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Schools: Injuries

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many school-related injuries were recorded as requiring outside medical attention in each of the last 10 years. (151161)

Employers must report to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) injuries to staff causing death or absence from work for more than three days, and injuries to members of the public causing death or for which the injured person was taken to hospital from the site of the accident. The HSE has supplied the data for the education sector set out in the following tables.

Injuries in school not reportable to the HSE which may require attention by, for example, a GP, are normally recorded in school accident books and my Department does not hold information on such injuries.

As the footnotes to the tables explain, the reported figures in later years (from 2003-04) are based on different methods of data collection and should not be taken as indicating any trends, such as an apparent steep decline in pupil injuries from 2002-03 to 2003-04. Footnote 6 reflects the HSE’s view that the increased figures for 2005-06 may be due to changes in reporting practice.

The tables from the HSE include fatalities and injuries reported during educational visits in Great Britain. School employers are not required to report overseas incidents to the HSE. My Department receives information about these, and our records indicate that 11 pupils from English schools suffered fatal injuries while on an educational visit abroad between 1996 and 2006.

One pupil was fatally wounded in an English school by another pupil in 2003. The HSE figures, which relate to incidents arising out of or in connection with work, do not include this.

All workers

Fatal injury

Non-fatal major injury

Over-3-day injury

All reported injuries

1996-97

2

948

2,495

3,445

1997-98

939

2,669

3,608

1998-99

909

2,536

3,445

1999-2000

852

2,631

3,483

2000-01

1

879

2,571

3,451

2001-02

848

2,241

3,089

2002-03

764

2,298

3,062

2003-044

1

433

754

1,188

2004-05

389

682

1,071

2005-06

1

390

753

1,144

Total

5

7,351

19,630

26,986

Injuries to members of the public1 in schools2 in England, as reported to HSE3 1996-97 to 2005-06

Occupation4

Fatal injury

Non-fatal injury

All reported injuries

1996-97

School pupil/student

4

11,508

11,512

Other public

1

383

384

1997-98

School pupil/student

1

9,447

9,448

Other public

1

370

371

1998-99

School pupil/student

3

7,132

7,135

Other public

1

378

379

1999-2000

School pupil/student

1

6,003

6,004

Other public

1

323

324

2000-01

School pupil/student

3

4,768

4,771

Other public

397

397

2001-02

School pupil/student

1,968

1,968

Other public

1

443

444

2002-03

School pupil/student

2

1,919

1,921

Other public

1

195

196

2003-045

School pupil/student

2

862

864

Other public

56

56

2004-05

School pupil/student

1

837

838

Other public

71

71

2005-066

School pupil/student

1

3,124

3,125

Other public

180

180

Grand total

24

50,364

50,388

1 Injuries are reported and defined under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995. The information available under RIDDOR 95 includes two categories of severity for members of the public: fatal injuries and non-fatal injuries that cause a person to be taken from the site of the accident to hospital.

2 Schools are identified using Standard Industrial Classification 1992 (SIC92) codes 80100 ‘Primary education’, 80200 ‘Secondary education’ and 80210 ‘General secondary education’.

3 The Health and Safety Executives Field Operations Directorate is the responsible enforcing authority for health and safety in the education sector.

4 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC 1990 and 2000). There are four occupation categories for members of the public: Member of the public; School pupil/student; Patient under medical or residential care; and Prisoner.

5 In 2003-04 there was a change to the employer database against which HSE non-fatal injury reports are assigned. This affected the spread of non-fatal injury numbers by industry. The change was particularly marked in the education sector. As a result injury figures prior to 2003-04 cannot be compared with more recent data for this industry group. In essence, they are two separate series. Until more data are available on the new basis, an accurate assessment of a long-term trend cannot be made.

6 In 2005-06 there was a change of procedures within the HSE, which may mean that some injuries previously recorded under the category of ‘public administration’ will now be recorded as ‘education’. An increase in the number of sports injuries may also reflect an increase in reporting rather than just an increase in the number of such injuries.