Teacher injured breaking up playground fight is handed £110,000 compensation by debt-hit council

The Mail is reporting that a council crippled by cuts has paid out nearly £1million in health and safety claims to teachers, pupils and school visitors in just five years…

One teacher was given £113,905 after they were hurt breaking up a playground brawl, while a school caretaker got £40,000 after trapping his thumb in a window, and a dinner lady was paid £1,500 for injuries caused by a ‘defective saucepan lid’.

Birmingham City Council, which is to axe 1,000 jobs to help it save £822million by 2018, refused to answer questions about the circumstances in which the employee who was given the six-figure sum of public money was injured during the playground fight.

But the Labour-run council was criticised today for spending an ‘extraordinary sum’ on claims described as ‘frivolous by any stretch of the imagination’…

Other examples of the council’s payouts include £1,750 to a cleaner who was hurt by ‘a defective mop, £34,539 to a worker who tripped in a store cupboard, and £5,513 to a child who fell over in a sandpit.

Meanwhile a student who was hit in the face by a ball received £18,316, a pupil who suffered a chemical burn to their hand in a science lesson received £17,250, and another who suffered ‘debility contracted during a camping trip’ was paid £19,288.

The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that council employees received £546,753 in compensation, while compensation and costs claims by pupils and visitors amounted to £364,775 between 2009-2014.

Today campaigners said the claims, which totalled £911,538, were an example of Britain’s ‘out of control’ compensation culture. 

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘An extraordinary sum of taxpayers’ money has been paid out in playground compensation claims, some of which appear frivolous by any stretch of the imagination…

One deputy headteacher, who works at a state school in Birmingham but did not wish to be named, added: ‘Schools feel like they are treading on eggshells with children and staff these days.

‘We are living in a blame culture, and thousands of pounds are being spent on settling these sort of claims rather than being invested in children’s education.’

…Chris Keates, general secretary of teaching union NASUWT, said: ‘It is a myth that compensation is easy to obtain; in reality, the hurdles and barriers facing claimants are extremely high.

‘While compensation is important, it can never make up for the fact that many of these teachers suffer permanent physical and mental injury and often cannot continue in their chosen career.’…

More at: Teacher injured breaking up playground fight is handed £110,000 compensation by debt-hit council which also gave dinner lady £1,500 after she was hurt by ‘defective saucepan’

Do you think some local authorities have become soft touches in recent years for school-based compensation claims or have any settlements you are aware of seemed fair and reasonable? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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Comments

  1. liamhog73

    SchoolsImprove despise any blame/claim culture but won’t these payouts come through insurance and not directly from council budgets?

  2. standing_tony

    SchoolsImprove that pi@#es me off. As a teacher I signed up to deal with behaviour like this sometimes.taking money from pupils.#shame

  3. LittleMissHanna

    SchoolsImprove I’ve been assaulted 5 times during my career – no claim made for injury! However, different if it affects ability to do job!

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