MORE than £134,000 has been paid out by Bury Council to people injured in schools in the past five years, new figures have revealed.

The cash was split between 20 pupils, staff or visitors who suffered slips, trips or other injuries between May, 2009, and May this year.

The Bury Times obtained the figures after Eccles-based Law Advisory Service (LAS) investigated the issue earlier this year.

LAS discovered the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities had paid out a total of £1.5 million in compensation since May, 2009.

After using the Freedom of Information Act, the biggest single payout in the borough was found to be a sum of £30,013 in the 2012/13 academic year when a pupil tripped and injured their teeth.

In the same year, a member of staff was handed £17,525 after a slip that caused multiple injuries and, a year earlier, another pupil suffered a fracture after a trip and was paid £15,500.

Three of the payouts were for school visitors, who were paid a total of just more than £10,000 for suffering leg and back problems in separate incidents.

All but one of the 20 payments were out-of-court settlements.

The council declined to say where the incidents happened.

Bury Conservatives leader, Cllr Ian Gartside, said: “The council and all school governing bodies need to ensure that the necessary health and safety procedures are in place. Teachers, support staff, parents and pupils themselves need to be as vigilant as possible to help avoid accidents occurring.”

Bury Liberal Democrats leader, Cllr Tim Pickstone, said: “Nobody would want to deny compensation for people who have suffered a genuine accident, but £134,000 of taxpayers’ money in five years is a lot. I’d want to see what more the council can do to ensure proper measures are in place to ensure accidents happen less.”

A Bury Council spokesman said: “Schools take health and safety very seriously and we provide them with a very high-quality advice and support service.”

The council’s child-ren’s representative Cllr Gill Campbell was unavailable for com-ment.