Page last updated at 18:35 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Five school staff suspended over Stockport asthma death

Sam Linton (Pic: Souter PR)
Sam Linton died after having an asthma attack at school

Five members of staff have been suspended at a school after an 11-year-old boy suffered a fatal asthma attack.

An inquest into Sam Linton's death last week decided neglect at Offerton High School, in Stockport, "significantly contributed" to his death.

It heard how Sam was made to sit in a corridor at the school as he struggled to breathe on 4 December 2007.

Stockport Council said five people were suspended but did not say if they were teachers or other staff members.

The inquest on 17 March heard how valuable time had been lost as Sam was made to sit in the corridor.

Pupils' medical needs

The boy died a few hours later in hospital.

The inquest ruled Sam's death was significantly contributed to by neglect on an "individual and systemic level".

Karen and Paul Linton say the council and school response is 'too little, too late'

Sam's parents - Karen and Paul - said the council's actions had come too late.

"I just thought it was too little, too late to be honest with you," Mr Linton said.

"If those members of staff weren't up to the job two years and three months ago, why were they still in it then?"

A joint statement from Stockport Council and Offerton School said that immediately after Sam's death, governors reviewed the way children with asthma and other medical conditions were handled.

It added that systems and practices at the school had since been changed.

It said when an independent management review finished in 2009 and its recommendations were accepted by the Local Safeguarding Children's Board and action plans were put in place.

The council said progress had been made on these and matters raised during the inquest would also be addressed.

'Wholly avoidable'

It said it would provide updated guidance to schools on how to deal with pupils with medical conditions.

Jonathan Betts, who is representing the Linton family, said the council's conduct was an "insult" and inadequate.

"Sam's family don't want incomplete executive summaries or woefully inadequate interim management reports prepared far too late after Sam's death.

"They just want action to avoid this happening again. More than two years on from his wholly avoidable death, we appear no closer to that action."

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Wigan Evening Post School suspensions 'too little, too late' - 8 hrs ago
The Independent Staff suspended after ignoring asthma attack that killed boy aged 11 - 18 hrs ago
Chichester Observer Five staff suspended over pupil's asthma death - 22 hrs ago
Capital Radio Mother Of Asthma Death Boy Tells Of Horror - 24 hrs ago
Stockport Express School head and staff suspended over asthma tragedy - 29 hrs ago

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