Child Abuse in Schools

Schools should be an environment where children feel safe to learn, develop and grow. Unfortunately, gaps in safeguarding procedures sometimes allow adults with an evil intent to access positions of trust and take advantage of a child.

For any youngster who suffers child abuse in a school, this extremely traumatising experience can cause life-long suffering and have far-reaching implications.

If you experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse at school – or you’re the parent or carer of a child who has – we can help you access seek justice and compensation.

Sexual abuse and assaults do not just take place in state-funded schools. The specialist abuse team here at Hudgell Solicitors have also supported survivors who suffered sexual abuse in boarding schools, private schools, public schools and residential schools.

Abuse of this nature can be carried out by teachers, other staff members or people who are in a position of trust. In some instances, other pupils may be responsible.

No matter when the abuse took place, or who was responsible, our experienced child abuse solicitors will provide expert support and advice to help you hold those responsible to account.

We have a proven track record of helping abuse survivors and can help those who suffered child abuse by a teacher, even if the abuse happened years ago.

We promise to listen and help you through this difficult time by handling your case with compassion and sensitivity.

Many of our child abuse cases are funded on a ‘No win, no fee’ basis – so you can gain access to our expertise and seek justice without any financial risks to you. We can also advise you whether it may be possible to make a claim through the Government-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

To discuss your case in confidence, please call us or get in touch to arrange a free consultation.

Making a claim against a school

Whenever there has been child abuse by a teacher or other members of staff in a school, it is possible to bring a case against the individual involved.

If the person who committed the abuse was an employee of the school, you can also sue their employer – whether that is a private or a state school. The local authority is usually responsible for state-funded schools, whilst the responsibility in a private school lies with the owner or its governors.

If it can be demonstrated that the school knew about the abuse – or should have known about it – and failed to act, the organisation can also be liable for its negligence. For example, if an abuser had a criminal record for similar offences before being employed by the school, or if a child told a teacher about the abuse and the adult did nothing about it.

Making a compensation claim against an organisation in this way is often the best course of action as they will be insured against claims brought against them – and those responsible will be brought to justice.

 

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Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor

Renu Daly

Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

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How we support survivors of abuse

Survivors of emotional, physical and sexual abuse in schools often keep what happened to them private for many years before gaining the confidence to come forward.

Our team of specialist child abuse solicitors appreciate how hard it can be for survivors to talk openly about their experiences. We promise to listen and provide any assistance we can to help.

Whether we are acting for children or adults, we’ll always seek to help beyond the law – providing support to help you look forward to the future, despite the traumas of the past.

Although no amount of compensation can ever heal the physical or mental scars, it can allow abuse survivors to rebuild their lives by giving them access to private therapy or counselling. If the incident has impacted upon a career, it may also be possible to receive damages for loss of earnings.

Whoever your claim is against, we will gather evidence to build the strongest case possible and ascertain the full extent of the physical or psychological injuries you’ve suffered as a result of the abuse.

To hold those responsible for your suffering to account, please get in touch – we promise to work hard and identify the best course of action to ensure justice is served.

Reporting child abuse in schools

If you or a loved one has suffered child abuse in school, we would urge you to report it to the police immediately.

Every police force in England and Wales has a specialist child protection unit to handle abuse complaints and historical abuse cases. If necessary, our solicitors can act on your behalf and make the initial contact.

The outcome of any criminal proceedings could assist with your case. But even if a criminal conviction is not secured, an unsuccessful prosecution will not necessarily prevent you from bringing a claim for compensation.

What time limits apply to making a claim?

Although the law states that you have until the age of 21 to bring a claim to court, highly-sensitive cases of this nature can be pursued even if the offence was carried out many years ago.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, the time limit for making a claim can exceed 20 years or more – and we would urge anyone who has suffered abuse during childhood to come forward whenever they feel comfortable doing so.

What funding options are available?

At Hudgell Solicitors, you can access justice without any financial risks to you by funding you case on a ‘No win, no fee’ basis.

No matter what the outcome of your case may be, you’ll only pay an agreed percentage of any damages received – providing you give us honest and accurate instructions and cooperate fully to help us.

If we are able to take on your case, we will explain all the options available.

To receive free and confidential advice from a specialist child abuse solicitor