Supervision failure costs council26.12.2009
A county council was found negligent when a pupil was injured during a break at school when he was hit by a rock thrown by another pupil. The case turned on a simple point – was it sufficient (as was the case in this instance) to have only one supervisor overseeing 150 children?
The Court of Appeal found the council negligent, especially as one of the prime purposes of having the children supervised was to prevent dangerous activities, or stop them if they occurred. A recent survey of local councils revealed that in the year 2008-2009 almost £3 million was paid out in compensation to children hurt in accidents at school. This figure represents an increase of £1 million on the previous year.
Parents have a legitimate expectation that the schools their children attend will be safe places and, if the school fails to take reasonable precautions to ensure this is so, they have the right to hold the council (or other body responsible) liable.