Compo cul­ture goes crazy


A STU­DENT who trapped a fin­ger be­tween two desks at school has won a £10,000 pay­out.

The pay­ment is part of more than £3MIL­LION which has been paid to just un­der 400 stu­dents by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in Eng­land in the past year.

The pupil, who wants to stay anony­mous, was given the compo by North Lin­colnshire Coun­cil for the fin­ger in­jury, which oc­curred at school.

Pub­lic spend­ing watch­dog The Tax­Pay­ers’ Al­liance have crit­i­cised the amount of money which is paid out and la­belled it a “com­pen­sa­tion cul­ture”.

Spokesman Robert Ox­ley said: “Many of th­ese pay­ments are ab­surdly high for what are quite of­ten lu­di­crous rea­sons.

“They are in­dica­tive of a com­pen­sa­tion cul­ture that has taken root on the play­ing fields and in the class­room.”

Among other pay­outs were £16,000 to a pupil who slipped on wet leaves dur­ing a PE les­son and fell, £19,500 for a stu­dent in who got a leg trapped be­hind a ra­di­a­tor, and £10,000 for a child who tripped over a tree root.

Min­is­ters have vowed to crack down on the health and safety mind­set in schools.

Crit­ics of the cur­rent sys­tem say le­gal ac­tion is be­ing started for ev­ery­day ‘ac­ci­dents’, and am­bu­lance-chas­ing lawyers are fos­ter­ing a cul­ture in schools where chil­dren are wrapped in cot­ton wool and are not al­lowed to take the risks needed to help them grow up prop­erly.

The to­tal bill to town halls could rise to £6m as lawyers, of­ten on lu­cra­tive no-win no-fee deals, can pocket as much for bring­ing the ac­tion as the vic­tim re­ceives for the in­jury.

On an aver­age school day, ed­u­ca­tion chiefs set­tle two com­pen­sa­tion claims of £7,500 each.

Cam­paign for Real Ed­u­ca­tion chair­man Chris McGovern said: “The com­pen­sa­tion cul­ture is com­pletely out of hand. In­stead of help­ing pupils, it harms them.”

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