learning outcome 1: Understand how to provide environments and services that support children and people’s health and safety.
1:1Describe the factors to take into account when planning healthy and safe indoor and outdoor environments and services.
It is important when planning and setting up learning activities that indoor and outdoor environments are hazard free and that staff and pupils will be able to work safely. The following factors must be taken into account when planning healthy and safe indoor and outdoor environments and services;
The lighting needs to be bright for indoor learning. It helps pupils and staff stay alert and has less environmental blocks to their learning. Lighting in indoor classrooms and assembly halls needs to be adjustable for media presentations and sunny days. Window blinds or curtains need to be in working order and easily accessed for quick use so as not to interrupt with lesson time. Flickering lights need prompt action. This may cause anyone with epilepsy to have a fit, be annoying to both pupils and staff and affect the learning environment negatively.
Needs to be adjustable. Windows must be in working order. So a pleasant classroom environment is possible. It should not be too hot in temperature as this helps the spread of colds, coughs and other bugs.
Schools are all built according to what the thinking was at the time of it being built. Some schools were built with open plan classrooms. This may cause problems with noise. If it is possible sliding doors should be installed and used to patrician the classroom off. If this isn’t possible different areas of the classroom can be used for different activities. For example when using the interactive white board the pupils could gather round it on the floor. When explaining a lesson pupils could sit round the teacher then go to their desks and do the work. Some schools were built near roads trees could be planted outside as a sound barrier and classrooms could be sound proofed and double glazed.
• Individual needs:
Such as pregnancy of staff. For example they would not be left to do any heavy lifting and would have easy access to a chair in the classroom as needed. Breast feeding staff are by law allowed time to express their milk. This would need to be taken into consideration when planning activities during the day to ensure the class has enough staff cover. Disabilities of staff and pupils should be catered for. For example, use of outdoor ramps for building access. The age, abilities and needs of the children you are working need to be considered. Any children with special educational needs (SEN) need to be catered for each lesson in regard to the environment. For example a staff member must be with a SEN pupil at all times.
which needs to be fit for purpose whether for indoor or outdoor use. Outdoor equipment needs to be securely stored and weather proofed yet easily accessible. Equipment needs to be efficiently and safely stored. For example any chemicals need to be stored in a locked cupboard. Schools have a no bleach policy so no bleach containing products must be brought into school. Equipment in the classroom must be non-toxic. For example; pens, paint and blue tact. Equipment must be marked with safety marks and be from a reputable retailer. Unused plug sockets need covers in place for safety. Furniture mustn’t be placed over wires as to cause an unsafe environment. Equipment must be in good working order. Flooring and outdoor play areas all need to be in good working order and so not being a hazard. All electrical equipment must be PAT tested to say it is safe and must be retested each year.
So no electrical equipment can be brought into school to use unless it will be checked before use. There must be a school camera that stays in school for child protection reasons. Equipment needs to be the correct size and standard for the age and stage of the pupils. For example chairs need to be smaller for early year’s pupils, progressing in size to the adult size for secondary pupils. Early years require sponge flooring in the play area outside to prevent injury that you would receive from concrete areas. The equipment that the teacher uses needs to be safe. For example, when reaching up high in the classroom to do a display an elephant’s foot or stepladder should be used as opposed to standing on a chair or table. When using equipment for physical activity (PE) safety mats for climbing frames, the beam, etc. must be in place.
• The duty of care
‘We have a duty of care towards pupils, we should ensure that they are comfortable and safe and that the environment is secure and conductive to learning.’ Louise Burnham Supporting Teaching and Learning in schools. Indoors the housekeeping must be to a high standard. It is required daily. It is required after each lesson in each classroom and after each outdoor and indoor activity. Tidy areas help prevent accidents and health risks. Toys and other equipment need to be checked on each use visually for wear and tear and removed from use as required. It is good practice to teach pupils to keep their tables, area and things tidy and in order to reduce the risk and possible outcome to them and others. We are to help pupils to be progressively independent according to their age and stage. Correct footwear for PE is important for each pupil. The correct control measures need to be in place for each activity. When using the climbing frame for example one pupil at a time would be a safe way to ensure the safety of all.
It is important that at the beginning of the day all areas are visually inspected to remove any hazards and ensure the area is tidy. For example outside any cat faeces, hanging branches, glass, etc. Large puddles need action if in access areas or play areas. They would need that access closing if there is another access, mopping up with a warning cone in place and play area closing or coning off. A check after parents have gone out of school each morning is required in case of any unwanted rubbish being left. Weather can be a serious risk to health and safety. For example snow can produce icy conditions and could can accidents that could cause fractures to the bones. Schools may have to shut if there is a large snowfall or if icy conditions imply significant safety risks to staff and pupils access to school from home. Rain creates slippery areas hence wet playtimes.
It is important that staff is aware who is responsible for checking the school environment for risks and hazards. Each staff member should be aware of risks and hazards in their learning environmental and take measures and actions to prevent potential harm to pupils, parents, visitors and staff. The health and safety officer in your school is a resource and the person to report any problems to.
1:2 explain how health and safety is monitored and maintained and how people in the work setting are made aware of risks and hazards and encouraged to work safely.
Health and safety in school is monitored by all staff in the school. The person who is in charge alternately is the head teacher alongside the health and safety officer which is often the head teacher or someone in senior management.
Health and safety in school is to be monitored by all the staff. So this includes cleaners, kitchen staff, teaching staff, teaching assistants, students, care takers, SEN staff, admin staff and first aiders. It is monitored by use of a visual risk assessment for each activity and environment. Trailing wires, plug sockets, furniture and equipment state all are visually risk assessed by each member of staff in their areas of work. ‘Everyone should be alert to any hazards which are likely to cause injury to themselves or others in school.’ Louise Burnham Supporting teaching and learning in schools.
Health and safety in school is maintained daily by visual risk assessment inspections by each staff member in there working environment either in class, in the kitchen, in the playground, the grounds, the office, library, hall or cupboard. There should be a daily walk round each day by the health and safety officer. Risk assessments are detailed on a form for each area and renewed annually. Maintenance of health and safety happen when staff asks them daily what needs to be in place or removed to protect myself and others? Each area in school should be left tidy and clean by the member of staff last there. Any risks and potential harm should be acted upon and reported.
People in the work settings are made aware of the risks and hazards by use of meetings, emails, notices, posters and induction. Staff are made aware of potential risks and hazards in staff meetings, on staff room notice boards and in emails. Visitors are made aware of potential risks by posters, notices and cones. Parents are made aware of risks and hazards by letters sent home, posters, notices and updated text alerts or in individual cases phone calls. Pupils are made aware of potential risks and hazards by the head teacher, class teacher, lunchtime organiser, other staff member, poster or notice board.
People are encouraged to work safety by reinforcement of information to staff in staff meetings, by email or notice board. By reporting incidents in staff meetings or to staff involves in that class or area to aid more effective risk management. Pupils are updated in assembly, by classroom teachers when an incident has which occurs and remains anonymous, that area to aid more effective risk management. But the incident and outcome were used to encourage good health and safety. For example the cone off area was used by a group of pupils who slipped and one pupil has had to go to hospital. This information would be used to remind Pupils to follow the rules to ensure health and safety. It maybe that the group of pupils require an adult to be present to prevent further refusal to follow the rules and prevent potential injury. Training on health and safety with regular updates encourages good health and safety practice. Up to date policies and procedures which are easily accessed, well known through updates on emails, boards and staff meetings encourage good health and safety practice.
1:3 Identify sources of current guidelines for planning healthy and safe environments
The sources of current guidelines for planning healthy and safe environments
are as follows; -Healthy schools national policy- This helps schools planning healthy and safe environments by providing ways to help physical health. Extra circular activities are a source of encouraging health as promoted by this policy. Food offered from the canteen and food allowed in school is described here and if followed promotes healthy eating. After school clubs such as multi sports, football, netball and street dance are offered. Other clubs such as gardening club help pupils learn how to and practice growing their own vegetables. PSE classes educate the pupils in ways to live healthily. -Child accident prevention trust www.capt.org.uk
This helps schools planning healthy and safe environments by providing up to date factsheets, good practice guides and child safety resources for teachers and teaching assistants, parents, carers and others working with children, young people and their families. ‘ CAPT’s work stops children being killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents – without wrapping them in cotton wool.’ www.capt.org.uk. -DFE- Department for Education health and safety for schools guidance This helps schools access general articles such as managing medicines in schools and first aid in schools, speeches from international conferences such as the safety conference 2010, fire safety law and safety at work. To name but a few. The website www.education.gov.uk is accessible to all and is a helpful tool to aid in the planning of schools healthy and safe environments. -HSE Health and safety executive.
This provides a quick and useful checklist which is helpful tool and easily accessible on line. The checklist helps staff to ensure classroom health and safety and school management risk assessment tools. For example ‘ fire-if there are fire doors in the classroom are they unobstructed, kept unlocked and easy to open from the inside?’ HSE. This is one way schools can plan safe environments daily.
-local authority, local education authority The Local authority has full responsibility for overseeing schools performances. There is a website where you can read about advice, health and safety management, regulations, inspections and you can report an incident in the workplace. My local authority is Manchester and the website www.manchester.gov.uk
1:4 Explain how current health and safety legislation, policies and procedures are implemented in own work setting or service. The main act implemented in the school is the Health and Safety at work act 1974. ‘Schools must report to the HSE and record any injury that leads to a pupil being taken from the site of the accident to hospital, no matter by whom. This includes injury resulting from acts of violence or in connection with work.’ Health, Safety and Welfare. The employers are the governors and the head teacher who are responsible for the overall health and safety in the school. All staff are responsible for ensuring their area is safe and will not be a detriment to anyone’s health. The toy safety regulations 1995 are shown on toys if the standards are adhered to as a safety mark.
The safety marks ensure the toy has been tested to meet specific criteria. The school implements this by getting toys for school use from reputable stores that have the safety mark on them. ‘Toys must be safe by law but how they are used and the age of the child are important factors in preventing accidents.’ www.rospa.com The RIDDOR 1995 is legislation which specifies the reporting of serious injuries, diseases and dangers. Diseases such as TB which is life threatening. There are three key factors which will indicate it is a school related incident; ‘ how it was supervised;
* the condition of any equipment provided; and
* the condition of the premises used by the undertaking or any part of them, eg the condition of flooring.’ www.hse.gov.uk
There needs to be at one these factors relating to the incident to make it reportable. COSHH. This stands for the control of substances hazardous to health. Control measures need to be in place for schools. Such as any cleaning products that are used in school must not have bleach in them and be locked away when not in use. The use of good ventilation and personal protection equipment must be used and adequately maintained when hazardous chemicals are being used. This is usually in Secondary schools. Risk assessments are required. ‘Smaller establishments such as primary schools will have fewer hazardous substances and so only one staff member may be responsible for carrying out risk assessments.’ COSHH375.com
COSHH regulations are for all areas in school not just the craft room, science labs or the cleaning cupboard. Whenever possible nontoxic nonhazardous substances must be used in school. Such as nontoxic blue tact and glue. The missing child policy in school states that all children are signed in by use of the register. If a staff member is aware a child is missing during any time in the school day they will be careful not to cause a panic. A member of staff will be nominated to look for the child or children. If after 15 minutes of a thorough search the head teacher will be informed. The police will then be contacted. The remaining children will continue as normal. Once the incident is reviewed the policy and risk assessment will be renewed.
All incidents will be recorded in the incident record book and if the police or social services were informed then ofsted will be informed as soon as is practicable. The fire policy in schools provide listed emergency exit routes. Each classroom is labelled with a fire exit. Each classroom has the fire procedure on the exit door. The school has once a term fire drills at different times of the school day. So everyone in school knows what to do in the event of a fire, bomb scare or other emergency. There is a designated fire officer in each school. Their main duties include; ‘
* managing the school to minimise the incidence of fire (fire prevention); e.g, good housekeeping and security * producing an Emergency Fire Plan
* checking the adequacy of fire-fighting equipment and ensuring its regular maintenance * ensuring fire escape routes and fire exit doors/passageways are kept unobstructed and doors operate correctly * ensuring that fire detection and protection systems are maintained and tested and proper records are kept * ensuring any close down procedures are followed.’
2:1 Demonstrate how to identify potential hazards to the health, safety and security of children or young people, families and other visitors and colleagues. Pupils, families, other visitors and colleagues are at risk of all kind of health, safety and security factors in school. Young children and those pupils with learning difficulties are at greater risk of accidents because they have less ability to understand risk or danger. Supervision needs to be adapted according to the needs of the pupils and their level of awareness. Visitors to the school whether they are family members, colleagues or others are unfamiliar to the surroundings so are at risk of potential hazards. Visitors, colleagues and pupils are all at risk of potential physical hazards. Such as equipment being left in the reception and corridors causing potential trip or fall risk. Pupils are at risk of trips and falls in the classroom if chairs are left out or on the tables and wires left across the room. Pupils shouldn’t be left near sharp or hot items unsupervised. It increases the risk of potential harm.
Potential hazards to health are not washing hands for everyone eating at school. Visitors must all be signed in, given a visitor badge and taken to the person they are there to see to reduce the security risk to the pupils and school staff. If staff sees anyone in school who don’t have any identification on show they must ask who they are politely. Everyone must have easy access to the fire procedure and see the fire exit which is well signed so all know what to do and where to go. Kitchen staff must safety cook the school food so as not to cause a potential safety risk. 2:2 Demonstrate ability to deal with hazards in the work setting or in off site visits. There are many potential hazards in the school, on the way to and during off site visits. Every staff member has responsibility to keep their areas hazard free. Every trip off site needs to be risk assessed by the teacher organizing the trip.
The travel to the trip is always risk assessed. Whether it is walking, in a mini bus or coach the teacher will risk assess it. If the trip is to a museum, zoo or other establishment they will have done their own risk assessments so the school I am at doesn’t then do their own too. At the start of each day I make sure that I check the classroom visually doing a risk assessment. I remove hazards which might pose a health and safety risk to myself and others. I put the chairs that are on the tables down because they are a potential risk to the pupils’ safety. A chair might fall off the table and cause an injury to the pupil, visitor or colleague. The pupils are reminded to put their chair in when leaving the table. I put them in if there are any left out. This prevents the potential hazard to safety. They or others might trip and hurt themselves and others. Pupils are responsible for picking up dropped pencils, etc.
I do this if some have been missed. This is a hazard if not dealt with and also could cause someone to fall. Equipment in the school needs to be stored in such a way it doesn’t become a hazard. So I encourage pupils to do this and do any tiding away as we go along. I operate within the limits of my own role as a volunteer teacher assistant student. I follow the instructions from and liaise with the class teacher during each lesson. I report any health, security and safety issues to the class teacher. I ensure that my own health and hygiene does not pose a threat to others. I ensure the class teacher knows where I am at all times. When undertaking potentially hazardous work activities the class teacher would ensure the correct protective clothing is worn. I would ensure it was all being worn correctly. When equipment requires moving I would ensure the correct moving and handling procedures were used. When offsite a class of pupils would need constant teacher/assistant teacher supervision. The weather would be a factor in offsite trips.
If a letter went home asking pupils to wear wellies and rain jackets then there is no reason not to go. If there is dangerous weather such as severe storms the offsite trip would be cancelled or postponed because the journey there could be hazardous to everyone. The staff would need to look out for stray or off the lead animals and insects such as wasps and strangers ensuring pupils safety at all times. The teacher would have to risk assess the toilets. The location of and best way to get to the toilets would need assessing. Each road would need to be crossed as safely as possible. Teachers would top and tail a group of children as they are move around offsite. The pupils would be told places to meet up and times where age and stage appropriate. Teachers would have phones to keep in contact with each other as required. A teacher will have given the school office a contact number for those on the trip if required. They would decide how to organize the children for each activity to ensure their safety and good health. Previous risk assessments are kept in the school office and used for repeated visits offsite and added to as required by the supervising teacher.
Identifying potential hazards is about being alert, using common sense and having the confidence to know how to manage and report it professionally. 2:4 Explain how health and safety risk assessments are monitored and reviewed The head teacher has overall responsibility to monitor risk assessments to prevent and deal with the following; missing children, fire, accidents, medical/illness and electrical equipment. Risk assessments are annually updated unless an incident occurs. Hazards that are visually seen by staff in school are acted upon to reduce the risk to colleagues, pupils, parents and others. Teachers visually risk assess their own classrooms each morning and for each lesson. They may delegate this job to the teacher assistant by saying “just check that the classroom is ok.” Which means would you visually inspect the classroom and make sure that nothing around you can cause anyone harm. Such as adult scissors, hot drinks left around at child reachable level and pencils left on the floor which might cause someone to trip and fall.
Teachers are responsible for the overall class safety. The class register is taken morning and afternoon and any problems are reported back to the office and appropriate action taken. It might be a child was taken sick and was sent home during the lunchtime period so this information needs to be reported back to the teacher. Health problems such as allergies, diabetes,etc are confidential and shared on a need to know basis. If food is shared in class any allergies must be well highlighted. I spoke to the teaching assistant who is always on the door in the morning. She picks up any coats or bags in the corridor and pulls the coats hangers (which are on wheels) out so pupils can get to both sides of the hanger easily and without risk of harm. She also tidied the photocopying area so staff can get to the photo copier, paper and paper cutter easily without reaching over piles over newly delivered paper and potentially causing themselves harm. So each morning she risk assesses the corridor which the children in key stage two all walk through to hang their coats up and go to their classrooms.
The receptionist ensures all visitors are signed in and out and given a pass saying visitor or volunteer which they return before leaving. She takes the visitor to the member of staff they are to see. If a parent comes to get a child the staff brings the child to the reception area. No parents are allowed to come into the school classrooms unless they have an appointment to see a member of staff when the children aren’t there or they are volunteering and been inducted and have had and passed a CRB check. Parents come into the school hall for assemblies which they are invited for. All visitors are signed in and out. The cleaners always put wet floor signs up when they are mopping the floor or cleaning spillages. No bleach products are used in school.
All cleaning products are kept in a locked cupboard. Classrooms are cleaned at the end of each day and all items on the floor are picked up and left on the nearest table. All permanent paid staff are signed in and out electronically. The care taker risk assesses the playgrounds when opening up and locking the gates .He makes sure the building is secure and in good working condition. Toilets, sinks, windows all require regular check and maintenance work by the care taker. Problems with the building are reported to him. The health and safety officer which is the head teacher has a duty of care to implement the health and safety policies, assign staff different roles, oversee health and safety practices and complete annual risk assessments.
3:1 Explain why it is important to take a balanced approach to risk management It is important to deal with risk management in an unbiased, varied and fairly judged way. ‘When thinking about your risk assessment, remember:
* a hazard is anything that may cause harm, such as chemicals, electricity, working from ladders, an open drawer, etc; and * the risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody could be harmed by these and other hazards, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.’ www.hse..gov.uk
Any anxiety over activities can prevent a balanced approach. The pupils are then affected. Over protective parents can hinder the childs development. During each activity the pupils age, ability and stage needs to be considered. Excessive risks need to be avoided where possible of cause. Also being over careful and not allowing pupils to be independent or be challenged is to be discouraged. Recognising the importance of risk and challenges will help in the pupils’ development. For example the pupils really enjoy going out in the snow. There is many risks involved such as falls and getting colds. The hazard is the cold potentially slippery snow and maybe ice. The teachers allowed the pupils to go out in the snow for five minutes and they ensured each child wrapped up warmly and explained they were not allowed to throw snow balls. There was not any ice as it was freshly fallen snow so the risk was well assessed and then managed. The positive result was excited and happy pupils who had burnt of some energy and had some fresh air.
They then did a literacy lesson on the description of snow. During activities if a child needs one to one help or to do it without an audience so they don’t misbehave it would be good to find ways to do this. Each activity should be possible to be adapted to the physical ability to all pupils rather than pupils sitting out. .In early years scissors are available for use at any time. A staff member is always supervising the area and they enforce the practice of sitting down, not waving scissors around and how to use them. So although scissors are a hazard if supervised and explained repeatedly the children’s risk of harm is minimal. A balanced approach to risk management helps development. It is important that any use of equipment is explained beforehand. Each task can be altered so it can be undertaken by all the class pupils.
3:2 Explain the dilemma between the rights and choices of children and young people and health and safety requirements.
All staff have a duty of care to prevent pupils from getting injured or harmed in any way. They also have a duty to promote independence, develop character and confidence and not limit it. The main issue is that pupils are safeguarded from harm but also choices they make are supported. Their independence should not be taken away. Their age and stage must be taken into consideration when guarding their health and safety whilst promoting their independence. The access of scissors to early year pupils would be altered as the staff saw fit according to the risk assessment policy. It is beneficial to get pupils to identify risks themselves. This can be done by asking pupils what do you think might happen if…? For example if you leave your coat on the floor.
Good answers must be encouraged and praised to help pupils know how important this process is. An example of a dilemma would be if an autistic pupil took their shoes and socks off as is often the case in autism they find them restrictive. The health and safety requirement would indicate socks and shoes need to be worn to protect feet from potential hazards around school. This is the pupils own choice and right as an autistic pupil. The UN convention highlights the right of a child and their independent rights. It is important to weigh up the facts and give pupils their own choice where possible. In this case the pupils age and stage indicated there choice to take their shoes and socks off was supported.
3:3 Give examples from own practice of supporting children or young people to assess and manage risk. Education is about asking questions as well as giving answers. Pupils need to be able to identify for themselves risk and so have positive learning outcomes. So therefore I have asked pupils the following questions for different scenarios; -When offsite and on the way to the park for example I asked the pupils. What do we need to do when crossing a road? Where should we look? What can we here coming?This helps the pupils to assess the risk then their answer if it is to look both ways listen for any traffic and cross whilst looking and listening to the other side. – When doing a climbing activity I asked. How many hands do we hold the climbing frame with? This helps them to manage one of the risks involved with climbing. Hopefully the answer with two hands will manage that identified risk. -When the pupils come into school in the morning I ask. Should we run in corridors? The answer no hopefully highlights the risk and how to manage it i.e. walk!
There are many situations that a teaching assistant must be vigilant and pass this knowledge on to the pupils in creative effective ways. -When an activity has finished preventing clutter falling and causing harm one would ask. Who will put the equipment away? Or -What could you do to help? Hopefully pupils will put the rubbish and equipment away so managing the risk of harm. – When pupils are leaving their desk for a break time for example one can ask. How should we leave are chairs at our table? Hopefully this will prevent trips and so manage risk. It is important to be vigilant and not put pupils in danger. It is also important that pupils learn to identify risks and act upon them. Personal safety is a key element to life skills.
To be completed later:
4:1 Explain the policies and procedures of the setting or service in response to accidents, emergencies and illness.
All schools are required to take measures to protect all staff, visitors, other professionals and pupils. Pupil’s safety is to be considered, assessed and followed through on site and on offsite trips. Therefore procedures need to be in place for a number of situations which may occur. These include the following; -Accidents which might be from vehicles, falls, burns, heat, falling objects or sharp objects.
-Security in school
-Health and safety
4:2 Identify the correct procedures for recording and reporting accidents, incidents , injuries, signs of illness and other emergencies Staff who are first aiders or not should all know the correct procedures for recording and reporting injuries and accidents, incidents, signs of illness and other emergencies in their school, as any staff member may be asked to do this. Following all injuries or emergencies whether they are minor or near misses, a record must be made of what happened and who did what. A verbal report to senior management is also required as soon as possible.