuse. However, if you were under 18 at the time you suffered from the abuse and a claim has not been made, you will have until your 21st birthday to make one. This means you could receive compensation long after the original crime against you.

When claiming through CICA, the time limit for making a claim is two years from the date that the incident took place. However, this can be extended if you can show that you had exceptional reasons for not pursuing a claim beforehand. So if you are outside the 2 year limit for making a claim to CICA, get in touch with us today as you may still be able to claim. 

Although we cannot start a complaint of abuse on your behalf, we can help guide it to the best possible outcome and support your journey for restitution.

Special Damages Calculator

Whether your claim is for recent sexual abuse or a historical case, the amount of compensation for a successful case could be comprised of general damages and special damages:

General damages are calculated by assessing the pain and suffering caused. These will be based on individual circumstances, and so the general damages related to an injury can vary. The idea is to provide a fair and reasonable amount to reflect the stress and trauma you faced. How the abuse impacts current relationships can also be factored in, as can an increased likelihood of mental health issues. Any loss of amenity or detriment to the quality of life could be considered.

Special damages is the part of your claim that reflects all the out-of-pocket expenses you may have incurred as you struggle to cope with your trauma. In addition to medical procedures to deal with the assault, you could claim for therapy and counselling to overcome the trauma. Anything that you or your family can prove was a direct financial implication could be eligible.

Please bear in mind that the special expenses that are available when claiming through CICA differ slightly from those associated with personal injury claims. Special expenses claimed through the CICA should be necessary and reasonable. You will only be able to claim for things damaged as a direct result of your injury. In order to claim special expenses through the CICA, you need to demonstrate that you lost earnings or earning capacity for 28 weeks after the incident. 

What Is Sexual Abuse In A School?

Apart from being a monstrous offence, sexual abuse within the confines of a school is perhaps the worst betrayal of trust. Pupils deserve to feel safe and protected as they learn, and the people responsible for this should be held to the fullest account if they fail in that duty. Some examples of sexual abuse in school can include:

  • Sexual harassment by a teacher
  • Abuse at the hands of a temporary teacher, contractor, groundskeeper or cleaner
  • Abuse amongst pupils
  • The exploitation of a vulnerable child or someone with learning disabilities
  • Emotional manipulation of a student for the purposes of sex
  • Online grooming in schools

Please speak to our personal injury claims team for free legal advice on any of the issues mentioned above. It can be possible to suffer sexual abuse in any number of scenarios, and if you have reported the crime, you could be owed compensation for your suffering.

Types Of Sexual Abuse By Teachers Or Other Staff

There are two distinct types of sexual abuse that could be perpetrated by someone who works in a school. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) describes them as ‘contact’ and ‘non-contact’ forms of abuse.

Contact abuse can include:

  • Touching any part of a pupil sexually, whether clothed or unclothed
  • Using their body parts or an object to penetrate or rape a child, including oral sex 
  • Making a child participate in sexual activities, including kissing
  • Forcing a child to undress or sexually touch someone else

Non-contact abuse can be one or more of the following:

  • An abuser exposing themselves to a child
  • Forcing a child to view pornography
  • Exposing a pupil to sexual acts
  • Forcing them to masturbate
  • Making a child participate in the creation of pornographic material – like videos and pictures
  • Distributing such materials among children
  • Coercing a child into taking part in sexual conversations online, in person or through a smartphone

Those with ill intentions toward pupils can perpetrate abuse in many different ways. If you were the victim of abuse in school, whether contact or non-contact, you may be able to claim. Please speak to our personal injury team in strict confidentiality about making a claim.

Vicarious Liability For Sexual Abuse In Schools

Vicarious liability is when someone is held responsible for the actions of another. In a school, all the staff are expected to be DBS background checked to ensure that they are safe to work near children. Concerns should be flagged up before that individual is allowed unfettered access to where young people are.

Failure to properly check the background of a new employee could result in exposing children to unnecessary risk, and this would be a case of vicarious liability. Employers can be held liable in the workplace for the wrongful act of an employee.

Schools are no different. As a key part of establishing the liability for your case, you will need to prove that the school or contract agency allowed this person to be near you or your child, resulting in abuse.

Could I Claim If The School Knew The Abuse Took Place?

Following on from vicarious liability, the school is responsible for the calibre of the people they employ. To accidentally hire someone with a track record of sexual abuse crimes or knowingly employ someone like this makes no difference. The school should have conducted the proper DBS checks beforehand.

Furthermore, you could have grounds to sue if a crime was reported by a pupil and the school failed to do anything about it. Perhaps the child reported something of concern, and it wasn’t picked up properly. Trust and sensitivity are essential responsibilities for working with children, and a failure in this area is a breach of the duty of care owed by school staff.

If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse in a school that was aware that the abuse was taking place, you may be able to claim. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

How Do You Report Being Sexually Abused In School?

There are three main ways of reporting sexual abuse in schools:

  • Report it to the school – This is the most obvious first port of call when reporting sexual abuse in schools. The school has a responsibility to handle all allegations of abuse in a fair and consistent way. 
  • Speak to the NSPCC. The NSPCC can offer a discrete and safe avenue for reporting and preventing sexual abuse against children. With a hotline and webchat service for reporting crimes, they are set up for helping with cases of this kind. Instances of abuse can be reported anonymously and, if there are serious concerns about the child’s welfare, the case can be referred to other services. 
  • The Police. Instances of suspected child abuse should always be reported to the police. Organisations such as the NSPCC may pass the information on to the police themselves.  You can also report anonymously to Crimestoppers

Please keep in mind that in order for a claim to be made through CICA, you must have reported the incident to the police. Once the sexual abuse has been reported, you can contact us at Advice.co.uk to start building your claim for compensation. 

How To Make A Sexual Abuse Claim Against A School

At Advice.co.uk, we understand which details of your case will offer a good foundation for a personal injury claim. Our ability to understand these main points helps us represent you better and gives a clearer picture of your eligibility for compensation. We will consider:

  • Is your child able to give a testimony, or would it be too much for them?
  • Has your child missed vital school because of what happened?
  • Has the school admitted that the sexual abuse occurred?
  • What psychological problems have your child developed because of the sexual assault?
  • Did your child suffer physical injuries?
  • When and at which school did the sexual abuse take place?
  • How old is your child?

There is a number below to get in touch with us if you are ready to proceed. Our personal injury claims team can offer sensitive free legal advice as to the best way to proceed. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and want to assure you that if you place your trust in us, we will do everything we can to get your case fairly decided.

No Win No Fee Claims For Sexual Abuse In A School

No Win No Fee agreements (or Conditional Fee Agreements as they are also known) is a service for starting personal injury claims which means you don’t need to pay any solicitors fees before the claim starts or while it’s ongoing. And crucially, if the claim doesn’t succeed, you won’t have to pay any fees.

Initially, you’ll give our team a call. They can listen to your case and assess how likely it could be to succeed. As mentioned above, you need to report the crime to the police yourself. 

If it’s a viable case, we can connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel who will take the claim and help you assemble all the relevant information at no up-front cost.

Legal costs do not need to put you off. There are no initial fees to pay with No Win No Fee agreements and none as the case moves forward.

If your claim is successful, you will pay a small percentage of your compensation award to your lawyers to cover their costs. This is called a success fee and is capped by law to keep it as fair to you as possible. If your case does not succeed, you don’t pay a penny.

No Win No Fee solicitors can help win you the compensation you deserve without costing anything to start. This means that you can pursue compensation without worrying about having to pay your solicitor until you receive your compensation. You’ll also know that your solicitor is doing their utmost to win your claim, as otherwise, they won’t receive payment. After all, it’s in their best interests to get you the maximum compensation you’re owed.

Contact Our Team

Thank you for reading our article. If you’re interested in starting a claim or just finding out more, you can get in touch with us. We will handle your claim in a sensitive and compassionate manner. 

You can speak to us right now by calling on 0161 696 9685 or getting in touch at Advice.co.uk. Our ‘live support’ option is also here to offer on-the-spot free legal advice and guidance.

More Information

A guide to reporting historic sexual abuse

Sexual abuse claims – FAQs 

How much compensation for victims of sexual abuse? 

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority- A Guide 

How to report a crime to the police 

Sexual abuse in schools- a government review

Sexual Abuse Teachers Statistics

Crimes of this nature are not always reported. In view of this, accurate figures are not always precise. To answer the question ‘how common is it for teachers to sexually abuse?’ we can refer to this NSPCC link. Briefly, incidents such as these are recorded as:

Number of
sexual offences
against children
Rate of sexual
offences per
10,000 children
(2019/20)
Proportion of all
sexual offences
that are against
children (2019/20)
England (offences
against under 16s)
55,87451.737%
Northern Ireland
(offences against
under 18s)
2,08747.459%
Scotland (offences
against under 16s)
4,71851.235%

FAQs On Sexual Abuse Claims

How long do I have to make a teacher sexual abuse claim?

For most personal injury cases, it’s three years from the date of the incident. However, if you were sexually abused by a teacher as a child and a claim hasn’t been made before you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

The CICA claims time limit is 2 years from the incident taking place. This time limit can be extended in exceptional circumstances.

Teachers convicted of sexual abuse – should we know?

It’s unlikely they could teach again. In view of this, it is generally safe to assume a teacher has been background checked.

What support is available following sexual abuse?

The NHS have a useful page with resources for help following sexual abuse and assault.

Thank you for reading our guide to claims involving sexual abuse at a school.

 

Guide by FS

Edited by NS/DG