A London local authority has been criticised for failing to
properly prepare the carer of a boy with special needs who then
went on to attack a teacher.
Ms Waugh, who was a teacher at John F Kennedy special needs
school, was awarded £190,000 at the high court, following the
assault by the 14-year-old which forced her to retire on the
grounds of ill-health.
The court heard that Waugh had suffered moderate to severe
post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident in which the boy,
known as D, grabbed her and scratched her face drawing blood.
The 14-year-old had been statemented for special needs since he
was three, and was known to suffer from severe behavioural problems
including headbutting and biting.
Mr Justice Cooke exonerated the boy’s helper – who was on
his first day in the job – of blame and ruled that he had
been inadequately warned of how to deal with children with special
He said that although the incident was an “inevitable” part of
life in a special needs school, Newham council was responsible for
The council owed Waugh a “reasonable duty of care” to provide
her with a safe place to work, and had failed to do so, he
In a statement, the local authority said: “The safety of our
pupils, teachers and all school staff is extremely important and we
are reviewing our procedures to prevent similar incidents from