Kent

The Judd School fined £10,000 after boy's athletics injury

Judd School playing field Image copyright HSE
Image caption The accident happened while the boy was standing on the edge of the shot put landing zone

A school has been fined £10,000 after a 14-year-old boy suffered life threatening injuries when he was hit on the head with a shot during a lesson.

The child needed emergency brain surgery after the accident during an athletics session at The Judd School in Tonbridge, Kent, on 20 June.

He was in hospital for nearly a month before returning to school and has a permanent indentation on his skull.

The school said it deeply regretted the incident.

'Horrifying incident'

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Sevenoaks magistrates the boys' grammar school had not observed its own risk assessment measures or guidance on multi-event PE lessons.

The court heard the boy had left a triple jump area and was standing on the edge of the shot put landing zone when he was hit on the back of his head by the sphere.

The 24 boys in the lesson were taking part in hurdles, long jump, triple jump, javelin, discus and shot put.

The school's inclusion of six sports, with three throwing events, significantly increased the risks to pupils, as did the proximity of the triple jump pit to the shot put landing zone, the HSE said.

Inspector Kevin Golding said the school put pupils at serious risk.

"It was a horrifying incident for the boy and his family and, of course, the rest of the pupils and the school itself," he said.

Image caption The Judd School did not observe its own risk assessment measures, the court was told

The school, which admitted breaching health and safety legislation, also ordered to pay £1,375 costs.

"We have re-examined all our safety procedures in PE and are doing the same across the whole school," it said in a statement.

"We have also shared the lessons from this incident with other secondary schools.

"We are as confident as we can be that a similar accident will not happen again in future."

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