Parents slam school after son’s horror injury in playground kickabout

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The parents of a teen who suffered “life-changing” injuries while playing football on his school’s playground believe there was not enough being done to prevent what happened.

Reece Meyer had been enjoying a kickabout with his friends when he fell and broke his leg in two places.

The 16-year-old’s parents, Kevin Meyer and Jenna Taylor, say it is the second time he has seriously injured himself playing football with fellow pupils.

Now the couple has claimed The Kings CE Academy in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, is not taking enough measures to prevent such accidents, reports StokeonTrentLive.

On the first occasion, Reece, then 14-years-old, had fallen and injured his face, breaking two teeth, the parents claim.

Then on January 17, another incident occurred, and this time Reece suffered what his parents described as “life-changing” injuries after fracturing his fibula and tibia.

This has left football-mad Reece worried that he will struggle to find work in the future.

While his family acknowledges that accidents happen, they do not believe proper risk assessments have been carried out.

Reece had led an active life, playing football for his local team since he was six as well as the school team.

While official games required all players to wear shin pads, no such rules applied during break time.

The children were also playing on tarmac instead of on Astroturf pitches, the parents said.

Jenna, 35, said: “The first accident he broke his teeth at the front.

“Since then they’ve got new facilities, but they’re playing football on the tarmac at dinner time instead of the Astroturf.

“I don’t understand how risk assessments have said that it’s safe to play football there.

“How can it be safe knowing that a child has smashed his face there already?

“Now he’s had a second injury. They don’t want to take any responsibility.”

Kevin, 40, claimed  safety improvements had not been made between the two accidents.

He said: “It’s not a scuffed elbow, it’s life-changing injuries.

“The first time we got a call from the school and they said can you run up and get Reece, he’s had a little bit of a bump on his face.

“We walked around and it looked he’d done 12 rounds with Mike Tyson.

“They haven’t even apologised. The second time he was on the playground, there’s about 30 or 40 lads all playing football and he stood on the ball and fell.

“We’re just struggling. We don’t know where we’re at with it.

“He’s absolutely destroyed, he’s played football since he was six years old for Kidsgrove Athletic. He doesn’t know what to do. He thinks he’s going to have to go on the dole. It’s heart-breaking.

“I would just like them to say that he was in our care. Once he’s in their care your child should be looked after.”

Reece said he fears he will not be able to take up an apprenticeship because of his injuries.

He said: “At lunch we got the football from the reception and all went outside. I went for a challenge and next thing I knew I was on the floor with a snapped leg.

“I was in shock. I couldn’t remember part of it after. I thought I was dreaming until I realised I was in hospital.

“I’ve been very sick, temperatures in the night and really aching legs.

“I’m struggling to get around, I’m stuck in bed until my mum can help me on my crutches.

“I always go out and play football. I’m just worried about apprenticeships at the moment, because I can’t walk. I wanted to do practical stuff. I’m not sure how that’s going to go from now on.

“Me and my mum have been looking at apprenticeships. I’ve tried for some already, I’m looking at gas companies, National Grid, Severn Trent at the moment.”

A spokesman for the Three Spires Trust, which runs the school, said: “Whilst you will appreciate that we cannot comment on any incident or pupil specifically, we can assure you that the safety and well-being of our pupils is paramount.

“We take health and safety very seriously and deal with any incidents and concerns in line with our policies and procedures.”

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