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Kids will be kids: What is the extent of the duty owed by schools to their pupils? - Lauren Seagart, Queen Square Chambers

12/10/18. How far does the duty of care owed by schools to pupils extend? We were all familiar with the shouts of ‘WALK! Don’t run’ from teachers as we careered around school corridors. But can failure to echo this stern warning amount to a breach of duty?

The High Court turned its mind to the issue in Pook v Rossall School (2018) EWHC 522 (QB). The claimant was a pupil at the defendant’s school. She was about to undertake her mandatory exercise session for the week. The enjoyable activity of that day was hockey on the Astroturf pitches. The claimant changed into her PE kit and made her way to the hockey pitch. It was her case that she was not only permitted to run, but actively encouraged to do so. In her desperate attempt to reach the pitch quickly the claimant deviated from the path and slipped on muddy patch of grass. This caused her to slip and fall backwards, striking her elbow on the kerb.

The claim was dismissed at first instance on the basis that the defendant had not been negligent in allowing pupils to run. The claimant appealed...

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