Boy with sore bottom wins payout after bench at Winterbourne Junior Boys' School in Thornton Heath school bench gives him painful splinter

This Is Local London: Winterbourne Junior Boys' School was blamed for the boy's injuries Winterbourne Junior Boys' School was blamed for the boy's injuries

A primary school pupil received thousands of pounds in compensation from Croydon Council after getting a splinter lodged in his backside.

The seven-year-old's boy family won a £2,760 payout after suing over a wound inflicted when he sat on a wooden bench at Winterbourne Junior Boys' School in Thornton Heath.

The "small injury" took four weeks to heal and was expected to leave a permanent scar.

Croydon Council defended the Winterbourne Road school in court but a judged ruled poor upkeep had led to the incident, which happened in 2011 but came to light this week.

The size of the payout, determined by the judge, was intended to reflect the seriousness of the injury.

But the mother of a classmate of the injured pupil questioned the decision to award compensation.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said: "All of the mums have been laughing about it.

"It is such a joke. How can they say it is the school’s fault and sue them because he got a splinter on his bum?"

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "This is a complete waste of taxpayers' money and yet another story which highlights the ridiculous compensation culture that exists in our schools.

"Wasting taxpayers’ money on unnecessary payouts leaves less cash for actual teaching. Schools and local authorities must be vigilant against dubious claims resulting from injuries such as this."

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, added: "We are wrapping our children up in cotton wool and robbing them of their childhood.

"The problem is that compensation claims breed compensation claims, as more parents become aware that they can sue for the slightest thing that happens to their child.

"Schools react by stopping any activity that includes even the lowest level of risk, meaning children miss out on fun and educational activities.

"We really need a lead from the courts on this. Common sense needs to prevail."

A Croydon Council spokesman said: "There was an incident several years ago where a child received a small injury from a splinter on a wooden bench.

"The matter was settled following a claim by the pupil’s parents."

The school, which this month became an academy sponsored by the Platanos Trust, declined to comment.

It has been in special measures since Ofsted rated it inadequate following an inspection in October 2012.

Do you know more about this story? Call 020 8722 6361 or email chris.baynes@london.newsquest.co.uk.


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Comments (4)

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1:36pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Hove Ex-Pat says...

When I first saw the headline I thought it was an article about the late Cyril Smith. But in fact this is just farcical. What next, all pupils made to stand in class at all times, in case they get a splinter in their nether regions.
When I first saw the headline I thought it was an article about the late Cyril Smith. But in fact this is just farcical. What next, all pupils made to stand in class at all times, in case they get a splinter in their nether regions. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 12

10:20pm Tue 15 Apr 14

motomoto says...

This situation is what you might call an "All round pain up the Ar**"......lol !
This situation is what you might call an "All round pain up the Ar**"......lol ! motomoto
  • Score: 6

1:29pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Dani78 says...

right i know what im going to be getting my son to do at schoool... thats our summer holiday sorted once he gets a splinter...
right i know what im going to be getting my son to do at schoool... thats our summer holiday sorted once he gets a splinter... Dani78
  • Score: 8

1:23am Thu 17 Apr 14

suziequest says...

The parents of this child should be ashamed of themselves. Not only have they made their son a laughing stock they have taken £2,760 from the schools funds. But of course they will gladly pay for any additional equipment the school may need like new school benches.
The parents of this child should be ashamed of themselves. Not only have they made their son a laughing stock they have taken £2,760 from the schools funds. But of course they will gladly pay for any additional equipment the school may need like new school benches. suziequest
  • Score: 6

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