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MORE than £6million was paid out in compensation to teachers in the North West during 2016.

The figure has nearly doubled compared to last year, according to statistics released by teaching union NASUWT.

They show £6,322,258 was paid out to teachers facing attacks from pupils, injuries and discrimination in the workplace compared to £3,909,644 in 2015.

After securing more than £27million for its members across the UK last year, the union accused the government of giving ‘little incentive’ to employers to improve the working environment.

There was a 72 per cent increase on the £16.1m in compensation won for its members in 2015.

Separate data from the NUT, which does not publish an overall compensation figure, showed one teacher was given nearly £48,000 in compensation after being subjected to a 'prolonged assault' by a female pupil at an academy in the North West who 'flew into a rage' after being told to stop chewing gum.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said: “If employers took the welfare of staff seriously and followed good employment and health and safety practices, these cases would never have to be taken and members would have been spared the stress and anxiety of pursuing legal claims.

“Behind every one of these cases are teachers who have had their careers, lives and health blighted in the course of simply trying to do their job and improve the lives of children and young people.

“Unfortunately, the Government has given little incentive to employers to improve working conditions and working practices following cuts to health and safety inspections and the callous undermining of equalities legislation.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Schools, like any employer, are responsible for the safety and well-being of their staff and complying with equalities legislation.

“We provide a range of guidance and support materials to schools.”