An educational trust has been fined £80,000 after 15 young children and their teacher were injured when their classroom ceiling collapsed during a lesson. 

Year 3 pupils, aged seven to eight, were rushed to hospital after the incident with injuries including fractures, cuts and concussion. 

An investigation found that the collapse was caused by tables and chairs which were stored in an attic which was not designed to hold weight. 

The incident took place at around 9.30am on November 15, 2021, at Rosemead Preparatory School in Dulwich. 

Emergency services rushed to the scene on Thurlow Park Road and the teacher and several pupils were taken to hospital. 

There were 16 pupils but one child avoided injury as they were by the doorway when the collapse happened. 

News Shopper: Chairs which fell through the ceilingChairs which fell through the ceiling (Image: HSE)

Tables and chairs stored in the attic above the classroom were among the debris which fell through and injured pupils. 

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that these items were stored in an unsuitable area in the attic which was not designed to be load bearing. 

Thurlow Educational Trust failed to assess whether the area was an appropriate place to store items, HSE found. 

The trust, based on Thurlow Park Road, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. 

At Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (August 29) it was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £7,116.31 in costs. 

HSE inspector Samuel Brown said: “This incident has resulted in injuries to multiple young children due to the failings of the school to ensure that chairs and tables were safely stored above their classroom.  

“Schools should be a place where children can come to learn from teachers and one another without having to worry about their safety.  

“Fortunately, this incident did not cause any more serious injuries, but the mental and emotional impact of such an event should not be understated.  

“Employers need to take action to ensure that building stability and solidity problems are not caused through overloading areas not designed to bear weight. As proven, the failure to do so can have severe consequences.”