0370 270 6000

Schools delay of hammer attack inquiry was unacceptable, say the courts - what knock on effect will this have?

23 October 2009

Insurers advised the Ridgeway School in Wroughton against co-operating with Swindon Local Safeguarding Children Board in carrying out a serious case review into the attack on student Henry Webster in 2007.  Their reasoning? They thought it would effect their liability.

The judge said the purpose of statutory case reviews was to learn serious lessons to prevent similar incidents - the review was eventually completed but some months after the attack and was found to be unsatisfactory.  The judge has today ordered it be carried out again.

Schools have to weigh up their obligations to both insurers and the safeguarding board because they must balance any potential liability in a negligence claim against their pervasive safeguarding obligations.  It begs the question, how should schools react when their insurers start 'advising' how and when investigations should be carried out?

Related opinions

60 seconds with… Emma Hughes

With 19 HR experts now supporting over 500 schools and trusts across the country, in this edition of 60 seconds we sit down with Emma Hughes, who leads the team, to discuss what this significant milestone means to her.

View blog

Fines for unsafe removal of asbestos in schools

In order to reduce the risk of potential breaches, schools should follow this Health and Safety Executive guidance.

View blog

Asbestos: Still the UK’s number one occupational killer

A ResPublica report highlighted that asbestos continues to be the UK’s number one occupational killer, with nurses and teachers 3 to 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general UK population. The House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee is investigating how the HSE manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.

View blog

Head of Education, Mark Blois celebrates 25 years of being an education lawyer

Mark Blois, Browne Jacobson’s national Head of Education, is marking a notable anniversary, an incredible 25 years as an education lawyer.

View blog

Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

View profile

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up