The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 places overall responsibility for health and safety with the employer.
Who this is varies with the type of school:
For community schools, community special schools, voluntary controlled schools, maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units the employer is the Local Authority.
For foundation schools, foundation special schools and voluntary aided schools the employer is the Governing Body
For academies and independent schools the employer is usually the Governing Body
Education employers have duties to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable:
the health, safety and welfare of teachers and other education staff
the health and safety of pupils both in school and during off-site visits
the health and safety of visitors to schools, and volunteers involved in any school activity
The employer must have a Health and Safety policy and arrangements to implement it. Employers must assess the risks of all activities, introduce measures to manage those risks and tell their employees about the measures.
In practice, employers may delegate specific health and safety tasks to individuals (eg the Local Authority may delegate specific tasks to schools) but the employer retains the ultimate responsibility no matter who carries out the tasks.
Our Health and Safety Team have always aimed to give sensible and proportionate advice, balancing keeping children and staff safe whilst enabling children to carry out a full range of activities.
For further advice contact:
Health and Safety Team
Telephone: 0114 2734082