Health and Safety at Buckholme Towers School (EYFS included)

PART 1 STATEMENT OF POLICY AND INTENT

1.     The Proprietors are fully aware of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and other Health and Safety legislation relevant to the School’s operation. In order to meet these responsibilities, they consider that one of their primary objectives is the achievement and maintenance of a high standard of Health and Safety within the School.

2.     They also recognise and accept their responsibility to provide a healthy and safe working environment for all the employees and pupils of Buckholme Towers School. They will take all reasonable and practicable steps to fulfil this responsibility and will pay particular attention to meeting the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and all relevant statutory provisions.

3.     They require management at all levels to display a positive attitude toward Health and Safety and they require teachers and employees at all levels to pursue their objectives in respect of Health and Safety. Accident prevention is essential for the smooth and efficient running of the School requiring full co-operation between all concerned.

a) The Headteacher, in his position as designated Health and Safety Officer, will provide a positive lead in organising Health and Safety activities, using the best available knowledge and methods and whatever resources are necessary to achieve the required standards.

b) Staff are under a legal obligation to co-operate fully in Health and Safety matters by ensuring that all areas are safe for themselves and others. They are also required to act in a safe way themselves, use protective equipment provided, follow the Health and Safety Rules, Regulations and Requirements and report any hazardous conditions to the Headteacher.

c) The Headteacher will ensure that a suitable organisation is set up to ensure that the Health and Safety requirements are met.

1.     The objective of the Health and Safety Policy is to minimise risks to Health and Safety of the Staff and others affected by the School’s activities, by identifying and then controlling hazards.

2.     The Headteacher, will review this policy statement annually, and update, modify or amend it as necessary to the health, safety and welfare of staff and pupils.

 

OFF SITE ACTIVITIES

1.     Preparation for off site activities (e.g. field trips, visits etc), the following preparation will be observed:

a. Careful planning of trip with prior visit made by the organiser if necessary.

b. Adequate evaluation of all Health and Safety factors involved. Risk assessments of every aspect and all activities of the trip must be carried out prior to departure.

c. Adequate notice given to parents of all facets of the trip and written permission obtained for a pupil to go on the trip.

 

Supervision

In assessing supervision needs, relevant considerations will include:

a. The age of the pupils and the gender mix of the group.

b. Their previous experience away from home or school.

c. Their general capabilities, maturity and discipline.

d. Their previous experience and training in specific activities included in the trip.

e. The experience of accompanying staff.

f. The location and travel arrangements.

There may be other factors to consider, e.g., there may be pupils with special educational or medical needs. Activities may include sports or hazardous activities, for which there will need to be appropriate supervision.

Supervising Ratios

The DfE recommends that as a general guide for local trips and excursions the supervising ratios should be:

a. One adult for every six pupils in school years one to three.

b. One adult for every ten to fifteen pupils in school years four to six.

c. One adult for every four pupils in school years Nursery and Reception.

Planning

For all off site activities the following points will be taken into consideration:

a. Any hazardous pursuits that are to be undertaken and any safety or additional insurance requirements.

b. The expertise of Staff accompanying the trip.

c. Accident and Emergency procedures.

d. Contact person who knows the itinerary and is able to alert the Authorities in the event of failure to make a pre arranged contact.

Activity Centres

Where activity centres are used by the School, The Activity Centres (Young Persons’ Safety) Act 1995 and The Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 1996 will be taken into account. DfE Circular 22/94 ‘Safety in Outdoor Activity Centres’ describes the risk assessment process in relation to outdoor activity centres but has a general relevance to all visits out of school.

The following sections outline specific responsibilities and arrangements, but it is emphasised that only with the co-operation and team work of everyone involved in the school, can the Health and Safety objectives be achieved.

Part 2 - Specific Responsibilities

The Safety Officer is responsible through the Headmaster to the Proprietors for the overall safety policy and its effective implementation and monitoring.

The Safety Officer has specific responsibilities, as follows:-

ensuring that all equipment and substances necessary for the work of the school are maintained in compliance with current regulations and standards;

  • ensuring that appropriate notices are displayed adjacent to any specific hazards;
  • ensuring that all staff are conversant with the School’s Health and Safety Policy and Arrangements;
  • ensuring that appropriate instructions and guidelines relating to any aspect of their activities are issued to the staff concerned, and that the latter are aware of the relevant contents;
  • to be available to any member of staff to discuss and resolve any particular health and safety problems;
  • reporting, recording and investigating any accidents, and taking all reasonable steps to prevent recurrences;
  • ensuring that all visitors are informed of any hazards on site of which they may be unaware;
  • ensuring that consideration is given to the possibility of maintenance work affecting pupils and staff;
  • ensuring that effective arrangements are in place to facilitate ready evacuation of the School’s buildings in case of fire or other emergency, and that fire fighting equipment is available and maintained.

In addition, the Headteacher is charged with the specific responsibility of overseeing the School’s Health and Safety arrangements.

Part 3 - Specific Arrangements

All members of both teaching and non-teaching staff are required to assist the Safety Officer as necessary in order for him/her to fulfil his/her safety responsibilities. Staff are also responsible for ensuring that the School’s Safety Policy is implemented and are required to continually adapt safety procedures, ensuring maximum safety for all. A Health and Safety Record is kept in the school office.

Communications

The contents of the policy will be brought to the attention of all members of staff, and copies will be distributed and displayed on staff notice boards.

Health and Safety information is communicated to all members of staff on joining the school and via:

  • staff notice boards;
  • staff meetings;
  • in-service training.

Accidents

Should an accident occur, the relevant member of staff should assess its seriousness and inform the Safety Officer. The Safety Officer is then responsible for reporting, recording and investigating accidents, together with assistance from relevant staff, and for taking steps to prevent recurrence.

First Aid (Please refer to the separate First Aid Policy for further details)

Teachers are responsible for initiating first aid to pupils, and relevant staff for other areas of school.

First Aid boxes are located throughout the school and signposted and it is the responsibility of the Office Administrator to maintain them. Should a pupil need to go to hospital the following steps should be taken:

  • if the accident is not an emergency, the pupil’s parents or appropriate relative should be contacted and asked to collect the child to take him/her to hospital;
  • if no parent or contact can be reached, or if it is necessary for the child to go straight to hospital, an ambulance should be summoned, whilst the Office Administrator continues to try to inform the parents;

* should an ambulance be required, the relevant teacher or Office Administrator will summon the ambulance, and the teacher will accompany the pupil whilst the Office Administrator will inform parents.

Fire Precautions

Teachers are responsible for ensuring that their pupils are aware of the appropriate procedures, and for checking that fire exits in the classrooms in which they teach are unlocked, and that access to them is clear.

The Caretaker is responsible for the unlocking of fire exits around school.

The Safety Officer is responsible for ensuring that fire safety equipment (eg extinguishers) are maintained, and for ensuring that the Fire Brigade is summoned when necessary. If the Safety Officer is not in school, the Office Administrator or Headteacher should ensure that the Fire Brigade is summoned.

Fire drills are carried out at regular intervals - at least once each term, in accordance with guidelines from the local Fire Brigade.

Hazards

All staff have a duty to identify any potential hazard on the school premises to the Safety Officer, so that this can be dealt with in an appropriate manner, and that all staff and visitors can be informed of any hazards on site of which they may be unaware. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that pupils are instructed in Safety procedures in operations, or processes involving known hazards.

Environment

All staff are responsible for bringing to the attention of the Safety Officer defects in heating, lighting, ventilation etc. so that she can ensure that repairs are undertaken as appropriate.

Inspections

The Safety Officer and staff are responsible for ensuring that all equipment and premises are inspected in accordance with regulations and/or guidelines.

Working at Height

Staff should take reasonable precautions when working at height – ie when putting up displays at low level heights, staff should not balance on tables and chairs but should use the low level step ladders. For greater heights, stepladders are available but should always be used in pairs. This also applies to the Caretaker and other staff.

Safety Equipment /protective clothing

Teachers are responsible for ensuring the proper use by pupils of safety equipment and protective clothing where necessary.

Infectious Diseases

Staff are responsible for bringing to the attention of the Safety Officer notice of any known infectious diseases in school, so that any necessary precautions can be taken.

Control of Contractors

Contractors present particular problems for schools as they are usually only on site for a short duration and schools are not always equipped to deal with. Schools should ensure that their health and safety concerns are incorporated into the site safety plan and that this is fully discussed at the pre-contract meeting. Whenever contractors are on site the school should monitor what they are doing to check that it is in accordance with an agreed programme. There should be a nominated person, employed by the school, who is responsible for liaison with contractors. Contractors range from builders to cleaners, grounds maintenance, I.T. installers, and caterers and so on. Schools must ensure that whichever contractor is used, that contractor is competent to undertake the work required. In addition to ensuring that contractors inform school of any risks they create, schools have an equal statutory obligation to inform any contractors of risks presented by the school.

This will extend to ensuring that contractors are aware of the school’s emergency procedures and times of day NOT to undertake certain activities (e.g. at break times and lunchtime). Schools must ensure that suitable arrangements are in place to enable contractors to work out of normal school hours.  Where more than one contractor may be working in school at the same time, there is a legal duty for the school to ensure that all contractors are informed of the whole activities undertaken by each of them. Even though, the plant, equipment and materials brought onto the school premises belong to individual contractors, whilst it is on the premises the school has a legal duty to ensure that it is stored safely and securely.

Note:

If any member of staff notices a minor potential hazard, a defective or unsafe item / area within school, he / she should note it in the Health and Safety Book in the School Office. It is then the responsibility of the Caretaker to deal with the issue in an appropriate manner, and inform the Safety Officer.

The Safety Officer should ensure, through monitoring, that this process is being followed.

Any concerns relating to Health and Safety should in the first instance be addressed to the Safety Officer. However, this does not absolve persons in authority from ensuring that procedures are safe, nor individuals from their own duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act, to take care of their own safety and that of others.

Iain Robertson, Headmaster/Proprietor

Reviewed: September 1st 2016