Our school is the working environment for many groups of individuals and plays host to many others. It is important, therefore, that a safe environment is established in which children and adults can work together with confidence. It is the responsibility of the senior management team and governing body to ensure this is the case.
In order to promote this we must all take responsibility for being vigilant and be aware of possible risks. Children and adults should be encouraged to keep themselves and one another safe and share any concerns they may have swiftly and appropriately.
We must also, however, be aware of the need to keep a balance between security and safety and the maintenance of a comfortable, welcoming learning environment. This policy aims to address and provide guidance on this balance, identifying individual and group responsibilities.
New members of staff receive health and safety information as part of the induction policy.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires governors and employees, according to their particular roles, to take the initiative on certain matters. The following list is a guide to the particular responsibilities that individuals have.
Those responsible for others should ensure that:
Regular visitors and other users of the school will be required to observe the safety rules of the school. The Head teacher will ensure that visitors are informed of health and safety matters which may affect them during their visit.
Parents helping out in school will be made aware of the health and safety arrangements by the teacher who they are working with.
All serious accidents that occur on the site should be recorded on a Local Authority recommended accident form and the details forwarded immediately or as soon as is possible. All minor accidents should be reported in the minor accident book. Where necessary, parents/ guardians or other persons should be notified of the accident.
If the accident is serious, senior management should be informed immediately and action taken to ensure the location of the accident is still safe to use.
Our school has opted into the Corporate Procurement service Package. The testing of portable appliances is arranged by the site manager as part of statutory testing. Registers are kept in the office itemising each appliance and details of tests carried out. Electrical items received or purchased by the school are recorded in the register by the Bursar or Stock Holder. All defective items are removed or repaired.
Staff should be vigilant for:
Pupils in years 5/6 are allowed to connect/ disconnect electrical equipment (under supervision),
Our school is alert to the need to limit the use of any hazardous substance and use alternative substances where possible. A file is kept in the site manager’s office which includes all cleaning materials. All COSHH materials have a data sheet which is kept in the site manager’s secure box.
Staff are reminded that they should only use approved equipment to put up displays and access higher level shelving. Consideration should be given to the appropriate clothing and footwear necessary. All possible risks assessed.
Risk assessments must be completed whenever there is the possibility that a hazard or danger might be encountered as part of a school activity. A list of risk assessments and pro formas are kept in the school office. These are reviewed annually.
Staff should inform senior management if they notice that any risk assessment appears dated or does not deal with the potential risks encountered. It is important to note that expectant mothers should be risk assessed and every off-site visit should be risk assessed.
All members of staff should be aware of manual handling activities involved in their day-to-day activities i.e. the movement of bundles of paper, the reorganisation of classroom furniture, the moving of dinner tables, the carrying of books, the movement of audio/ visual equipment and musical equipment.
Children should be taught how to safely move P.E. equipment. They should not be required to move heavy objects and should only move awkward objects with appropriate supervision.
Staff are reminded about correct posture when lifting and carrying equipment. All staff should alert senior members of staff if they feel that an action they are involved with is having an affect on their physical health and well-being.
Off-site educational visits are an important part of school life. Children benefit enormously from the opportunity to experience residentials and ‘days out’ at selected venues. However, it is crucial that these visits are prepared well in advance, that risk-assessments are completed and that parents, LA and school staff are involved in the preparation.
Our school has a trained Educational Visits Co-ordinator who is known to staff. She will help support the planning process of a school visit and will give advise where needed. Necessary arrangements, information and preparation are to be completed by the line manager responsible for the children experiencing the visit.
Pre-site visits are always recommended in order that staff can feel sure about potential risks involved and prepare alternative arrangements in the case of inclement weather. Staff should also consult with colleagues who have previous experience of the venue or children involved.
All residential visits need approval from the LA and governing body.
Further details are included in our ‘educational visits policy’.
We accept students who are training to become teachers and teaching assistants. In order to make sure that their experience is beneficial it is important to:
- ensure an appropriate match between the student and the activity
- ensure appropriate supervision at all times
Teaching students are co-ordinated by the Assistant Head teacher. Their school based mentor and class teacher are responsible for ensuring their induction and mentoring them whilst on site. Teaching assistant students are co-ordinated by a qualified teaching assistant who ensures their induction. Day to day management lies with the teachers and teaching assistants in the placement year groups.
The PE equipment is inspected annually. The PE co-ordinator is responsible for overseeing this inspection and for keeping a regular check of whether equipment is fit for purpose. Any significant findings must be reported to the site manager.
The PE policy outlines procedures for safe use of equipment. Careful consideration should be given to the use of apparatus. Staff should be particularly alert to the use of equipment with children with behavioural needs or disabilities. It may be necessary for additional TA support to be given where there are concerns. Risk assessments are carried out for all areas used for P.E.
All contractors and visitors entering the premises are required to sign in and wear a visitors’ badge. They are alerted to important health and safety information. In addition, contractors are advised about the location of asbestos and asked to sign to acknowledge that they have received this information.
An asbestos register is available and shown to contractors prior to work beginning. This should be signed to confirm. An asbestos risk assessment is available. Further information is contained in the LA asbestos policy.
Fire drills are held termly and will on occasion include:
- the blocking of an exit
- the removal of a child to test effectiveness of register checks
- lunchtime drills
Head teacher/ deputy head teacher
Supervision of evacuation
Evaluation of procedures
Training and guidance
Administration assistant/ member of office staff
Calling the fire brigade
Teachers (teaching assistant/ mid-day supervisor)
Take absence books outside
During the first day of school all class teachers should explain to children what the procedure is should the fire bell sound. This should include information about:
Fire exit to be used – is the nearest available exit. Please also make note of alternative exits should this one be blocked.
Assembly point – is on the front playground standing in registration groups. Where children have been in sets or working in other groups, they should return to their registration group for roll call.
Action on discovering a fire – children inform someone immediately and should never try to put a fire out themselves.
Keeping gangways clear – children should be reminded about hanging coats and bags out of the way
Reporting – registers will be taken out on to the playground by office staff and handed over to class teachers. Once the register has been checked teachers should let the head teacher know that the class are all present.
The same procedure will be used in the event of any other emergency where evacuation of the school building is needed. For further information see ‘Emergency procedure’ document. This also provides information about the notification of staff, parents and LA in the event of school closure.
Exits and routes to remain unobstructed
Exit doors unlocked
Main fire panel working
Electrical equipment disconnected or switched off
Exit and windows adequately secured
All fire doors closed
Test fire alarm systems and record in caretaker’s log
Test one alarm each week on a rota
Check extinguishers are in the correct place
Check emergency lighting and record in log
Fire drill – on occasions to include the blocking of an exit, removal of a child and lunchtime evacuation Fire notices are contained in each room.
Check emergency lighting and record in log
Test fire alarm system
Check door closers all in order
Annual inspection of fire extinguishers
Check emergency lighting and record in log
The LA, as a responsible employer, does not expect any employee to go into a dangerous situation for which he/ she is not prepared. If you think you may be exposing yourself to danger in entering a building or site you should not do so.
If police are attending the incident then wait for the police to arrive before entering the site.
If the police are not attending:
If you are working alone in the building or in an isolated situation, take the following precautions:
Where a person is not immediately recognised as having legitimate reason to be on the school grounds they should be politely asked if they need any help. Assuming the person seems to have a valid reason they should be directed towards the office where they will be asked to sign in and out and be given a visitor’s badge.
If it emerges that the person has no right to be on school premises then
If an intruder refuses to leave becomes abusive or seems to present a threat to the safety of others the police should be called without delay.
If you feel in anyway threatened do not approach but find a safe place and call the police. Don’t try to physically remove trespassers from the site or engage in arguments with them. Make your point, withdraw and call the police.
Remember personal safety is far more important than the protection of property.
Make sure any meeting with any adult whom you suspect may turn abusive is conducted in a room that can easily be monitored and with members of staff within easy reach. It may be appropriate to request that an additional member of staff meets with the parent depending upon circumstances.
Should a parent/ adult become abusive they should be asked to leave the premises in a calm and non-threatening way. It might be appropriate for a member of staff to alert the police should the adult refuse to leave or if their behaviour is causing concern in any way.
If any incident has occurred an incident form should be completed and it may be necessary to inform the governors and/ or LA for further action to be taken. Make sure you attend to your own emotional needs following any incident and seek help and support if necessary. In the case of an employee support should be offered following an incident.
As a general rule, the police should be called to deal with any incident believed to involve a weapon. There may be exceptions where the circumstances appear to be wholly innocent and the matter can be dealt with on a disciplinary basis. If in any doubt, call the police.
In exceptional circumstances staff may decide that they need to take action before the police arrive. Where possible, staff should not confront a pupil in the presence of other pupils. Preferably two or more members of staff should divert the pupil or person to a place where no other pupils are present.
Use an incident form to report all incidents, however minor, including all alarm responses and all trespass incidents. In addition, any occurrence where individuals are, or feel threatened must be reported to the police and the LA, as it is a serious matter. Use the official accident report form for this purpose and return it to the LA immediately.
Approved and accepted by governors September 2009. Reviewed and accepted by governors September 2011.