Framework for a School Health and Safety Policy

Some key headings and discussion prompts for developing a whole-school health and safety policy.

What should the aims of the policy be?

Think about:

  • Providing a healthy and safe environment
  • Helping children develop increasing responsibility for their own and others' safety
  • Minimising the potential for injuries
  • Developing safety rules
  • Dealing with injuries should they occur
  • Addressing children's specific needs.

What should the policy consist of?

  • A statement of intent
  • Communication/lines of responsibility
  • Codes of practice, rules, procedures
  • Implementation, informing, training
  • Monitoring and review.

Which issues should we consider when writing the policy?

  • A school ethos which positively promotes safety
  • Finding out what children know and understand about safety
  • Safety education in the curriculum
  • Arrangements for assessing and controlling risk
  • Improving procedures for dealing with and recording injuries
  • Making effective use of local and national safety organisations.

Who is going to do what?

Think about:

  • Clear lines of responsibility
  • Making sure that everyone understands their particular responsibilities
  • Training needs
  • Involving everyone in developing the policy.

How will you communicate the policy to everyone?

  • Will the communication strategies give a message that safety is a priority?
  • Will the communication strategies involve people in hands on ways?

How will the policy and arrangements be monitored and reviewed?

Think about:

  • Using questions (like these) to regularly assess the effectiveness of the policy
  • A programme of risk assessments focusing on different hazard issues in turn.

How are you going to involve children?

Think about:

  • School council
  • The curriculum
  • Involving children in safety audits, surveys, research projects
  • Asking children about their views and concerns.

Most injuries are predictable and preventable. Safer schools adopt a whole school approach to promoting a safe and stimulating environment.

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