The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Alex Masters

Health and safety: a model policy

Health and safety is always a priority for SBMs, especially at the beginning of a new term. Our updated model policy will ensure you’ve got everything covered.


From school fires and asbestos scares to building maintenance and security, the risk-factor in schools is high. Little wonder this can keep those responsible up at night.

Ensuring the safety of both children and adults and meeting all statutory requirements are big pressures… especially at this time of year as you review your policy and distribute it to staff. It comes as no surprise that our health and safety model policy is so popular!

We’ve teamed up with a group of lawyers and updated this policy. All you need to do is download it, fill in the gaps and you can be confident that you are meeting all legal expectations.

The sheer range of areas to cover may seem daunting but our model policy outlines everything comprehensively so you will be confident you have everything covered.

Our up-to-date-resource covers:

  1. safe behaviour and school code of conduct
  2. maintenance of safety records
  3. safety review, monitoring, and evaluation procedure
  4. accidents
  5. lone workers
  6. building and site maintenance
  7. environmental statement
  8. fire safety and evacuation procedures
  9. emergency procedures
  10. health and safety training
  11. workplace safety
  12. control of substances hazardous to health (CoSHH)
  13. occupational health services and managing work-related stress
  14. policy and procedure for off-site visits
  15. selecting and managing contractors
  16. security.

Schools have a duty to ensure the safety of those who work, attend or visit the premises or take part in an offsite activity. Use this model policy as a template to write one for your school, adding details specific to how your school operates and the activities that are undertaken. All members of staff should be familiar with it, and the statement of intent at the beginning of the policy should be on public display.

The document includes instructions that will help you complete each section of the policy:

  • blue boxes contain advisory notes that can be deleted after you have finished writing the policy.
  • grey text indicates where you need to fill in specific details, such as the name of your health and safety coordinator.

Our policy also states clearly when risk assessments should be carried out. Use our blank risk assessment template to conduct them appropriately in your school. Do also check out our first aid model policy.

Government on side

It’s also great to know that the government is on our side. In its report, the DfE announced that it was ‘determined to reduce burdens on schools’. The report added: ‘We want to simplify health and safety requirements and explain them better.’

The government is also making it easier for schools to take pupils on trips, removing paperwork and taking steps to reduce teachers’ fears of legal action. ‘Teachers should be confident that they know best how to look after pupils and keep them safe.’

And, of course, if you think it’s necessary to ban cartwheels, we’ll leave that entirely up to you.

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