School injury claims hit county council

Thousands of pounds have been paid out in compensation claims to pupils and staff injured at Derbyshire schools.

A secondary school child who was hurt on a trip received £40,000 in damages, the highest amount paid out by Derbyshire County Council in the last three years.

Other pupils received cash for a range of injuries including falling and using faulty equipment.

Data obtained following a Freedom of Information request, show claims totalling over £400,000 have been paid out since 2010.

A student aged between 12 and 16 who was struck by an object received £23,710 and another teenager was paid £25,000 after being bullied.

A primary pupil received £7,587 following a slip in the classroom and a child, aged between five and 11, sustained a burn and on that occasion the claim totalled £2,100.

The smallest amount, £750, was paid to a secondary school pupil who was struck by an object.

The highest staff payout was to an employee injured by a ‘premise defect’.

They received £30,000.

Another staff member injured by ‘lifting and handling’ was paid £13,000 and over £60,000 was paid out to 11 employees injured due to slipping.

Compensation was also paid out to workers who suffered abuse or assaults.

The smallest amount, £1,200, was paid to a member of staff who used defective equipment.

Details of the schools where the incidents happened, the sex of the people involved and exact ages were not released by the council.

A spokeswoman for the council said they could not go into details about specific cases but claims are decided on the amount of pain, suffering and loss caused.

She added: “Damages are payable only in the event that a breach of either common law or statutory duty can be established on the balance of probabilities.

“Any consent form signed by parents/carers provides permission for the child to participate in the trip/activity. Legally it is not permissible to limit liability for personal injury in this way.”

Compensation is usually paid from the council’s insurance and risk fund.