Accidents at School
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Following the end of morning break, 7 year old Clare from Manchester was lining up with her fellow pupils to be taken back into class. There were 2 classes in line each with a teacher at the head. A fight broke out between two boys, and one boy fell onto Clare breaking her leg.
The question was whether the school had satisfied their duty of care by having an adequate system in place for supervising the pupils at end of break and had therefore taken such care as a reasonable parent would, taking into account the circumstances of school life.
The system at Clare's school was that the teachers would stand in front of each line and the ancillary staff would gather up stragglers.
Clare clearly stated that on this day no extra staff were in the playground and after she had fallen, no staff had come to her aid. Moreover, no one stopped the two boys fighting. Clare said after her teacher had disappeared into the building, the next line teacher was still standing with her class, waiting to take them in.
Despite the school maintaining that ancillary staff would have been in the playground, after a two day trial Judgement was given for Clare awarding her £4725.50. It was felt that although the school system was adequate, the level of supervision fell below that which was expected.
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