Health and safety

Head lice

Head lice are a persistent problem in many schools. They are difficult to detect and are usually transmitted through head-to-head contact. Anyone can catch head lice - clean hair offers no protection.

How to do a risk assessment

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) sets out a step-by-step approach to risk assessment in its guidance Five steps to risk assessment, as follows.

New and expectant mothers

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to carry out formal assessments of any risks to new or expectant mothers in the workplace. Risks include those to the unborn child or to the child who is being breastfed.

Off-site trips

Taking students off-site covers a vast range of activities. Outdoor education enjoys a long tradition and it is estimated that over one million educational trips take place each year. ATL believes that these activities are an essential part of any young person's learning.

Parental consent

Clear dialogue between parents and schools is important in making sure parental consent is obtained, that schools have all the information they require about pupils, and when making decisions about whether a pupil has to be excluded from a trip.

Personal liability and insurance

Personal liability for the health and safety of students on educational visits concerns many ATL members and press reports of accidents and deaths on visits always serve to heighten this concern. For claims to succeed, negligence must be proven.

Risk assessment

A risk assessment is a careful examination of the work activities that could, whether on or off site, cause harm to people so that your employer can weigh up whether they have taken adequate precautions or should do more to prevent harm.

Assertiveness and difficult conversations

How do you approach a difficult conversation? The framework below should give you a head start.

Smoking

Smoking has been banned in all enclosed and 'substantially enclosed' workplaces in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland since 2007.

Contractors

Changes in the way that schools and colleges are managed have resulted in the increased use of contractors on site, which can introduce new risks to the workplace.