Published on January 29, 2014 | by Lucy Mercer0
Over One Million Pounds Spent On Injury Claims In London Schools
New figures from the Employment Law Advisory Service (ELAS) show that schools forked out over £1 million for personal injury claims in London schools in the past five years.
The report found that schools in Bromley and Hackney were safest, having made only three claims between them since September 2008.
Enfield, however, proved to be the least safe, with 18 claims. This has resulted in a payout totalling nearly £150,000.
Hackney Councillor, Abraham Jacobson said, “The question is, how much money do schools want to spend, and what the priorities are…sometimes they really lie on education rather than health and safety.”
He went on to say that his children’s schools haven’t ever really informed him about their health and safety measures. He found it unsurprising that Hackney schools were named the “safest” because of the amount of investment that’s gone into them.
The financial loss that some schools have experienced because of these injury claims hasn’t been the only issue. Yohan, aged 14, told LCC about a girl that died at his school as a result of poor maintenance of the stair banisters. However, he went on to say that this incident has almost made his school overprotective.
“I went to France this one time, and one group got into a heap of trouble because they all went off in ones and twos instead of threes and fours. They weren’t allowed to go on any school trips for about 2 years after that,” he said.
Kerry, a mum from Shadwell, also said that if anything, schools are stopping kids from having fun because they’re so worried about health and safety. She told LCC, “Quite often they can be overprotective…at my daughter’s primary school when it was snowing, they weren’t allowed to go out and play in the snow.”
The question is, how far are schools willing to go to protect their children? On one hand, a lack of health and safety can result in huge financial payouts and even fatalities. On the other, children can be restricted too much and are wrapped in cotton wool. Getting the balance right is going to be the biggest challenge.