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What are the main regulations that apply to schools?

What regulations apply to schools?

Regulations tell us how we should act in order to protect people, animals, and things which are vulnerable and at risk of harm. Therefore, it only makes sense that the most vulnerable members of our society are protected by a greater number of regulations.

Schools are subject to many different regulations and it can often be overwhelming or confusing to keep track of them all. So, let us lend a hand. Here’s a rundown of some of the regulations most relevant to schools in the UK - there are far too many to mention in our humble blog but by focusing on the key regulations we hope to show you that following guidance and working towards legislative compliance is simpler than it may first seem.

The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) 1974

This piece of legislation affects the management of health & safety in every kind of workplace across all industries.

HASAWA provides a framework for ensuring the health & safety of all employees, but also those who may be affected by work activities. In the case of schools, this means the pupils too.

Employers in the education sector must ensure that pupils are not exposed to any risks to their health & safety - if risks for a particular activity or process can’t be controlled to an acceptable level then it should be scrapped or changed to make it safer.

We offer a variety of courses that cover different areas of health & safety, but we also offer an Essential Health & Safety Training course that briefly covers: Fire Awareness; Slips, Trips and Falls; Manual Handling; DSE; COSHH; and Electrical Safety.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

The main requirement of these regulations is that employers carry out risk assessments in order to reduce or completely remove risks in the workplace.

If your organisation employs five or more workers, which is the case for almost every educational institute, then you are obliged to make a record any of the significant findings from your risk assessment.

In addition to recording these risks, the regulations also require that you:

  • make arrangements for implementing the measures identified as necessary by your risk assessments.
  • Monitor and review these arrangements regularly.
  • Appoint people with sufficient knowledge, skills, experience, and training to help implement any arrangements.
  • Set up emergency procedures and provide information about them to all employees.
  • Provide clear information, supervision, and training for all employees and ensure that suitably competent people are appointed to carry out designated responsibilities, such as DSL’s and First Aid Appointed Persons.

The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2012

These regulations place specific duties on employers to manage the risks from asbestos fibres that may be released when building or maintenance work takes place.

With roughly 84% of schools reporting that asbestos was present on at least one of their sites, it’s essential that all schools are aware of how to show due diligence with these regulations.

These regulations require employers to manage risks by:

  • Understanding if there is asbestos on the premises, and if so, where it is
  • Carrying out a risk assessment specifically for materials containing asbestos
  • Preparing/ implementing a plan to manage these materials safely
  • Regularly reviewing the risk assessment and plan, and
  • Providing this information to anybody who is likely to disturb these materials (contractors, staff, etc).

We offer an IOSH and IATP Approved Online Asbestos Awareness Training course that is designed for all levels of staff. It only takes 30 minutes to complete and it helps staff to understand emergency procedures surrounding asbestos.

Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981

These regulations require employers to provide the following:

We offer an Online First Aid Course Bundle that covers a variety of topics surrounding first aid.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002

COSHH regulations require employers to assess and prevent, or adequately control, the risks to health posed by the use of any hazardous substances in the workplace. This can be anything from cleaning products to toxic chemicals in a science classroom.

Employers are obliged to:

  • Assess the risks posed by the substances
  • Identify and implement adequate controls
  • Ensure these controls are maintained
  • Establish emergency procedures
  • Ensure that those working with the substances are aware of the dangers they pose and know how to safely use them

We offer a CPD Accredited & IOSH Approved Online COSHH Training course that takes just 25 minutes to complete. It’s for all levels of staff, covering the 6 Simple Steps to controlling health & safety risks, recognising the different types of hazard symbols, and what they mean.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992

Nowadays, most schools have moved on from using chalk boards to using interactive SMART Boards, and this often leaves teachers having to use a screen for hours a day. But sitting in front of a computer screen is common for most staff in an educational institute, from receptionists to headteachers.

Under these regulations, employers have a duty to assess the workstations of staff who use display screen equipment (DSE).

The very minimum requirements of employers are to:

  • Identify users of Display Screen Equipment
  • Assess workstations to ensure that they meet an adequate standard
  • Provide instruction and training to all staff considered DSE users, which you can do by using our Online DSE Training course (which includes a free DSE Risk Assessment!)
  • Offer free eyesight tests to users of DSE equipment at regular intervals and to pay for spectacles that are required for the work, and to
  • Regularly review required assessments

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Under this order, the 'responsible person' in the workplace is obliged to take adequate fire safety precautions to ensure the health & safety of staff, pupils, and anybody else on the premises. These precautions include:

  • Assessing the risk of fires, with a particular focus on those who might be vulnerable, such as children
  • Ensuring that there are adequate and clear escape routes
  • Ensuring that the premises are equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment (extinguishers, smoke alarms, sprinklers, etc)
  • Assigning nominated competent staff to implement these measures, and
  • Conducting regular safety drills

It’s also a legal requirement that all staff are trained in Fire Awareness. Our IOSH Approved and CPD Accredited course is designed specifically for the education sector and covers how to effectively safeguard the people in your school, understanding the most common places that fires start in schools, and understanding the need of an emergency evacuation plan.

And for the nominated competent persons, we offer an Online Fire Warden in Education Training course that helps employees to understand their duties under fire legislation, as well as looking at fire prevention measures, the correct use of fire extinguishers, and how to organise a fire evacuation in a school.

Equality Act 2010

This act provides a single, consolidated source of discrimination law, covering all the types of discrimination that are deemed unlawful. It simplifies the law by removing anomalies and inconsistencies that had developed over time in the pre-existing legislation, and it extends the protection from discrimination in certain areas.

For the most part, the effect of the new law is the same as it has been in the past – meaning that schools cannot unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation. Protection is now extended to pupils who are pregnant or undergoing gender reassignment.

All levels of employee in schools should have an understanding of what equality & diversity is all about - which is treating people fairly, equally, and with respect, no matter what their differences may be.

Our Online Equality & Diversity Training course covers the Equality Act 2010, introduces the protected characteristics, and considers the concepts of discrimination and unfair treatment within any professional environment, including schools.

Children’s Act 2004

The guidelines set out in this act requires anyone who works with children (whether in an educational or non-educational setting) to know how a child should be looked after in the eyes of the law.

The principles of the act require that arrangements are made to:

  • Allow children to be physically and mentally healthy
  • Help children be happy and to enjoy life
  • Ensure the safety of children in every environment
  • Help children succeed
  • Help achieve economic stability for the future of children, and
  • Help make a positive contribution to children's lives

We offer Online Safeguarding Children Training, which is designed to help your employees and organisation as a whole work towards compliance with this legislation. This training course is essential for anyone who comes into contact with children, either at work or as a volunteer.

Additionally, we offer Online Safer Recruitment Training that will help staff to understand how to stop dangerous people from gaining access to students. The course covers essential information about DBS checks and about the need for follow-ups and probationary periods to check the right person has been appointed.

Online Health & Safety and HR Compliance Training for Schools

Here at iHASCO, we offer market-leading Health & Safety and HR Compliance training for the Education sector. The perfect, cost-effective training solution for early years, schools, colleges and institutes of higher education.

Additionally, every nursery, school, or college that makes a purchase with iHASCO will also receive free access to our KCSIE 2021 training programme, which provides statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.

Claim your no-obligation free trial to any of our eLearning courses today!

Online Training Courses for the Education Sector