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School and council agree five-figure settlement over case where pupil was sexually assaulted by classmate: report

A school and local authority have conceded that there was a breach of duty, but have not admitted liability, in a case of alleged failure to prevent a sexual assault from taking place in school, it has been reported.

A five-figure settlement has been approved by the High Court.

Garden Court Chambers said the civil claim, which included a claim for damages, was brought on a behalf of the six-year-old claimant against the school and the local authority under Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

It was alleged that the failure to conduct a thorough investigation and/or put in place sufficient measures to prevent further sexual assaults from taking place was negligent and a breach of the child’s human rights.

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Garden Court said: “After the local authority dismissed the first assault as ‘normal exploration’, further assaults allegedly happened on school premises….

“This is understood to be one of the few ‘peer on peer’ abuse cases to have come before the courts in recent years.”

Gráinne Mellon of Garden Court Chambers was instructed by Andrew Lord at Leigh Day.

Lord said: “This case is yet another harrowing example of children being failed by educators and unnecessarily placed at risk of sexual assault by their peers. [The claimant] ought to have been protected from harm during the school day, with appropriate measures put in place to ensure that any foreseeable risk of harm was minimised. The choices taken by those in authority were questionable, and ultimately, they have led to [the claimant] receiving compensation for the assault which he endured.”

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