TWO Scottish teachers were diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder last year, new figures show.

A survey of compensation payments to classroom staff found one teacher suffered from the condition because of their workload and a severe psychiatric trauma in a previous employment.

A second teacher was identified with post traumatic stress and anxiety after they were injured in an attack by a pupil.

More typically associated with soldiers returning from a war zone post traumatic stress can result in an individual involuntarily and vividly re-living a traumatic event in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive and distressing images or physical sensations such as pain, sweating, nausea or trembling.

The cases emerged as councils were accused of failing to provide a safe place of work for teachers following a dramatic rise in compensation payments to school staff.

New figures showed more than £290,000 in compensation was paid to teachers and lecturers over the past year as a result of work-related injuries.

The figure has risen by an astonishing 61 per cent since the 2013/14 when just £180,000 was paid out to school employees.

While some of the most serious cases involve assaults on teaching staff, the compensation settlements reveal that the most frequent cause of injury continues to be accidents caused by slips and trips. Stress-related illness is also a major concern.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), which collated the figures, said: "At a time when employers are expressing concern at the costs of sickness absence it is ironic that failure to provide teachers and lecturers a safe place of work has led to significant legal challenges.

"Teachers and lecturers are entitled to safe workplaces and the evidence over this year is a worrying testimony to a lack of diligence by employers.”

Mr Flanagan went on to call for insurance companies to admit liability earlier and avoid the accrual of unnecessary medical and legal bills.

However, Stephanie Primrose, education spokeswoman for council umbrella body Cosla, hit back at the EIS.

She said: "Mr Flanagan’s comments about teachers not having a safe environment in which to work are nothing short of disgraceful and he should be embarrassed by them.

"The bottom line is that teaching is a very safe profession and local authorities take extremely serious the safety and wellbeing of all staff and indeed pupils.

"Parents and teachers should be assured that authorities and schools have in place policies to deal with situations that may arise. To suggest otherwise really is opportunistic in the extreme."

Teaching unions have previously warned that school staff are at "breaking point" over increased workloads associated with the introduction of new qualifications.

Last month members of the EIS backed industrial action after talks on reducing their workload failed to reach a solution - which could see a work to rule in classrooms.

The move by the EIS comes after long-running concerns over the amount of extra work involved in the implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and new qualifications. There have been significant changes to exams under CfE including more classroom assessments.