Teacher wins £150,000 for losing her voice

Joyce Walters says she is still unable to speak for more than a short period before her voice becomes hoarse…

A teacher who damaged her throat after being forced to raise her voice in class has been awarded a six-figure sum, it was revealed yesterday.

Joyce Walters developed nodules on her vocal cords which she said were caused by having to raise her voice over the noise from a children’s play area near her classroom in Hillingdon, north west London.

The 50-year-old English teacher was forced to quit her job teaching English to foreign students at Harlington Adult Education Centre, despite surgery and months of speech therapy, as her throat was still sore and she was unable to speak for more than a short period.

She said she often had to raise her voice to be heard over the racket, adding that the problem was exacerbated by the fact that many of her students were beginners and needed to hear her pronunciation clearly, forcing her to repeat herself.

She received more than £150,000 through two out of court settlements with Hillingdon Council. It is thought to be one of the biggest payouts received by a teacher.

The mum-of-two said: ‘Teaching was my calling but it’s impossible for me to go back. My voice is not strong enough to maintain a lengthy conversation.’

Jean Palmer, director of planning, environment and community services for Hillingdon Council, said: ‘After a period of almost three years the council felt that it was in the best interests of Mrs Walters, the council and taxpayers to settle the claims.’


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