Redbridge Council has one of the highest payouts in compensation claims for accidents at schools

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Redbridge Council spent £100k on compensation for accidents in schools Redbridge Council spent £100k on compensation for accidents in schools

Nearly £100,000 was paid by Redbridge Council in compensation for accidents and injuries in schools, new figures show.  

In the past five years, the authority received 61 personal injury claims, acccording to a freedom of information discolusre to the Employment Law Advisory Service (ELAS).

The claims relate to children, staff, parents, visitors and contractors.

Redbridge Council paid out £99, 735.41, the fifth highest amount of all London boroughs and twice as much as neighbouring Waltham Forest, with three times more compensation claims.

Although details of specific cases were not given, incidents included fractured bones and severed fingers caused by unsafe classrooms and PE equipment.

Redbridge Council did not reveal how many claims were successful.

A spokesman for the council said: "The FoI was complex and to provide that extra detail would have taken weeks and the company carrying out the research would not pay the additional charge."

"The comparison here is wrong and misleading.  The council’s collates its figures differently from the other local authorities mentioned. It is not possible to compare like for like.

"We have looked into our numbers and do not believe that we have a greater amount of claims for children in schools than any other borough, so this figure is extremely misleading.

"We monitor all schools carefully, and if any issues were highlighted we would take the required action immediately."

Figures show Waltham Forest Council received 20 claims and paid out on three.

In total, injuries at schools across London have cost the taxpayer' more than £1.6 million in the past five years.  

ELAS Lead health and safety consultant, Wayne Dunning, said: "These figures are shocking and clearly not enough is being done to protect children in schools from what are, in the main, preventable accidents.

"Health and safety is not being managed properly in the education sector and this is costing taxpayers millions, not only in direct compensation, but also additional hidden costs from administration.

"These are quite basic health and safety failings and the government needs to invest more in training, so that accidents that put children in danger are avoided."

He also stated the statistics are "only the tip of the iceberg" and the number of claims run into "many thousands more".

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