Local councils hit hard after school accident claims

Industry news roundup: week ended 7 April 2014:

It never rains but it pours when it comes to accident claims, especially those that local councils have been enduring lately due to injuries in schools.

In fact, over the past five years alone Doncaster Council has had to pay £33,000 in personal injury compensation to pupils suffering a myriad of injuries. There were a number of successful claims for all types of injuries, such as a slip-and-trip that resulted in a £1,250 payout – prompting industry experts to warn that there needs to be better training programmes when it comes to school staff.

Of course, things are even worse just an hour north on the A1, where another report found that North Yorkshire County Council has has ended up some £68,000 poorer, again for injuries to pupils. 10 per cent of the injuries were caused by defective equipment of all things; nearly 18 per cent of the payout was directly due to PE lesson injuries, with the remainder due to slips and trips, according to a recently filed Freedom of Information request.

Now certainly many of you are thinking one of two things: either there’s obvious proof of compensation culture run amok, or that there’s obviously much more supervision and training needed in local schools. Honestly if you ask me I’m highly reticent to admit any sort of compensation culture rearing its ugly head. In fact I’ve always thought that’s more of a myth perpetrated by insurance companies more than anything else as a ploy to lobby for more strenuous legal reforms in order to limit exposure to liability on the part of the insurance industry. No, what I truly think is going on here is that there’s just not enough quality training and oversight for these school staff members and as a result pupils are getting hurt left and right.

Let’s be honest here: I’m not blaming school staff members in the slightest. The faculty and staff of a school can only do so much on their own without support from the local authority, and it’s when local councils leave these staffers high and dry by not providing proper equipment and training that we see injuries – and personal injury claims – go through the roof. So in a way these councils are reaping what they have sown. Of course it’s all taxpayer money in the end so no one really wins, do they?

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