Staffordshire City Council was found to have paid out nearly £58,000 in personal injury compensation to hurt schoolchildren in the 2010-2011 financial year, new accident claims information has recently revealed.
There were 11 separate personal injury claims the previous financial year, ranging from such complex injuries as a girl who injured her arm while she was putting away a trampoline to those as straightforward as simple slips and trips. One pupil, who fell on some logs after slipping on them, was awarded more than £10,000 in damages, the largest compensation payout on record for 2010-2011.
Staffordshire City Council published the information in response to a Freedom of Information request, revealing that the number of claims filed this year had actually fallen from the previous year’s 14. However the amount the council actually paid out rose in excess of 40 per cent.
Other compensation awards included the girl with the trampoline, whose trapped arm and wrist earned her more than £5,000. Meanwhile, another student who was struck in the mouth by a bell was awarded nearly £4,500 in compensation.
Staffordshire County Council deputy leader, Ian Parry, denied any indications that the problem was a growing one, though he did say that the so-called ‘compensation culture gripping the UK could be to blame.
While it is true that ambulance chasing lawyers may be encouraging people to bring claims they normally wouldn’t have thought of making in the past, said Mr Parry, it’s not necessarily something that was on the rise, as compensation activity tends to fluctuate from one year to another. The number one priority for every staff member in every single school is to keep students as safe as possible, he added, but accidents are an inevitability with 400 schools.