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Child injured at school

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  • Child injured at school

    Hi,

    My child was due to have PE at school. He had an existing injury to his leg so we wrote a letter to the school asking for him to be excused from PE owing to said injury.

    When it came to PE they told him he still had to take part, albeit in a reduced role. This was the role of umpire during a game of cricket. He's never played cricket before. They didn't give him any teaching or instructions on where to stand or how to perform this role. Upshot is, during the course of this lesson he gets a cricket bat round the head. It breaks his glasses, cuts him above his head and results in a black eye and large swelling. A month removed from the incident and he has a scar.

    I got a phone call asking me to collect him from school. No mention of his broken glasses to me. When I arrived they sent for my child and he had an absence slip stating the reason for the absence was for being "unwell".

    I ask to speak to a teacher. Raised all the matters, why were they doing PE when they were asked to excuse him. Why the slip states he's unwell.. if he had concussion, and if he hadn't had told me the details, I would never have known from the information they gave me etc. She informs me the PE teacher would have assessed him and decided he was fit enough to take part. Promises me a call from PE staff.

    I get a call. PE teacher says he wasn't partaking in the lesson, he was performing. What the difference is is anyone's guess. They try to imply the injury is my child's fault. I point out he wasn't instructed how to perform the role and shouldn't have even been asked to perform it. This member of staff informs me they didn't undertake any assessment of my child's existing injury as claimed by other member of staff. This member of staff promises me a call from the head of the department.

    Head of department calls me. Basically says the same. I raise the same points. I ask for a meeting to be arranged with the relevant members of staff and the headteacher. Half term has been and gone and no further contact from the school.

    I have the original letter given to the school asking for my child to be excused, as well as their absence slip stating my child was just "unwell".

    I'm looking for advice on how to proceed from hereon in, beginning with looking for opinions on the validity of any personal injury claim?

    Thanks in advance

    Tags: None

  • #2
    Every accident (slip trip fall etc) should be raised by either a text message or verbally. Is this secondary or primary?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by La Roja View Post
      looking for opinions on the validity of any personal injury claim?
      So you're not interested in your child's or future child's welfare only the money, I'm sure there is an online ambulance chaser who will take up your cause.

      Sorry i'm just thinking out loud, it might be irrelevant, I am not employed in anyway in the legal profession, please ensure you research any advice I give before using it I have been known to be wrong on multiple occasions.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bit judgemental @Phaeton

        Teachers and school have a duty of care to pupils arising from common law, statutory law and contract.
        A child has received an injury whilst in their care.
        The injury may have been serious (head..concussion) and there seems to be some doubt if an assessment has been carried out.
        If there was an assessment was the person who carried it out qualified to do so?
        Glasses were broken and from the blow the child received a cut and a black eye.

        From the other side though there might well be a defence.
        We don't know what the teacher might claim.
        Being struck with a bat isn't necessarily going to show breach of duty of care :Hammersley-Gonsalves v Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council [2012] EWCA Civ 1135,

        The OP has taken the matter up with the school, who seem to be rather disinterested, so as a parent I too would be looking to escalate this complaint.
        As it is personal injury it might well be advisable to speak to a solicitor about the matter

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi La Roja,

          Sorry to hear about your son's accident. So your son had been asked to be excused from the lesson with a leg injury and was then made to 'perform' (which to me appears to be partaking) and then sustained an injury. The school have not dealt with this particularly well in the aftermath. This doesn't necessarily mean there is a personal injury claim here, but I would be taking it further with a formal complaint at least.

          I would say is that the head injury and the leg injury (that possibly should have excused him from PE) are separate issues. Yes, if he had been excused he would not have been on the pitch and the accident wouldn't have happened, but I don't see that as necessarily the cause of the accident. What were the actual circumstances of the accident (irrelevant of his letter from you excusing him). What was actually happening at the time he got hit around the head? Was he knocked out, was any medical treatment given?

          It is unfortunate his glasses got broken and that he apparently was not instructed on what he should be doing that may have prevented him being hit with the bat, but you need more information on this. How bad is the cut? If it didn't require GP/Hospital treatment then you would unlikely be able to make a claim for the injury on your son's behalf. If however he was knocked out or the cut is sufficient to warrant butterfly stitches or glue then it may be worth discussing a potential claim with a personal injury specialist.

          I would write to the head explaining your concerns over how the injury has been dealt with irrespective of the fact that you had requested he be excused form the lesson. You can ask for a full explanation of how the injury happened, to see a copy of the accident book that was completed and confirmation of exactly what treatment was carried out following the injury. Of course children can be difficult and there will always be occasions when they maybe don't do as they are asked. Accident can happen but to prevent another child and parent being treated the same in future I think this should be looked into further.

          As far as his glasses are concerned many opticians (depending where you got his glasses from) will repair/replace younger children's glasses at least once before charging. They appreciate children aren't the most careful with them, although being hit with a bat probably doesn't help!

          You don't need to make a claim immediately in any case. Your son has until his 21st birthday to make a claim. Until he is 18, he would need someone to do the claim for him. However, with the information you have provided on the injury it sounds like it is borderline whether he would be able to make a claim in any event. I'm glad he wasn't more seriously injured and hopefully the cut heals quickly with no lasting reminders. Lets hope the school review their policy to prevent this happening in the future whether that be excusal from games by a parent being ignored or better supervision of children and cricket bats!
          I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

          Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

          If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Phaeton View Post
            So you're not interested in your child's or future child's welfare only the money, I'm sure there is an online ambulance chaser who will take up your cause.
            I'm posting on a forum centered around the legal aspects to matters. This isn't the place to be seeking information regarding the health of people after injuries.

            By leaving work and collecting my child, asking him what happened to him, returning to the school to speak to teacher #1, studying the slip of paper they gave me and spotting the misinformation, having two follow up phone conversations with two further teachers of varying stature, and requesting to meet with the headteacher which failed to materialise, some would say that is showing an interest in my child and his future welfare whilst at school.

            Any hypothetical money that would arise from a claim relating to my child's injury would be placed in their JISA as it wouldn't be my money, I don't need it nor would I want it.

            Thanks for replying all the same.

            Peridot Thanks for the information.

            The treatment he received was he was taken to welfare by another pupil upon request of the teacher where a wet paper towel was applied to the eye. The incident was close to two months ago now. He has scarring adjacent to his eyebrow.

            I think I've given the school enough time to find space in the headteachers schedule to discuss the matter. I will write a letter requesting the information you outlined and to set a meeting to discuss the matter in person, as their staff have seemingly failed to organise a meeting as requested. If no reply is forthcoming then hopefully I can catch the headteacher at parents evening next week.

            Thank you des8 also.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi La Roja,
              it sounds like you’ve got it under control. Do pop back if you need any more pointers. It would be sensible to take photos of the scar. Hopefully it wont cause him any problems and will fade with time but be sensible to keep a record. Keep a record of any expenses you’ve incurred.
              Hopefully a meeting with the head can sort out some of the issues and to ensure more appropriate measures are taken in the future to prevent this happening again. See what happens then review things again.
              If you need any pointers feel free to pop back.
              I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

              Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

              If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

              Comment

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