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£12,000 pay-out for pupil burned at Cumbrian primary school

A primary school pupil has been awarded more than £12,000 compensation for burns suffered at school.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that the county council has been forced to pay more than £107,500 in compensation to school children in the past five years. The money was paid out to 10 pupils.

The figures include the £12,000 paid out in the past year after the young child scalded or burned themselves.

The highest amount paid out was to a secondary pupil in the 2008/09 financial year, who received £14,971.56 after being injured following “inadequate supervision”.

The majority of the claims detailed by the council related to injuries caused by “defective machinery”, “defective premises” or even a faulty climbing frame.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said, taxpayers would be “astonished” at the bill they were footing.

“While there will be some perfectly legitimate claims because of negligence, there has been a worrying rise in the compensation culture,” he said.

“Taxpayers should certainly not be footing the bill for cases where a bit of common sense would have avoided the accident.”

However, the council itself has defended the figures – highlighting the relatively small number of claims in relation to pupils.

A Cumbria County Council spokeswoman said: “Schools have a duty to protect the safety of their pupils, however, on the very rare occasions where accidents do occur, in some cases students are entitled to compensation.

“Cumbria has more than 300 schools, holding thousands of pupils, and in the last five years compensation claims countywide have averaged just two per year.”

No details of the schools or pupils have been released.

Have your say

I don't know enough of the details to judge whether £12,000 is the right amount of compensation but we're talking about a primary school child for goodness sake, who cannot be more than 11 years old.

Yet here we have the Tax Payers Alliance once again sticking their nose in where it isn't wanted. Common sense? It's a child who has been burned. How about some common decency?

It may well have been the school at fault, they are responsible for the pupils while they are on school property.

I would think most parents would take legal action if their child is injured at school. As the article states, "The majority of the claims detailed by the council related to injuries caused by “defective machinery”, “defective premises” or even a faulty climbing frame."

Posted by Mark G on 8 March 2013 at 07:17

Lets put this in context. 10 claims over five years = 2 claims a year for the whole of Cumbria.

Compare that with the accident book for any primary school (scores of them every term) and I think that we can conclude (fortunately) that there is no massive group of parents seeking to pursue compensation for very trivial injury.

I agree with Bill. This is a hardly a story or if it is, it is proof that at least Cumbria is blessed with sensible parents.

Posted by Anon on 4 March 2013 at 21:00

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