Who is responsible for health and safety in schools?
The overall responsibility for health and safety rests with your employer. They have responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to take steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work.
Who the employer is will vary depending on the type of school. In maintained schools, the employer is the local authority, in academies that are part of a chain, the employer is the academy trust, in stand-alone academies, voluntary aided and foundation schools the employer is the governing body. In independent schools, the employer is the governing body or proprietor and in sixth form and FE colleges the employer is the college corporation.
Employers must assess risks within the workplace, record their assessment of these risks and put measures in place to remove the risks or minimise them as much as possible. Employees must be informed of the safety procedures which are in place.
All types of schools and colleges must have a written health and safety policy which sets out the organisational structure for health and safety, the various procedures to be followed to ensure health and safety is maintained and arrangements for monitoring and review.
The employer also has a legal responsibility to consult union safety representatives on health and safety matters.