Education trust is fined £80,000 after classroom ceiling collapsed onto 15 Year 3 children and their teacher at private school
- The children and their teacher were injured when the attic ceiling collapsed
An education trust has been fined £80,000 after a classroom ceiling collapsed onto 15 Year 3 children and their children at a private school.
The pupils, aged between seven and eight, were were in a lesson at Rosemead Preparatory School in Dulwich, south London when the ceiling collapsed.
The youngsters and their teachers were injured when tables and chairs fell onto them from the attic above – some broke bones while others were left concussed or covered in cuts.
Emergency services raced to the school on Thurlow Park Road after the collapse on the morning of November 15 2021. The teacher and several pupils were taken to hospital.
The Thurlow Education Trust, which runs the private school which charges £5,606 a term, pleaded guilty today for breaching parts of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The Year 3 pupils and their teacher had been in a lesson at Rosemead Preparatory School in Dulwich, south London when the ceiling collapsed
The youngsters and their teachers were injured when tables and chairs fell onto them from the attic above
Emergency services raced to the school on Thurlow Park Road after the collapse on the morning of November 15 2021
Rosemead Preparatory School and Nursery teaches children between the ages of two-and-a-half and 11.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found items, such as desks and chairs, were being stored in an area in the attic which was not designed to be load bearing and led to the ceiling collapsing.
The HSE investigation also found the trust had failed to undertake any structural or load bearing capability assessments of the area being used to store the items, and it had also failed to assess whether the area was appropriate to be used for the storage.
The sections of the act broken included Section 2(1) and Section 3(1).
The Thurlow Educational Trust was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £7,116.31 in costs at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 29.
HSE inspector Samuel Brown said: ‘This incident has resulted in injuries to multiple young children due to the failings of the school to ensure that chairs and tables were safely stored above their classroom.
‘Schools should be a place where children can come to learn from teachers and one another without having to worry about their safety.
‘Fortunately, this incident did not cause any more serious injuries, but the mental and emotional impact of such an event should not be understated.
‘Employers need to take action to ensure that building stability and solidity problems are not caused through overloading areas not designed to bear weight. As proven, the failure to do so can have severe consequences.’
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