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School accident pay-outs in East Lancashire reach a new high

October 22, 2012

Schools located throughout Lancashire have paid up £1.2 million in compensation payments within the last six years, particularly to pupils who have had accidents while on school grounds.

This year alone, claims have reached £258,000 for cuts, scalding, slips and trips.

The 2011 amount was £360,000, which compared to only £42,250 throughout 2006.

The Lancashire Telegraph obtained the data through a Freedom of Information request which showed a sum amount of £279,250 was paid for accusations of abuse and £95,802 for injuries sustained while in a PE lesson.

A sum exceeding £8,000 was presented when an individual pupil pushed another pupil over, which caused a broken arm, and a slip in an icy playground awarded a family almost £7,000.

During 2008, a settlement of £22,000 was confirmed for a broken arm, which occurred while a boy was playing football. Back and neck injuries, taking place in a gymnastics class, attracted a penalty payment of almost £4,000 and a further £11,400 was given to a student who slipped while on PE equipment and caused damage to his front teeth.

A further £11,414 was awarded when a pupil broke an arm in a trampolining lesson.

Once the county council has received a claim for compensation it then makes a decision as to its liability, and will then defend or come to a settlement that is appropriate for the situation. A compensation payment will follow depending on the outcome.

According to Lesley Ham, a representative of NASUWT, the teachers’ union, there had been a large increase in these types of claims since 2006 and the legislation is in place to deal with them there and nothing can be done about it. She also said that schools did not follow up claims themselves but the decisions were made between insurers and solicitors. The amount of compensation paid depended entirely on the severity of the injury.