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Claim Dismissed in School PE Accident Case: DS v Halton Borough Council - Peter Wake, Weightmans LLP

14/08/18. In a decision which will be widely welcomed by schools, Liverpool County Court has found that a physical education activity during which the claimant pupil was injured was reasonably safe and adequately supervised, hence no liability could attach to the local authority.

On 4 February 2016 the claimant, who was then aged 7, was participating in a PE lesson at school with 14 classmates. The pupils were playing a game of back-to-back tag which involved each pupil linking arms with a partner and moving together. Unfortunately, the claimant fell during the course of the game and suffered injuries to his mouth and teeth. The basis of the claimant’s case was that the activity was inherently dangerous because the children’s arms were restrained and that there was inadequate supervision of the lesson. The defendant local authority denied liability on the basis that the game was an established activity that had been used at the school for a number of years without incident. The pupils enjoyed it and it was an effective group activity that was appropriately planned and was supervised by two qualified teachers.

The claim was dismissed. The judge was...

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