Health and Safety Policy

This policy is presented in HTML to support accessibility needs and to work across multiple platforms. A full PDF copy is also available below.
Date Approved - March 2022
Approved By - Chair of governors
Review Frequency - Biannually
Date of Next Review - March 2024
Full PDF Policy

History of Recent Policy Changes





Origin of Change


1. Aims

Our school aims to:

  • Provide and maintain a safe and healthy environment.
  • Establish and maintain safe working procedures amongst staff, pupils and all visitors to the school site.
  • Have robust procedures in place in case of emergencies.
  • Ensure that the premises and equipment are maintained safely and are regularly inspected.

2. Legislation

This policy is based on advice from the Department for Education on health and safety in schools and the following legislation:

  • The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, which sets out the general duties employers have towards employees and duties relating to lettings.
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992, which require employers to make an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees.
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which require employers to carry out risk assessments, make arrangements to implement necessary measures, and arrange for appropriate information and training.
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, which require employers to control substances that are hazardous to health.
  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013, which state that some accidents must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive and set out the timeframe for this and how long records of such accidents must be kept.
  • The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, which require employers to carry out digital screen equipment assessments and states users’ entitlement to an eyesight test
  • The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, which require work on gas fittings to be carried out by someone on the Gas Safe Register
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which requires employers to take general fire precautions to ensure the safety of their staff.
  • The Work at Height Regulations 2005, which requires employers to protect their staff from falls from height.
  • The Asbestos Regulations 2012, which requires employers to protect their staff from harmful asbestos.

The school follows national guidance published by Public Health England when responding to infection control issues.

This policy complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.

3. Roles and responsibilities

3.1        The local authority and governing board

Somerset County Council has ultimate responsibility for health and safety matters in the school, but delegates responsibility for the strategic management of such matters to the school’s governing board.

The governing board delegates operational matters and day-to-day tasks to the Headteacher and staff members.

3.2        The governing board

The governing board has ultimate responsibility for health and safety matters in the school but will delegate day-to-day responsibility to the Headteacher.

The governing board has a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that staff and pupils are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. This applies to activities on or off the school premises.

The governing board, as the employer, also has a duty to:

  • Assess the risks to staff and others affected by school activities in order to identify and introduce the health and safety measures necessary to manage those risks.
  • Inform employees about risks and the measures in place to manage them.
  • Ensure that adequate health and safety training is provided.

The governor who oversees health and safety is : Mrs Helen Elliott.

3.3        Headteacher

The Headteacher is responsible for health and safety day-to-day. This involves:

  • Implementing the health and safety policy.
  • Ensuring there are enough staff to safely supervise pupils.
  • Ensuring that the school building and premises are safe and regularly inspected.
  • Providing adequate training for school staff.
  • Reporting to the governing board on health and safety matters.
  • Ensuring appropriate evacuation procedures are in place and regular fire drills and lockdown practices are held.
  • Ensuring that in their absence, health and safety responsibilities are delegated to another member of staff.
  • Ensuring all risk assessments are completed and reviewed.
  • Monitoring cleaning contracts, and ensuring cleaners are appropriately trained and have access to personal protective equipment, where necessary.

In the Headteacher’s absence, the Deputy Head assumes the above day-to-day health and safety responsibilities.

3.4        Health and safety lead

The nominated health and safety lead is Julie Taylor – Business Manager – supported by Tim Mitchell – Site Manager.

3.5    Staff

School staff have a duty to take care of pupils in the same way that a prudent parent would do so.

Staff will:

  • Take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by what they do at work.
  • Co-operate with the school on health and safety matters.
  • Work in accordance with training and instructions.
  • Inform the appropriate person of any work situation representing a serious and immediate danger so that remedial action can be taken.
  • Model safe and hygienic practice for pupils.
  • Understand emergency evacuation procedures and feel confident in implementing them.

3.6        Pupils and parents

Pupils and parents are responsible for following the school’s health and safety advice, on-site and off-site, and for reporting any health and safety incidents to a member of staff.

3.7        Contractors

All building contractors will provide Risk Assessments and Method Statements (RAMS) and produce any relevant permits such as Hot Works before any work begins. All contractors will be given access to the Asbestos Register showing the location and type of any known Asbestos on the site, but any materials found that are suspected to contain Asbestos must be sampled and tested to confirm if they do or do not contain it before work can proceed.

4. Site security

The Business Manager is responsible for the security of the school site in and out of school hours. They are responsible in conjunction with Safe guarding and the Site team for visual inspections of the site, especially for the fencing and boundary hedges to see they are secure and adequate, and for the intruder and fire alarm systems. Statutory checks must be carried out on these to ensure they are working correctly.  The Site Team are key holders and will respond to an emergency when required.

4.1    Site Description

  • Heathfield has a large campus and comprises of twenty separate buildings of various sizes and shapes ranging from new state of the art buildings on two floors to Elliott Huts that are deteriorating.
  • There are extensive grounds including an APT, sports fields and hardcourt, paved and Tarmacked areas.
  • There is an extensive perimeter boundary consisting of a combination of fence types and hedgerows.  These offer low-level security on the whole, some deterrence but nothing to stop a determined trespasser.
  • There is a separate exit and entrance to the main school off School Road. There is a combined entrance/exit to the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre and The Space further down School Road, and there is another entrance/exit further along School Road again to The Cedar Centre which is the schools dedicated Autism centre. There is a locked gated entrance to a track that runs east – west adjacent to the southern building line.  This is used for grounds maintenance vehicles and equipment or occasionally emergency vehicles needing to access the sports grounds.  There are no other official access/exit points. There is a “Safe guarding line” at the front of the school comprising of fences and gates between the buildings to form a secure area for staff and students. The gates into this area are opened at 8.50am and closed at 9.00am apart from one gate which is staffed at all times and locked at 9.30am. The gates remain close until 3.25pm when they are opened again and locked again at 4.15pm. They remain locked all night.

4.2    Site Security Arrangements

  • There is at least one member of the Site Team on duty each week day during term time from 6.00am to 8.30pm approx.
  • The ATP is open from approximately 6.00pm to 10.00 Monday to Friday and has its own staff to open and close and they are on site between those hours.
  • There CCTV cameras covering much of the site which recorded 24hrs a day. (see separate CCTV policy for details of access to footage).
  • The levels of outdoor lighting around the site vary considerably.  Areas to the front of the school are adequately lit as they are open to the public. Areas at the back of the site have lighting activated by PIR sensors, this covers the main areas and walkways.
  • There are arrangements for the gates at the official entrances/exits to be closed/locked when the school is not in use which provides some deterrence to unwanted traffic.
  • All of the main buildings have security alarm systems which operate independently most are linked to a monitoring company, though some of the Elliott Huts are not covered by alarms.

4.3    Issues

  • Including the Tacchi Morris Arts Centre there are 124 external doors across the site many of which are unlocked throughout the school day but these are behind the Safe Guarding fence line.
  • The only doors in front of the line that remain open during the day are to the Tacchi Morris Arts Centre for the general public to book tickets for shows and The Space which is the 6th form Performing Arts College. Both of these buildings have staff at all times in the reception areas.
  • The Main School reception is the only entrance to the school that can be accessed by the public and it is controlled by an ID access system for staff with a call function to reception for visitors. Visitors can only gain access by being let into the doors by a member of staff, any visitors must be signed in and carry a pass at all times to show they are permitted on site.
  • Yellow lanyards will be issued to people who are fully DBS cleared and are therefore allowed on site unescorted, any visitors who are not fully DBS cleared should be issued with a Red lanyard and must be escorted at all times by a member of staff.
  • Generally, there is a good level of staff presence around the campus including duty teams during break times and all entrance doors to teaching rooms are behind a fence line at the front of the school. It is not impossible for people to climb fences so staff should be vigilant at all times and check the non staff members on site have been signed in and are carrying passes issued to them.
  • If a member of staff sees a visitor without a pass or unescorted with a red pass they should take them back to reception.
  • The cycle compound is locked between 9.30am and 3.25pm and has three CCTV cameras that record 24hrs a day.
  • Ground floor windows/doors, on some buildings are points of concern for would-be burglars and vary in quality (security) according to age and design of building.
  • The flat roofs especially on buildings, especially the older buildings can make it easier for intruders to get in through roof lights etc, the most vulnerable of the roof windows are protected by metal cages and most are now covered by the CCTV network which helps to reduce the risk.

5. Fire

  • Emergency exits, assembly points and assembly point instructions are clearly identified by safety signs and notices. Fire risk assessment of the premises will be reviewed regularly.
  • Emergency evacuations are practised at least once a term.
  • The fire alarm is a loud bell.
  • Fire alarm testing takes place once a week.

New staff will be trained in fire safety and all staff and pupils will be made aware of any new fire risks.

In the event of a fire:

  • The alarm will be raised immediately by whoever discovers the fire and emergency services contacted on confirmation of a fire. Evacuation procedures will also begin immediately
  • Fire extinguishers may be used by Fire Marshalls only, then if they are trained in how to operate them and are confident they can use them without putting themselves or others at risk.
  • Staff and pupils will congregate at the assembly points. These are, students and teaching staff on the school field with supporting staff and any other staff congregate outside the front of school.
  • Form tutors/class teachers will take a register of pupils, which will then be checked against the attendance register of that day
  • A member of staff is allocated and will take a register of all staff.
  • Staff and pupils will remain outside the building until the emergency services say it is safe to re-enter.

The school will have special arrangements in place for the evacuation of people with mobility needs and fire risk assessments will also pay particular attention to those with disabilities.

Purpose of Policy

Fire is a significant hazard to the safety of buildings and people. All buildings and human activity represent some form of fire hazard – not least in schools.

The purpose of this policy is to protect staff, students and others using the premises from fire related risks.

It explains the responsibilities of staff, the need for fire safety checks and risk assessments.


The school (Headteacher and Governors):

  • It is now a legal requirement to conform to all fire safety requirements at the time of any new build/construction to ensure appropriate fire precautions are taken into account.
  • Where appropriate train staff in fire safety procedures and safe working practices.
  • Ensure property and equipment are kept in good working condition.
  • Monitor effectiveness/compliance with fire safety procedures through a system of adequate fire risk assessments taking into account:
    • knowing possible sources of fire and how they might develop
    • proper supervision of all activities that involve risk
    • compliance with all relevant legislation.
  • Respond to any fire risk assessments/reports that may be carried out by Local Authority (usually annually).
  • Monitor and review this policy annually.

The Senior Management Team (or delegated person) will:

  • Be responsible for the fire safety of the buildings.
  • Ensure an emergency plan is established that includes procedures to follow in the event of serious and imminent danger.
  • Ensure measures required in the fire risk assessment are implemented by the agreed deadline.
  • Review fire risk assessments at least annually or when there is significant change to activities in a building.
  • Liaise with site manager to ensure regular inspections re good housekeeping.
  • Ensure competent maintenance of firefighting equipment, detection and warning equipment, emergency routes and exits so it is always in good working order.
  • Ensure records are kept of the above.
  • Liaise with Health and Safety Reps and other employees as necessary re fire safety issues.
  • All employees must be provided with comprehensive and relevant fire safety information including fire risk assessments.

Managers involved in hiring/leasing

  • Contract of hire must establish the fire safety responsibilities of those hiring/leasing the building.
  • Establish and record the Responsible Person for each individual event/function and make clear their legal duties to them.

Heads of Department

  • Are key people in disseminating information to staff about Health and Safety issues.
  • Make colleagues aware of the procedures/actions needed to ensure their own personal safety and what actions they need to take.
  • Ensure colleagues have all the necessary fire safety information and that appropriate signs are prominently displayed in their rooms/work places.

Teaching/Non-Teaching staff will:

  • Undertake fire drills and evacuations.
  • Adhere to all fire safety procedures, instructions, safe systems of work, etc.
  • Always behave in a responsible way so as not to place themselves or others at risk or to interfere or misuse anything provided in the interests of fire safety and report without delay any concerns regarding fire safety.
  • Participate in fire safety training if it is necessary within their job role.
  • Familiarise themselves with fire risk assessments.

Fire Safety – other issues

  • Keeping records (fire log).
  • Up-to-date records of actions are essential (see items below):
    • Details of any action taken following the fire risk assessment.
    • Testing and checking of escape routes, including fire doors, emergency exits, etc.
    • Testing of fire-warning systems and periodic maintenance by a competent person.
    • Testing and maintenance of emergency lighting systems.
    • Testing and maintenance of fire extinguishers.
    • Recording of fire evacuation drills.
    • All alterations, tests, repairs and maintenance of fire safety systems, including passive systems such as fire doors.
    • Occasional safety audits, inspections and tests, and any remedial action taken.
    • Any training that may be given.

Fire Safety Training

  • All new staff need to be inducted into fire safety procedures.
  • If changes are made to the emergency plan staff must be informed accordingly.
  • Where working practices and processes change – as above.
  • If staff are expected to assist disabled persons.
  • Health and safety should appear as a standard item on meeting agendas, eg departmental, governors, buildings sub group.

Fire Drills

  • A fire drill should be carried out at sufficient intervals (termly) to guarantee that all members of staff, and others who occupy the building, take part in at least one drill per year.
  • A well-planned and executed fire drill will confirm that arrangements work effectively, eg
    • identify any weaknesses in the evacuation strategy.
    • test the procedure following any recent alteration or changes to working practices.
    • familiarise new occupants with procedures.
    • test the arrangements for disabled people.

Unlocking Gates

  • In the event of a fire students and staff will egress to the field.  Site staff will identify where the fire is, attend the scene and unlock the gate at that place if required.
  • In the event that the emergency services need to gain access to the site this will be managed by Site staff and SLT and the appropriate gate will be unlocked.

Arson Prevention

  • The potential for arson in schools should not be underestimated.  Between 2000 and 2004, there were an average of 1350 fires each year in schools nationally, of which 60% were caused by arson.  This equates to 16 fires caused by arson each week.
  • Be suspicious of any small ‘accidental’ fires on the premises and investigate them fully and record your findings.
  • Fires started deliberately can be particularly dangerous because they generally develop much faster and may be intentionally started in escape routes.

Measures to reduce arson may include the following:

  • As far as possible deter unauthorised entry to the site by limiting site entrances and providing appropriate boundary security.
  • Secure all entry points to the premises, but make sure this does not compromise people’s ability to use the escape routes.
  • Ensure the outside of the building is well lit.
  • Make sure you regularly remove all combustible rubbish.
  • Do not place rubbish skips adjacent to the building.
  • Do not site wall-mounted waste bins beneath windows or on walls covered in combustible cladding – in general secure waste bins in a compound separated from the building.
  • Make sure skips are lockable overnight and weekends, etc.
  • Promote good relations with neighbours who overlook your premises – they can be your ‘eyes and ears’ when the premises are unoccupied.


  • Good housekeeping will lower the chances of a fire starting, so the accumulation of materials in premises should be monitored carefully.  This is particularly important in reducing the chance of escape routes and fire doors being obstructed.  This is a collective responsibility and overseen by cleaners/site staff (locking up).

Close down procedure

  • To reduce the risk of a fire occurring in your premises out of normal hours, it is important that proper    close down procedures are applied, particularly in higher risk areas such as kitchens, laboratories and  workshops.  Close down checks could include checking that:
    • Refuse/waste has been removed from the premises and placed in secure storage.
    • Flammable materials are locked away.
    • Equipment and machinery is switched off.
    • Valuable equipment is secured.
    • All internal doors are closed.
    • External doors have been secured.

Equipment and Machinery

  • Lack of preventive maintenance increases the risk of fire starting in equipment and machinery.  Common causes of fire are:
    • misuse or lack of maintenance of cooking equipment and appliances.
    • allowing ventilation points to become closed or blocked, causing overheating.
    • Allowing extraction equipment in catering environments to build up excessive grease deposits.
  • All machinery and equipment should be properly maintained by a competent person.  Appropriate signs and instructions on safe use may be necessary.  Ongoing monitoring by staff is essential.  Faults/problems should be reported immediately.

Electrical Safety

  • Poorly installed and maintained electrical equipment can be a significant cause of accidental fires.  The main causes of fire are:
    • Overheating cables and equipment, eg due to overloading circuits, bunched or coiled cables or impaired cooling fans.
    • Damaged or inadequate insulation on cables or wiring.
    • Combustible materials being placed too close to electrical equipment which may give off heat even when operating normally or may become hot due to a fault.
    • Bunched cables passing through insulant which can generate excessive heat.
    • Lack of maintenance or testing.
  • All electrical equipment is used, including items brought into a workplace by staff, then you should ensure that it is visually inspected and undergoes portable appliance testing (“PAT”) at intervals suitable for the type of equipment and its frequency of use.
  • There is an ongoing programme of PAT testing.  Faulty equipment should never be used and faults reported immediately.  This is a collective responsibility.

Managing building work and alterations

  • Fires are more frequent when buildings are undergoing refurbishment or alteration.
  • You will need to evaluate the extra risk to people, particularly in those buildings that continue to be occupied.
  • You should continuously monitor the impact of the building work on the general fire safety precautions, such as the increased risk from quantities of combustible materials and accumulated waste and maintaining adequate means of escape.
  • All contractors are booked via County who hold their Risk Assessments and Method Statements (RAMS) and any necessary permits such as Hot Works on file.
  • The activities involving hot work, eg welding, blow lamps can pose a serious fire hazard and will be strictly controlled when carried out in areas near flammable materials.
  • Besides hot work, additional risks that can occur during building work include:
    • Temporary electrical equipment.
    • Blocking of escape routes (particularly external routes).
    • Introduction of combustibles into an escape route.
    • Loss of normal storage facilities.
    • Fire doors being wedged open.
    • Additional personnel who may be unfamiliar with the premises.
  • The school is responsible for carrying out a risk assessment when building works are taking place.

Help for people with Special Needs

  • Some common forms of disability that you may need to take into account in your Emergency Plan are:
    • Mobility impairment, which can limit speed of evacuation
    • Hearing impairment, which can limit the response to an alarm
    • Visual impairment, which can limit the ability to escape
    • Learning difficulties, which can affect the response to an alarm
  • You must provide a safe means for people with disabilities to leave if there is a fire.
  • Disabled people may not react, or can react differently, to a fire warning or a fire.
  • In a complex campus like that of Heathfield plans and procedures will be needed, with trained staff assigned to specific duties in order to evacuate disabled people safety.
  • Whilst most people with special needs wish to and are able to make their own escape, there may be a number who are only able to move or react adequately with assistance from staff.
  • Staff with special needs – their needs should, so far as is practicable, be discussed with them.  These will often be modest and may require only modifications to existing procedures.
  • It may be necessary to develop individual ‘personal emergency evacuation plans’ (PEEPs).  They will need to be confident of any plan/PEEP that is put in place after consultation with them.
  • Personal dignity is very important.

Preparing a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)

  • This has to be done in consultation with the person.  This may include questions relating to the individual’s abilities, work location, work activities (eg does he or she move around the premises often), previous experience in PEEP procedures, etc.  The following should be included in the plan:
    • Identification of, and information on, the best method of evacuation.  This may include information about the availability of horizontal evacuation routes or a “fireman’s lift”.
    • Any requirement for specialist equipment, such as an evacuation chair, and any requirement of fire exits that are wheelchair-accessible (these should have clear signage so that they are easily identifiable by the wheelchair user).
    • Locations for wheelchair refuges and means of communication (if it is not be possible to evacuate the individual immediately).
    • Information about whether the wheelchair user can reach the refuge unaided (if not, a “buddy system” could be introduced).
    • Characteristics of the building that may affect evacuation.
    • The details of those volunteering for the buddy system.
    • Training requirements.
    • Information on the maintenance and periodic inspection of equipment.
    • When the PEEP should be reviewed.
  • To be effective, egress plans depend on the ability of staff to respond efficiently.  Staff should receive instructions, practical demonstrations and training appropriate to their responsibilities.
  • Regular fire drills should be carried out to ensure that the disabled person and other staff are fully aware of the procedures to be undertaken and have confidence in those procedures.


County guidelines state:

A fire drill should be carried out at sufficient intervals to guarantee that all members of staff, and others who occupy the building, take part in at least one drill per year.

Heathfield Community School (including TMAC and The SPACE) will practice a full fire drill 4 times a year, each on a different weekday to ensure all students and staff are familiar with the procedure.  The Business Manager is responsible for ensuring the drills take place and are logged according to County guidelines, in liaison with SLT.  This will ensure all staff take part in at least one per year as there are no staff who only work Fridays.

Guidance for drills

Within 2 weeks of start of September term
Monday – 2pm *
Late Autumn term (November / December)
Spring term
Summer term
*  To include canteen staff.

Fire drill procedure posters are in all classrooms and are renewed annually in September.

Year 6 students practice the fire drill places on their Induction Day in July.   If unable to hold the Induction Day then Year 6 will practice fire drill places in the first week of starting school in September.

Our 74 Fire Points are tested at a rate of one per week, in house, and they are also tested annually in August as part of the service contract.  This is more often than the guidelines which require one per month.

Evac-chairs are tested annually as part of the service contract with a certified company.

Hoists and bed are tested every 6 months by a certified company.

The Fire Extinguishers are tested annually by a certified company.


Schools are required to control hazardous substances, which can take many forms, including:

  • Chemicals
  • Products containing chemicals
  • Fumes
  • Dusts
  • Vapours
  • Mists
  • Gases and asphyxiating gases
  • Germs that cause diseases, such as leptospirosis or legionnaires disease.
  • Radioactive Materials (Never used by students, only for demo purposes by the Science Department).

Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) risk assessments are completed by Head of Science and/or Head of Food Preparation, Nutrition and DT and circulated to all employees who work with hazardous substances. Staff will also be provided with protective equipment, where necessary.

Our staff use and store hazardous products in accordance with instructions on the product label. All hazardous products are kept in their original containers, with clear labelling and product information.

Any hazardous products are disposed of in accordance with specific disposal procedures.

Emergency procedures, including procedures for dealing with spillages, are displayed near where hazardous products are stored and in areas where they are routinely used.  Radioactive Materials are only used by the Science Department and are stored in conjunction with all current regulations (in a locked metal container which is in a locked cabinet).  Records of all materials are logged by the Science Department and full training is given to the appointed RPS Supervisor and Deputy.

6.1        Gas safety

  • Installation, maintenance and repair of gas appliances and fittings will be carried out by a competent Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • Gas pipework, appliances and flues are regularly maintained.
  • All rooms with gas appliances are checked to ensure that they have adequate ventilation.

6.2    Legionella

  • A Legionella Risk Assessment is completed by the contractor appointed by County every 2 years, currently this is French Legionella. The Site Manager holds a copy of the assessment and is responsible for ensuring that the identified operational controls are conducted and recorded in the school’s water log book.
  • This risk assessment will be reviewed every year and when significant changes have occurred to the water system and/or building footprint.
  • The risks from legionella are mitigated by the following:
  • Weekly flushing of sentinel taps, monthly temperature checks on outlets and the sanitising of shower heads. TMV’s are tested and serviced every 6 months.

6.3    Asbestos

  • Site Staff have received Basic Asbestos awareness training and are aware of the location of any asbestos on the school site, and the action to take if they suspect they have disturbed it.

Contractors (see section 3.7)

  • A record is kept of the location of asbestos that has been found in the School Site Staff office.

7. Equipment

  • All equipment and machinery is maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, maintenance schedules outline when extra checks should take place.
  • When new equipment is purchased, it is checked to ensure that it meets appropriate educational standards.
  • All equipment is stored in the appropriate storage containers and areas. All containers are labelled with the correct hazard sign and contents.

7.1    Electrical equipment

  • All Electrical systems in the school are subject to Electrical Safety and Inspection (ET&I) this is carried out every three years by a contractor appointed by County (currently T&C Electrical) this is to test, check and log the safety off all circuits and log all readings.
  • All staff are responsible for ensuring that they use and handle electrical equipment sensibly and safely.
  • Any pupil or volunteer who handles electrical appliances does so under the supervision of the member of staff who so directs them.
  • Any potential hazards will be reported to the Site Manager immediately.
  • Permanently installed electrical equipment is connected through a dedicated isolator switch and adequately earthed.
  • Only trained staff members can check plugs.
  • Where necessary a portable appliance test (PAT) will be carried out by a competent person.
  • All isolator switches are clearly marked to identify the machine which they isolate.
  • Electrical apparatus and connections will not be touched by wet hands and will only be used in dry conditions.
  • Maintenance, repair, installation and disconnection work associated with permanently installed or portable electrical equipment is only carried out by a competent person.

7.2    PE equipment

  • Pupils are taught how to carry out and set up PE equipment safely and efficiently. Staff check that equipment is set up safely.
  • Any concerns about the condition of the gym floor or other apparatus will be reported to the Site Manager.

7.3    Display screen equipment

  • All staff who use computers daily as a significant part of their normal work have a display screen equipment (DSE) assessment carried out on request. ‘Significant’ is taken to be continuous/near continuous spells of an hour or more at a time.
  • Staff identified as DSE users are entitled to an eyesight test for DSE use upon request, and at regular intervals thereafter, by a qualified optician (and corrective glasses provided if required specifically for DSE use).

7.4    Specialist equipment

  • Parents are responsible for the maintenance and safety of their children’s wheelchairs and other specialist equipment. In school, staff promote the responsible use of wheelchairs.
  • Oxygen cylinders are stored in a designated space, and staff are trained in the removal, storage and replacement of oxygen cylinders.

8. Lone working

Lone working may include:

  • Late working
  • Home or site visits
  • Weekend working
  • Site staff duties (including night time and weekend call outs)
  • Site cleaning duties
  • Working in a single occupancy office.

Potentially dangerous activities, such as those where there is a risk of falling from height, will not be undertaken when working alone. If there are any doubts about the task to be performed then the task will be postponed until other staff members are available.

If lone working is to be undertaken, a colleague, friend or family member will be informed about where the member of staff is and when they are likely to return.

The lone worker will ensure that they are medically fit to work alone.

9. Working at height

We will ensure that work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people with the skills, knowledge and experience to do the work.

In addition:

  • The site team retains ladders for working at height.
  • Pupils are prohibited from using ladders.
  • Staff will wear appropriate footwear and clothing when using ladders.
  • Contractors are expected to provide their own ladders for working at height.
  • Before using a ladder, staff are expected to conduct a visual inspection to ensure its safety.
  • Access to high levels, such as roofs, is only permitted by trained persons.

10. Manual handling

It is up to individuals to determine whether they are fit to lift or move equipment and furniture. If an individual feels that to lift an item could result in injury or exacerbate an existing condition, they will ask for assistance.

The school will ensure that proper mechanical aids and lifting equipment are available in school, and that staff are trained in how to use them safely.

Staff and pupils are expected to use the following basic manual handling procedure:

  • Plan the lift and assess the load. If it is awkward or heavy, use a mechanical aid, such as a trolley, or ask another person to help.
  • Take the more direct route that is clear from obstruction and is as flat as possible.
  • Ensure the area where you plan to offload the load is clear.
  • When lifting, bend your knees and keep your back straight, feet apart and angled out. Ensure the load is held close to the body and firmly. Lift smoothly and slowly and avoid twisting, stretching and reaching where practicable.

11. Off-site visits

When taking pupils off the school premises, we will ensure that:

  • Risk assessments will be completed where off-site visits and activities require them.
  • All off-site visits are appropriately staffed.
  • Staff will take a mobile phone, a portable first aid kit, information about the specific medical needs of pupils along with the parents’ contact details.
  • There will always be at least one first aider on school trips and visits.

12. Lettings

This policy applies to lettings. Those who hire any aspect of the school site or any facilities will be made aware of the content of the school’s health and safety policy and will have responsibility for complying with it.

13. Violence at work

We believe that staff should not be in any danger at work and will not tolerate violent or threatening behaviour towards our staff.

All staff will report any incidents of aggression or violence (or near misses) directed to themselves to their line manager/headteacher immediately. This applies to violence from pupils, visitors or other staff.

14. Smoking / Vaping / E-cigarettes

Smoking / Vaping / E-cigarettes are not permitted anywhere on the school premises, including the grounds.

15. Infection prevention and control

We follow national guidance published by Public Health England when responding to infection control issues. We will encourage staff and pupils to follow this good hygiene practice, outlined below, where applicable.

15.1    Handwashing

  • Wash hands with liquid soap and warm water, and dry with paper towels.
  • Always wash hands after using the toilet, before eating or handling food, and after handling animals.
  • Cover all cuts and abrasions with waterproof dressings.

15.2    Coughing and sneezing

  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue.
  • Wash hands after using or disposing of tissues.
  • Spitting is discouraged.

15.3    Personal protective equipment

  • Wear disposable non-powdered vinyl or latex-free CE-marked gloves and disposable plastic aprons where there is a risk of splashing or contamination with blood/body fluids (for example, nappy or pad changing).
  • Wear goggles if there is a risk of splashing to the face.
  • Use the correct personal protective equipment when handling cleaning chemicals.

15.4    Cleaning of the environment

  • Clean the environment, including toys and equipment, frequently and thoroughly.

15.5    Cleaning of blood and body fluid spillages

  • Clean up all spillages of blood, faeces, saliva, vomit, nasal and eye discharges immediately and wear personal protective equipment.
  • When spillages occur, clean using a product that combines both a detergent and a disinfectant and use as per manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure it is effective against bacteria and viruses and suitable for use on the affected surface.
  • Never use mops for cleaning up blood and body fluid spillages – use disposable paper towels and discard clinical waste as described below.
  • Make spillage kits available for blood spills.

15.6    Laundry

  • Wash laundry in a separate dedicated facility.
  • Wash soiled linen separately and at the hottest wash the fabric will tolerate.
  • Wear personal protective clothing when handling soiled linen.
  • Bag children’s soiled clothing to be sent home, never rinse by hand.

15.7    Clinical waste

  • Always segregate domestic and clinical waste, in accordance with local policy.
  • Used nappies/pads, gloves, aprons and soiled dressings are stored in correct clinical waste bags in foot-operated bins.
  • Remove clinical waste with a registered waste contractor.
  • Remove all clinical waste bags when they are two-thirds full and store in a dedicated, secure area while awaiting collection.

15.8 Animals

  • Wash hands before and after handling any animals.
  • Keep animals’ living quarters clean and away from food areas.
  • Dispose of animal waste regularly and keep litter boxes away from pupils.
  • Supervise pupils when playing with animals.
  • Seek veterinary advice on animal welfare and animal health issues, and the suitability of the animal as a pet.
  • We do not allow animals on the school site other than Guide Dogs / Hearing Dogs / Police Dogs.
  • Please consult the Head and provide a Risk Assessment for any exceptions to the policy, ie Animals on site for educational purposes.

15.9 Pupils vulnerable to infection

Some medical conditions make pupils vulnerable to infections that would rarely be serious in most children. The school will normally have been made aware of such vulnerable children. These children are particularly vulnerable to chickenpox, measles or slapped cheek disease (parvovirus B19) and, if exposed to either of these, the parent/carer will be informed promptly, and further medical advice sought.  We will advise these children to have additional immunisations, for example for pneumococcal and influenza.

15.10   Exclusion periods for infectious diseases

The school will follow recommended exclusion periods outlined by Public Health England, summarised in appendix 4.

In the event of an epidemic/pandemic, we will follow advice from Public Health England about the appropriate course of action.

16. New and expectant mothers

Risk assessments will be carried out whenever any employee or pupil notifies the school that they are pregnant.

Appropriate measures will be put in place to control risks identified. Some specific risks are summarised below:

  • Chickenpox can affect the pregnancy if a woman has not already had the infection. Expectant mothers should report exposure to antenatal carer and GP at any stage of exposure. Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, so anyone who has not had chickenpox is potentially vulnerable to the infection if they have close contact with a case of shingles.
  • If a pregnant woman comes into contact with measles or German measles (rubella), she should inform her antenatal carer and GP immediately to ensure investigation.
  • Slapped cheek disease (parvovirus B19) can occasionally affect an unborn child. If exposed early in pregnancy (before 20 weeks), the pregnant woman should inform her antenatal care and GP as this must be investigated promptly.

17. Occupational stress

We are committed to promoting high levels of health and wellbeing and recognise the importance of identifying and reducing workplace stressors through risk assessment.

Systems are in place within the school for responding to individual concerns and monitoring staff workloads, these include the use of a stress toolkit and external occupational health service.

18. Accident reporting

18.1    Accident record book

  • An accident form will be completed as soon as possible after the accident occurs by the member of staff or first aider who deals with it. An accident form template can be found in appendix 2.
  • As much detail as possible will be supplied when reporting an accident.
  • Information about injuries will also be kept in the pupil’s educational record.
  • Records held in the first aid and accident book will be retained by the school for a minimum of 3 years, in accordance with regulation 25 of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979, and then securely disposed of.

18.2    Reporting to the Health and Safety Executive

The Site Manager and Admin Team will keep a record of any accident which results in a reportable injury, disease, or dangerous occurrence as defined in the RIDDOR 2013 legislation (regulations 4, 5, 6 and 7).

The Site Manager and Admin Team will report these to the Health and Safety Executive as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within 10 days of the incident.

Reportable injuries, diseases or dangerous occurrences include:

  • Death.
  • Specified injuries. These are:
    • Fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes.
    • Amputations.
    • Any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight.
    • Any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs.
    • Serious burns (including scalding).
    • Any scalping requiring hospital treatment.
    • Any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia.
    • Any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.
  • Injuries where an employee is away from work or unable to perform their normal work duties for more than 7 consecutive days.
  • Where an accident leads to someone being taken to hospital.
  • Where something happens that does not result in an injury but could have done.
  • Near-miss events that do not result in an injury but could have done. Examples of near-miss events relevant to schools include, but are not limited to:
    • The collapse or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment.
    • The accidental release of a biological agent likely to cause severe human illness.
    • The accidental release or escape of any substance that may cause a serious injury or damage to health.
    • An electrical short circuit or overload causing a fire or explosion.

Information on how to make a RIDDOR report is available here:

How to make a RIDDOR report, HSE :

18.3  Notifying parents

The First Aiders will inform parents of any accident or injury sustained by a pupil, and any first aid treatment given, on the same day or as soon as reasonably practicable.

18.4  Reporting to Ofsted and child protection agencies

The Safeguarding Lead / Headteacher will notify Ofsted of any serious accident, illness or injury to, or death of, a pupil while in the school’s care. This will happen as soon as is reasonably practicable, and no later than 14 days after the incident.

The Safeguarding Lead / Headteacher will also notify the Local Authority of any serious accident or injury to, or the death of, a pupil while in the school’s care.

19. Training

Our staff are provided with health and safety training as part of their induction process.

Staff who work in high risk environments, such as in science labs or with woodwork equipment, or work with pupils with special educational needs (SEN), are given additional health and safety training which is organised by each department where needed.

20. Monitoring

This policy will be reviewed every two years.  At every review, the policy will be approved by the Headteacher and Governors.

21. Links with other policies

This health and safety policy links to the following policies: (see front page for links to other policies)

  • School Trips
  • First Aid
  • School Minibus

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Monkton Wood Academy
School Road
Monkton, Heathfield
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Monkton Wood Academy is proud to be part of the Cabot Learning Federation. 
Registered Company: Cabot Learning Federation
Company No: 06207590