SCHOOL staff in Cumbria have received more than £300,000 in compensation in the last ten years as a result of injuries at work.

Cumbria County Council has paid out compensation to staff following assaults by pupils, slips and falls and asbestos exposure.

In 2018/19, one school worker received more than £200,000 following absestos exposure.

The claim, which was made in 2006, followed exposure to the toxic material several years before.

Other payouts include £16,500 for a worker injured while lifting an object and £26,000 awarded last year for a slip or fall.

In total, 29 claims have been settled by the authority since 2012.

Chris Brooksbank, the secretary of Cumbria's National Education Union branch, said: "We've had school staff die after asbestos exposure.

"Like in industry asbestos is used - it's in the majority of schools in cumbria.

"It's been encapsulated so it should be safe

"People would stick pins in asbestos boards in classrooms - unfortunately we know it kills people.

"It's a national issue."

He said the county council did well to manage health and safety risks for teachers in schools.

A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said: “In Cumbria, responsibility for health and safety in Local Authority maintained schools is delegated to Governing Bodies. To support this, schools can access a wide variety of advice and guidance provided by the council’s health and safety team as well as other key council services including Public Health, Legal Services, Learning Improvement and Property.

"To monitor schools’ compliance with health and safety management requirements the county council conducts a rolling programme of Health and Safety Management Audits, with the aim being to audit schools every three years.

“For maintained schools in relation to asbestos, the county council provides guidance and for regular asbestos management surveys to be undertaken. These provide schools with an asbestos management action plan and it is schools’ responsibility to visually monitor the condition of any asbestos containing materials in their buildings, report damage and defects and take any action required to remedy defects. Again this is monitored via the health and safety audit programme.

“For academies, voluntary aided, foundation and independent schools, the council has no employer responsibility for health and safety.”