Payout for bullying victim

Traumatised: Jed with his mum Stacey.
Traumatised: Jed with his mum Stacey.

A SCHOOLBOY has become one of the first in the country to be awarded a compensation payout after being assaulted by a classroom bully in South Yorkshire.

The payout, one of the first of its kind, is the result of an incident at a comprehensive school in which 13-year-old Jed Winfindale was hit over the head several times by another pupil who was wielding a wooden drawing board.

Jed suffered injuries to his arm and shoulder as he tried to protect his head.

He was hit several times by the disruptive classmate.

He had to be taken to hospital and afterwards suffered nightmares and flashbacks as a result of the incident at Maltby Comprehensive School, near Rotherham.

Jed was in the middle of a lesson when the other pupil became disruptive and verbally abusive to him and the teacher.

The other boy was taken out of class by the teacher, who then went to find another teacher who is trained to tackle such pupils. The class was left unattended.

While the teacher was away the disruptive youngsters came back into the class, picked up a wooden drawing board and hit Jed several times, before leaving the room again.

Jed’s mum Stacey, aged 37, complained to the headteacher and then decided to take legal action against the school, which has since become Maltby Academy.

Jed, who lives in Maltby with his mum, dad Gareth, aged 30, and sisters Chloe, 15, Caitlin, eight, and brother Benjamin, five, was attacked last October.

Stacey said: “Most parents just roll over and take it but I wasn’t prepared to do that.

“The school was only going to suspend the lad who assaulted Jed for two days, despite being known for disruptive behaviour.

“But now he has been removed from the school all together.

“Jed feels fine in himself but still gets bullied by some pupils who won’t let the incident lie.

“But he’s doing all right, he’s quiet, works hard and is getting good grades.

“The attack had a profound effect on Jed.

“He is a Grade A student who is quiet and does his work and tries hard.

“He also liked to go out and play football with his mates but after this happened he was worried about going out and it made him wary.”

Solicitor Lucy Flynn, of Graysons solicitors, took up the case and won a settlement for breach of statutory duty and negligence against Rotherham Borough Council which admitted liability.

A spokesman for Maltby Academy said: “The Academy takes any incident involving violent or threatening behaviour extremely seriously indeed and will always respond appropriately to maintain a positive climate for learning across the school.

“In a recent monitoring visit by inspectors the behaviour of students at the Academy was judged to be good and, with one or two exceptions, students continue to apply themselves positively both in and out of the classroom

“Following this particular incident the Academy did everything possible to support the young person involved and his family.

“He continues to study at Maltby Academy and is making good progress in all areas of learning.”