Schoolkids’ compo for injuries involving basketball hoop, bookcase and bullies

Councils last year paid out £1.8million compensation to kids injured in bizarre accidents – including one who failed to stop in time after crossing the sports day finish line and crashed into a fence.

Another incident saw a child injured by a basketball hoop that wasn’t secured while others were hurt in playground accidents where they were struck with footballs or fell off climbing frames.

Other accidents saw kids paid compensation after hurting themselves in playground falls, accidents during PE lessons and even one who broke their leg when a bookcase came crashing down on them.

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Payments were also paid to students who successfully sued their local council after they were physically attacked, bullied or sexually abused while at school.

All the incidents were revealed in a Freedom of Information Act survey of local councils which found last year a total of £1.8million was paid out to settle 89 student compensation claims.

Experts believe the actual cost to councils is probably closer to £4million once an allowance has been made for the legal costs associated with the cases.

Hertfordshire Council paid £30,000 to settle a case where a pupil who was injured after they ran through the finish line at sports day and crashed into a fence.

The same authority had a case that cost £20,000 to settle where a student was injured by a metal gate that another pupil was swinging on.

In Lambeth, London, the council paid £2,840 after a basketball hoop came loose and hit a child underneath and £11,678 when a child fell off a chair that had a dodgy leg.

Kent Council had a £10,000 case where a child was hit by a football in the playground and a £15,000 compensation claim where a student’s fingers were injured in a door.

In Lancashire the council settled five compensation cases from pupils last year including £36,730 to a pupil hurt during a PE lesson and £7,789 to a student who fell off a bike.

Northumberland Council paid £10,000 to settle a case where a student was injured in a trampolining accident while in Barnsley £30,000 was paid to a pupil hurt while helping to put away a trampoline.

In Wakefield a student broke their leg when they fell from a bookcase that wasn’t secured and the council ended up paying £25,000 to close the case.

Lewisham Council, in London, paid out £19,991 to settle a case where a pupil hurt themselves tripping over a tree stump while Warwickshire paid £3,350 in a case where a student was hurt falling out of a tree.

Birmingham Council paid £4,350 to a child who suffered injuries to their teeth after tripping on a classroom carpet.

It also spent £30,100 on a case where a child broke their arm when they fell off a climbing frame, £7,593 to a pupil who cut their knee badly in a PE lesson and £3,293 to a pupil who broke their wrist after they fell over a tree root during playtime.

Christopher McGovern, Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “The compensation culture is out of control in our schools. It has become quite a racket.

“Ambulance-chasing lawyers are running a money-making rip-off of public funds that should be spent on supporting education. They advertise on the internet to encourage parents to makes claims.

“Some claims are legitimate but most are not because they just reflect the hustle and bustle of daily life in school.”

Jonathan Scarsbrook, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), said: “Schools and the councils that run them have a duty of care and must be held to account when they fail to protect children from injury and sexual abuse.”

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