Nearly �30K paid out in compensation for school accidents

A SUFFOLK schoolboy received �9,000 from the council after he was hit by a calculator and broke a tooth, shocking new compensation figures have revealed.

A SUFFOLK schoolboy received �9,000 from the council after he was hit by a calculator and broke a tooth, shocking new compensation figures have revealed.

Another child was given �6,000 by Suffolk County Council after playing basketball barefoot at school and breaking a toe.

These pay-outs - which last year amounted to nearly �30,000 - show the extent of the compensation culture dominating Suffolk schools.

A third student received �14,800 last year after he sustained a suspected fractured arm while he was packing away a trampoline.

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The Taxpayers' Alliance attacked the current compensation culture and called for each claim to be more carefully evaluated.

Susie Squire, campaign manager, said: 'While no doubt these claims are legitimate, it's bonkers that many kids are getting cash just for falling over in the playground.

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'Each claim needs to be more carefully evaluated.'

Suffolk County Council defended its record and said the numbers of incidents reported are 'very low'.

'The county council provides comprehensive advice to schools on health and safety matters and schools have good systems in place to ensure the safety of young people,' said the spokesperson.

'As a result the number of incidents in our schools is very low. In fact, as these figures show there have only been three cases leading to successful claims in the past five years in Suffolk.'

Last week it was reported that traditional childhood games such as conkers and hopscotch are in danger of dying out because of Britain's increasingly over-protective culture.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: 'Schools are generally safe places but accidents happen, and deciding whether compensation is due will be a matter for the courts if and when cases are brought.'

According to a survey of 131 out of 150 local education authorities, schools paid �2.8million compensation in 2008-09, up from �2m from the previous year.

In Derbyshire, one incident alone saw a pupil awarded �35,000 after injuring themselves in a collision during a games lesson.

A pupil in Bexley, London, received �6,000 after hurting themselves when tripping over a pothole, while in Hammersmith, a student was awarded �800 after a teacher threw a lollipop that rebounded off a desk and hit the child in the teeth.

Playground slides cost one council, Barnsley, �13,000. In one incident, a child was awarded �5,500 compensation after suffering a head injury on a slide, while another received �7,500 for breaking a collar bone after falling off.

None of the claims for compensation from Suffolk County Council, which amounted to �29,618, were for injuries sustained as a result of an attack or assault from another pupil.

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