Schools and colleges should be a place where children feel safe, but unfortunately, there are people with evil intentions who manage to take advantage of their position of authority and abuse children in these places.
College abuse or abuse in a school can be extremely traumatising, causing long-time suffering in their lives. If you have been subjected to abuse whilst at school or college, or someone you know has, then please get in touch to let us help with information on how you can make a claim. The specialist solicitors here are on hand to help support survivors who have been abused whilst in private schools, public schools, boarding schools and colleges.
Making a claim against a school or college
When making a claim against a school or a college it is possible to make a claim against the individual, such as a teacher. However, in some cases, the best course of action is to make a claim against the school or the local authority that covers the school or college. If it’s a private school, then the responsibility lies with the owner of the school or the governors of the school.
Negligence can also be claimed for if it can be shown that the school or college knew about the abuse, or should have known about it, and failed to act.
In cases where the abuse was carried out by another pupil of the school or college then the local authority or the governors can be found responsible for the abuse, however, it will need to be proven that they were negligent in failing to train their staff or safeguard the survivor.
The Sexual Offences Act 2000 states that it is an offence for anyone over the age of 18 in a position of trust, like a teacher, to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 – even if the relationship is consensual. In school and college settings this even applies to full-time students and persons who work at the same establishment, even if they don’t teach the child.
Safeguarding experts consider this to be an abusive relationship, even if the ‘couple’ believes that this is a genuine relationship. This is because there is an unbalance of power, and the adult is classed as an abuser because they are abusing their authority, position and power.
Time limits on claims against schools or colleges
You have until you are 21 to make a claim for compensation against a school or college. However, in a lot of cases, the courts will recognise that these types of cases are hugely distressing and it may take years to come to terms with what has happened to you. Therefore, it can still be possible to make an abuse claim against a school or college after your 21st birthday.
TDP Solicitors can help with your claim and ensure that there is evidence to show the courts why it wasn’t possible to make the claim sooner and why your claim for compensation should be allowed beyond the usual time limit that is in place.