In yet another case of taxpayers having to foot the bill for a playground personal injury compensation case, one pupil was recently awarded £5,750 after he was splashedon the hand with some custard.
The spurious accident claim happened at a Rotherham, South Yorkshire school when the custard was spilled by another pupil bumping into the first one. Since the incident, condemnation has been rife for the so-called ‘compensation culture’ spreading through UK schools like wildfire and resulting in personal injury claims for thousands, even though the injuries sustained by pupils seem to be largely innocuous.
Other such instances of seemingly illogical compensation claims paid by schools to pupils include £9,000 awarded to a child after they cartwheeled from a playground boulder and broke their arm, and a £5,70 award given to another after he injured himself whilst attempting to break in to a school.
The madness seems to be spreading across the country; the council in Gateshead gave one pupil nearly £5,000 after an anxiety claim due to a lack of teacher supervision, while a Doncaster pupil was given £3,000 after they suffered cuts from rose bushes.
Meanwhile, Gloucestershire council paid out £7,000 to a pupil after an injury related to a teacher’s rugby tackle demonstration. Councils have paid out in excess of £2 million in compensation last year after injured children brought about more than 340 successful claims for compensation.
Many of these claims brought about by these children, through the help of their parents, have been labelled as ‘frivolous’ by critics. The money should instead be going towards improvements to the schools in question, these critics say.
Campaign for Real Education secretary, Nick Smeaton, condemned these awards, remarking that it was simply scandalous that so much taxpayer money is spent on such claims instead of making UK schools better.