Inadequate supervision of secondary school pupils


Cornwall County Council has been deemed negligent for personal injuries to a school pupil due to inadequate supervision during the lunch breach.

A 14 year old child was hit in the eye by a rock when he was on the school field during his lunch break. During the lunch break there had been only 1 dinner lady on duty to supervise 300 children. She commented that she was paying more attention to years 7 and 8 and only gave years 9 and 10 an occasional glance.

The pupils are aware that throwing rocks is prohibited but commented that if they had known a supervisor was watching more closely they would have been less likely to break the rules.

When the case initially went to trial the Judge ruled that the children had been properly supervised. The Council's argument had been that regardless of how many supervisors had been present this would not have deterred the pupils from throwing rocks/stones.

However when the case was appealed the judge ruled in favour of the child who was injured based on pupils' testimonies that they would not have thrown stones if they had been adequately supervised thus overruling the original decision.

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