Where a member has been assaulted at work and has suffered injury, that person is able to make a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), the government body responsible for administering the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Scheme is designed to compensate victims of crimes of violence, but exceptions to the rules were in place to include staff in schools where the perpetrators were pupils and staff reported the assault to their employers.
The Scheme rules changed in late November 2012. The CICA now requires a victim of an assault to report it to the police ‘as soon as practicable’ even where a member of school staff has been assaulted by a child. Often the claim is rejected. There is no discretion.
Compensation is only awarded where the injury is more than very minor.
Therefore, if you are assaulted and suffer injury, you should report the assault to the police as soon as possible.
In a recent case, a member’s application was turned down because the school had a policy of not reporting these incidents.
Voice applied for a review, but that was rejected and we have no grounds for going further. In past cases under the old scheme, an application would have been accepted in these circumstances.
Voice’s view is that schools should report serious incidents to the police. Not to do so in the case above denied the member the opportunity to claim CICA compensation and denied the pupil the opportunity of support.
Where a school is reluctant to have a policy, we recommend a protocol with the police, the understanding being that the school does not want the young person charged but it wants the incident on the record.