Compensation Culture Of School Accident Pay Outs Once Again Make Headline News

A recent BBC article published figures that reveal an apparent doubling in school compensation payouts from £1.65m in 2014 to £3.45m in 2016.

The article was headlined ‘School compensation payouts include blindfold mishap and whiteboard accident. However, ‘Hard facts bust the myth of a ‘compensation culture’ of school accident payouts’ is what the headline should have read!

“The attempt of this piece of journalism was to raise alarm at an apparent doubling of payouts from English schools,” said our friend and colleague Tim Gill in his Rethinking Childhood blog.  “However, this major news story on the BBC website uses false comparisons and basic errors to create a highly misleading picture about the sums paid out for accident claims in schools. Far from revealing a ‘claims culture’, the figures actually show that payouts make up a tiny proportion of education budgets, and are not on the rise.”

Read the full blog HERE.

So what morals can be taken from this story?

Firstly there simply is not an epidemic of claims for school accidents. On any reasonable measure, the actual level of payouts is not a major problem. The fear of claims may well be a problem. But it is partly fuelled, I would suggest, by exactly the kind of media scaremongering shown in this BBC piece.

Secondly, the myth of the compensation culture is strong. So strong that supposedly respected news agencies are apparently willing to manipulate their coverage to fit it, even when it flies in the face of their own facts.”

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