Education, Education, Education!

By Jeremy Clayton

A Tony Blair priority from many years ago when he was Prime Minister was a fundamental requirement/desire of all us parents watching our children grow and mature. We choose primary and secondary education carefully, we probably ‘guide’ our children as to which University (although of course, they think it is solely their decision!) and we all spend countless hours worrying and or paying for our children’s education.

The question we ask now is ‘what could possibly go wrong?’

My attention was grabbed by a recent story in the news, which encouraged me to scribble down some thoughts on this particular issue. Simply, Mr Siddiqui sued Oxford University claiming the ‘appallingly bad’ and ‘boring’ teaching cost him a first class degree! Please read more:

Now, I’m not one to comment on the prospects of his case but if he had been successful, the floodgates would have opened. As it happens, the claim was thrown out and the judge suggested it was his own fault and he should ‘lower his expectations’.  Whilst, the education system will breathe a huge sigh of relief, what we do know is that the matter went to High Court and I am certain that there will have been a very large legal bill which may have to have been met by the University.

Parents have a number of concerns to cope with when sending their ‘darlings’ off to be educated, will little Johnny be an academic failure owing to bad teaching? Will Jane be bullied and suffer stress related illnesses owing to this or could Johnny or Jane have a serious accident whilst playing rugby, cricket, netball, tennis or on one of the school outings/trips?

Without wishing to depress all parents out there, the following is a list of things that have or does happen where someone or some institution has faced or is facing a law suit:

  • School shootings
  • Child kidnappings
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Sexual harassment claims
  • Bullying face to face or on social media
  • Assault charges against teachers
  • Serious injuries in school sports or trips
  • Failure to provide an acceptable standard of education

So, as an Insurance Broker who had a successful education (there is no need to ‘sniff’ at an O Level in Woodwork!), why am I writing this piece? Well, many of you will know that I have been trying to change the Kenyan insurance market and develop new products that haven’t been seen locally. The whole concept has been to provide additional protection to clients of JW Seagon Group against new risks that are coming or will soon come to the region.

With this in mind, our bespoke educational institution policy called Academic Options is a policy that derives from the UK market and provides cover against all the above incidents. Schools, colleges and universities are being sued left right and centre as are local councils and just as worrying Chairpersons, Governors, PTA members, volunteers and anyone else that has had anything to do with Johnny and Jane’s education! Local Liability policies may not protect you properly – Academic Options will! Whether the case is won or lost, the legal costs alone can be extremely damaging.