Staffordshire Councils have paid out £2.2m in compensation payments to schools following accidents and pranks over the last three years.
Claims range from slips, trips, and falls to incidents such as fire extinguishers being let off and causing distress.
Most of the claims affect three councils in the Staffordshire area – Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire County Council, and Cheshire East Council.
Over the three years, 34 successful compensation claims were made against Stoke-on-Trent City Council who paid a total of £744,367 in damages. Twenty-nine claims against the council were unsuccessful.
Of all the claims made against the council the biggest payout was for a woman who slipped on a carpet tile and broke her ankle. She was awarded £260,059 compensation. Two people claimed £100,000 after slipping on ice.
A total of £890,880 was paid out by Staffordshire County Council in compensation to 52 pupils and 36 employees, while Cheshire East Council paid 36 claimants £590,645.
Other successful personal injury claims made against the councils include £23,649 paid to a pupil whose foot was run over by a bus, a teaching assistant whose back injury was aggravated by a faulty chair, and a £10,500 award paid to a claimant who had the contents of a fire extinguisher discharged in their face.
One councillor said: “We work closely with our schools to make sure they’re well maintained and so we expect them to be safe and secure for staff and students.”
Another councillor said: “We take all such claims very seriously and they are investigated thoroughly by our insurers.
“We only pay out when we are legally liable.”
A spokeswoman for Cheshire Council, which paid £113,624 in compensation for one claim said: “We have more than 150 schools and accidents do happen. The amount represents £200,000 a year in payouts and costs and one complicated personal injury claim, plus legal costs, could amount to more than £200,000.”
A representative of the Staffordshire branch of the National Union of Teachers said: “If compensation has been paid there must have been some negligence.”