Your one stop shop for all your health & safety resources

Health and Safety Management in Schools: How to comply with OFSTED

Managing health and safety in schools is a critical responsibility that falls on the headteacher and school management team. This guide outlines the key actions necessary to ensure a safe learning environment for students, staff, and visitors.

The criticality of health and safety in OFSTED ratings cannot be overstated. Health and safety practices significantly influence the overall assessment of a school’s performance. OFSTED inspectors evaluate how effectively schools manage safety, including the physical environment and the well-being of students. Schools with robust health and safety protocols are more likely to receive favorable ratings, reflecting their commitment to providing a secure and supportive learning environment.

The following are some of the key areas in which health and safety is key when it comes to OFTED school ratings.

1. Core Health and Safety Responsibilities

Effective management of health and safety in schools begins with the appointment of a qualified individual dedicated to overseeing health and safety protocols. This person, equipped with the necessary expertise and training, ensures that all health and safety concerns are addressed proficiently. The next step is developing and maintaining a comprehensive health and safety policy. This document must clearly demonstrate the school’s commitment to safety, assign key responsibilities, and outline methods for managing health and safety issues. It serves as the foundation for all safety practices within the school.

Compliance with relevant health and safety laws and regulations is paramount. Schools must familiarize themselves with these laws to ensure they meet legal standards and avoid potential legal issues. Implementing measures that align with legislation is essential for maintaining a safe environment and is closely scrutinized by OFSTED inspectors.

While OFSTED in itself is a United Kingdom-based entity, legal requirements may differ from country to country and inspectors would often consider documents such as legal registers to assess how an education facility is complying with its legal requirements.

Regular risk assessment updates are crucial for keeping evaluations current and reflective of real-time hazards. This continuous review process helps in identifying new risks and implementing mitigation measures, thus preventing accidents and ensuring a safer environment. OFSTED inspectors will check that these risk assessments are not only performed regularly but also acted upon to effectively address identified risks.

Staff training is another vital component. Providing thorough health and safety training to all staff members and maintaining detailed training records ensures that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and understands the protocols in place. This training fosters a culture of safety within the school, which is a critical factor in OFSTED evaluations.

Finally, documenting and reviewing incidents is an important part of managing health and safety. Schools should record all incidents and accidents and review procedures following any incident to learn from what occurred and make necessary adjustments to prevent future incidents. This proactive approach demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, which is essential for a positive OFSTED assessment.

2. Essential Practices

  • Emergency Planning

Developing comprehensive emergency plans is essential for being prepared for various emergency scenarios. These plans should detail the steps to take in different types of emergencies, ensuring quick and effective responses that minimize risks.

  • Policy Reviews
  • Hazard Identification and Mitigation

Conducting annual reviews of health and safety policies is necessary to keep them effective in mitigating risks. These reviews help in adapting policies to new challenges and changes in the school environment, ensuring that safety measures remain relevant and effective.

Familiarity with the school premises is crucial for effective hazard identification and mitigation. Inspectors often question the measures in place to address visible hazards. For instance, if walkways are damaged, schools need to demonstrate that they have implemented measures to prevent injuries. Similarly, if there are busy roads around the school, inspectors will want to know what precautions are in place to prevent accidents involving moving vehicles.

Sharing completed health and safety audits with inspectors shows that the school has identified and prioritized areas needing attention, reinforcing the commitment to maintaining a safe environment.

  • Ensuring Pupils Feel Safe

Creating a safe, calm, and positive environment for pupils is essential. Inspectors assess the effectiveness of this environment, which contributes to the overall judgment on behavior and attitudes. The criteria include:

  • ‘Good’: Positive and respectful relationships among pupils and staff, where pupils are safe and feel safe.
  • ‘Requires Improvement’: Behavior and attitudes are not yet considered good.
  • ‘Inadequate’: Poor behavior results in pupils, or specific groups of pupils, feeling unsafe.

Managing health and safety in schools involves a proactive and comprehensive approach. By addressing many of the aforementioned requirements, schools can create a safe and conducive learning environment.

Ultimately, fostering a positive, safe environment for pupils and staff not only complies with legal requirements but also enhances the overall educational experience.


June 9, 2024

Leave a Reply

Submit form

+ Training
+ Consulting
+ Support Services
+ Professional Development

Let us know which service you are interested in:

Please complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch within 1-3 business days

Thank you for your interest in Demoura Lawson Consulting

Contact Us

Qatar: Unit Office No. 1905: 19th Floor, The E18hteen Tower , Bldg 230, Street 303, Zone 69, Lusail Marina , Qatar
Tel:  +974 4445 9206

Saudi Arabia: 3121 Imam Abdullah Bin Saud Bin Abdulaziz Road, Ishbiliyah, Riyadh 13225, Saudi Arabia
Tel: +966 50 685 6910

Your message has been sent. We'll contact you shortly.

Thank You

2022 | DeMoura Lawson Consulting 

Back to top