HEALTH & SAFETY IN SCHOOLS: The responsibility of child safety rests with them during school hours and on school trips.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 formulates the legislation required for keeping children safe in schools.
The school your child attends is the one responsible for general day-to-day health and safety. It includes any time spent in the care of staff on the premises or outside.
Thus, schools are also responsible for the safety and well-being of children at playtime, during a school trip, or in a club activity.
Note: Parents or guardians should contact the school about child health and safety issues in school time. Address any further concerns or worries to your local council or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
School Health and Safety Responsibilities
All schools must have a health and safety policy. It outlines their procedures for dealing with child accidents and emergency first aid. Contact them if you want to read the school health and safety policy.
School Classroom Temperature Laws
Schools must follow the same health and safety rules on indoor temperatures as other workplaces. This law is according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the United Kingdom.
All staff and teachers must adhere to a general duty of care. It aims to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of all pupils (as far as ‘reasonably’ practicable). This also extends to protecting children from hot and cold extreme temperatures.
Note: Every state-funded school in England will have an external automated defibrillator (AED) by the end of the 2022/23 academic year. The rollout builds on existing requirements for schools to teach CPR and first aid as part of the national curriculum.
Extreme Cold Temperatures in Schools
We refer to the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. They stipulate temperatures inside maintained and independent schools, as well as Further Education colleges, should be ‘reasonable‘.
Note: The school should provide enough indoor thermometers to monitor the classroom temperature.
Further rules come from the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999. All maintained schools in England and Wales should prescribe to minimum standards for temperatures.
- 21°C for lower than normal level of physical activity (e.g. sick room)
- 18°C for normal level of physical activity (e.g. classrooms and libraries)
- 15°C for higher than normal levels of physical activity (e.g. drama workshops and gymnasiums)
Note: In these cases, measurements should get taken at 50 centimetres above the floor level.
The Approved Code of Practice to the regulations state a normal temperature for workplaces of at least 16°C. But, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) consider classrooms should be at least 18°C. They cite children are less able to withstand low temperatures than most adults.
Accidents and Incidents at School
Different types of schools have differing policies on health and safety for school children. Thus, who takes ultimate responsibility for the wellbeing of your child varies.
But, you can contact the ‘Health and Safety Executive’ in the United Kingdom. They will offer extra advice about any accident or incident that occurs at school.
Serious Accidents in Schools
All schools have regulated requirements for reporting serious issues. They must inform the HSE of any severe accidents, outbreaks of hazardous diseases, or very dangerous incidents.
Contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to check if your child’s school made any required reports of serious accidents.
School Class Size Limits UK
In fact, there is no legal limit for class size and child health and safety in schools. But, there is a maximum class size of thirty (30) for children aged from 5 to 7 in maintained schools. This upper limit helps to raise educational standards in the United Kingdom.