SCHOOLS | 8 ways to keep your classrooms health and safety compliant

Children flourish in a safe and secure learning environment – and this starts in the classroom. Pupils and teachers spend most of their day in the classroom, and while not inherently a high-risk environment, ensuring risk is properly assessed and managed is essential to fulfilling your duty of care.  But where do you start with […]

Health and safety on school trips | 2020 guide for schools

Out-of-school activities are important both educationally and in terms of wider personal development. They add to the curriculum, build confidence and increase skills. However, with the threat of HSE involvement should accidents occur, and the need to evidence that health and safety hazards were identified and risk properly managed, schools often shy away from trips […]

Keeping pupils safe | Fire safety guide for schools

Fire safety in schools is vital, not least because large numbers of young people are gathered in one place, meaning the potential for catastrophe is high. With a recent spate of fires at schools in Scotland, including incidents in Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire and Dunfermline, it’s vital that every school has to take necessary precautions to protect its […]

The dangers of treating maternity-related sickness absence like other illness

When it comes to employment law, it’s typically advised that treating everybody the same is the best way to avoid claims. However, in relation to sickness absence, this notion can actually lead employers down the wrong path and into dangerous territory. In reality, not all sickness absence is equal in the eyes of the law, […]

School fairs | A guide to health and safety requirements

When it comes to school fairs, effective planning and organisation is essential to creating an event that is both safe and enjoyable. And while health and safety shouldn’t be a barrier to holding school events, it’s important to make sure that risks to staff and visitors have been assessed and adequately controlled. Depending on the […]

HSE to investigate 676 schools over asbestos concerns

Nearly 700 schools have been referred to the HSE after failing to satisfy the Department for Education (DfE) that they were managing asbestos in line with legal requirements. Last year, the government launched its asbestos management assurance process to take a deeper look into how schools are managing asbestos risk. It invited school leaders and […]

Keeping Children Safe in Education | New guidance for 2019

The government has now released a draft of the statutory guidance that all schools will be required to follow from September 2019. Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) is the main document setting out schools’ obligations around safeguarding children and safer recruitment and is updated almost every year. Some of the changes for 2019 include: […]

Harassment? | Teacher with dyspraxia dismissed over poor handwriting

There have been a number of cases recently concerning disability claims from teachers. As an employer, it’s important to not discriminate against disabled employees and to make reasonable adjustments to allow them to carry out their role effectively. But what should employers do when an employee’s disability is clearly impacting their ability to carry out […]

School trips | Staff to pupil ratios explained

There’s often confusion and conflicting information surrounding appropriate staff to pupil ratios for educational visits. It’s important to remember that even though there are no requirements that are prescribed in law, conducting a detailed risk assessment should provide a clear indication of the appropriate ratios required. According to guidance from the Education Authority, supervision ratios […]

Is it reasonable to suspend staff over misconduct allegations?

Allegations of misconduct should always be thoroughly investigated. Nowhere is this more important than in the Education sector, where employers have a duty to protect the safety and welfare of the children under their care. But what should schools do if a member of staff is accused of misconduct against children under their care? Is […]