Freeclaim Solicitors look at how safe our children are at school
Local authorities and schools have a responsibility to keep our children safe whilst they are at school.
You can’t avoid all accidents, but schools have to make sure safety requirements are met, such as adequate staff supervision, and national guidance will help staff.
Local authorities and schools have a responsibility to keep our children safe whilst they are at school. Alarmingly this isn’t always the case, and pupils are regularly involved in accidents whilst at school or on school property. All schools should have a health and safety policy that shows how they are responsible for keeping pupils safe whilst they are in their care.
Putting in place a reliable health and safety policy could help prevent many accidents occurring. Schools need to fully assess dangers to pupils and put in place appropriate measures to prevent accidents from happening and children and teachers getting injured.
In Greater London, Birmingham and Greater Manchester a total of 1,980 accident claims have been logged against local authorities since 2008. Successful compensation claims have amounted to more than £3.3 million. These figures clearly show that not enough is being done to protect children and staff whilst they are at school.
Unfortunately, many of the accidents that happen in schools are preventable. Some of the most common accidents at school and other educational establishment claims include slips and trips, accidents caused by faulty equipment (such as desks and playground equipment), accidents in science labs, accidents occurring on school outings, sporting accidents and asbestos exposure from school buildings.
Recommendations suggest that teachers and school officials should be better trained to assess risks and reduce the amount of accidents that occur. A spokesperson from the Department of Education has commented saying “New clear and concise health and safety guidance is available to all schools. This includes information on the requirements as well as the important guidance on managing risk. Local authorities and schools are responsible for the health and safety of their pupils and they must ensure that staff are given the training they need for their job”.
However Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), believes there should be more guidance; “You can’t avoid all accidents, but schools have to make sure safety requirements are met, such as adequate staff supervision, and national guidance will help staff.”
It is important that any possible accidents are fully explored and any measures to avoid them are established, without children being prevented from enjoying activities that are deemed dangerous, when in fact they are perfectly safe. Nicola Hughes, a senior lawyer at Freeclaim Solicitors commented, “Whilst we do not want to get to a stage where schools are using health and safety policy to prevent children taking part in quite reasonable activities, schools must ensure that they provide a safe environment for both children and staff.”
Although everyone involved wishes to reduce accidents in schools, Freeclaim Solicitors understand that these accidents happen all too often. They are expert personal injury solicitors with over 25 years’ experience. Find out more about claiming compensation after an accident at school by visiting their website- http://www.freeclaim.co.uk, or call their 24 hour helpline on 0800 612 7340.
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