Pupils take Surrey schools to court over accident claims

In excess of 50 Surrey schools have beens subject to legal action from none other than their own pupils due to such incidents as accident claims, recently released figures show.

Nearly one-half million pounds had been put aside over the last half a decade in order to fund personal injury claims filed against the county’s schools by children.

While the schools kept £457,234 in reserve throughout the five year period to fund any potential personal injury compensation cases, cash payouts to students and their representatives have only been slightly over £40,000.

There were many reasons people sought compensation from Surrey schools, most notably from parents.  One parent suffered a fractured ankle on a classroom mat, while another, while watching his son play football, slipped over and injured himself.

On the list of things pupils have claimed, injuries that came about through physical movement and exercise ranks quite high.  One claim for example describes how on child suffered from whiplash after being struck by a tennis ball, while another example details how one girl suffered a broken arm after landing awkwardly on a trampoline.  Other common injuries involve pupils being hit by hockey sticks and golf clubs.

Additionally there was not one report but two of children suffering eye injuries after being stabbed in the face by scissors.

The Freedom of Information Act reveals figures that between the 1st of November, 2005, and the 31st of October of this year saw over 90 attempts to sue in excess of 50 schools in Surrey. Only 12 per cent of such cases ever resulted in an actual payout, although.

Many of the claims that were unsuccessful included instances of disability discrimination, alleged bullying, a pupil who fell from the stage during a disco for Year 7 students and a rain-soaked PE lesson ending in a fractured wrist.

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