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 firstname.lastname@example.org.