Taxpayer faces bill from Leeds pupils’ injury claims

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Almost a quarter of a million pounds of public money has been paid out in compensation and legal costs for injuries children have suffered in the city’s primary and secondary schools over the past five years, new figures reveal.

Pay outs include £35,000 after a child broke a limb, and £21,058 given to a pupil who suffered a facial injury.

The figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that there been 188 personal injury claims made against schools in Leeds since September 2008.

Of these 39 have been successful resulting in compensation payments of £221,013 since September 2008. Figures show £35,000 was paid out after a pupil suffered a broken limb in 2009 and £21,058 was given to a pupil who suffered a facial injury in 2010.

There was also successful claims for burns, sprains, eye, arm and foot injuries.

In Kirklees a pupil who was injured helping a teacher to put P.E. equipment away was paid £28,039.86.

In a separate claim a child who was hurt using PE equipment received £27,837.15.

National figures were compiled by ELAS health and safety consultants.

ELAS’ Wayne Dunning, said: “Health and safety is not being managed properly in the education sector and this is costing taxpayers millions, not only in direct compensation, but also additional hidden costs from administration.”

Paul Brennan, deputy director of children’s services at Leeds City Council said: “Claims like this are exceptionally rare – we have over 260 schools and 109,000 pupils in Leeds.

“Our schools are very safe environments, and are all required to meet strict health and safety standards. We take our duty of care to both pupils and staff very seriously.”

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