THE county council has paid out more than £28,000 to four pupils in claims of assaults by bullies.

One involved £9,000 for facial injuries, another £8,800 for a broken arm and a third £11,000 for crushed hand.

Cabinet member for schools Susie Charles said: “We take bullying very seriously and the county council works closely with schools to help them both prevent and deal with it.

“Thankfully, incidents in which pupils are injured by other pupils are few and far between, but in a county with over 630 schools and about 190,000 school-age children, it is inevitable that there will be some incidents.

“When the county council receives a claim for compensation it has to make a decision regarding its liability, and defend or settle the case as appropriate. This may lead to a compensation payment being made.”

Blackburn with Darwen council has made no payouts for bullying injuries in recent years and has none pending.