Health and Safety of the children is the second most important factor during consideration of school by parents. Spring field Primary School, health and safety policy is written in accordance with Act 1974 and was revised on 16th November, 2004. The Governing Body is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the Health and safety policy. It notifies LEA and the Health and Safety Executive of major accidents and dangerous occurrences.
The Head teacher along with the Site supervisor is responsible for investigating, inspecting and maintaining equipments and school sites free from hazards. Every staff member has the right to identify health and safety risks and is responsible for discussing and informing them to the health and safety representatives of the school who in return are responsible for inspecting the situation and reporting it to the Head teacher. However the Governing Body of the school had to review the policy statement on annual basics or frequently as stated in the Health and Safety policy but this has not been done which is very irresponsible act as it needs to be monitored so as to run the policy smoothly.
The school values first aid training for its staff. Almost all of the support staff, including the Dinner Supervisors, are trained to be First aider. This shows that the school cares about pupil’s safety. And, I think, it is also essential that school does not have to relay on availability of one or two particular first aider, instead a person near the situation could provide first aid as soon as it occurs. All the accidents are recorded in the accident book and a slip is filled in with details of the injury and treatment provided which is given to children for their parents and if matter is serious parents are called in.
During Technology, Science, Art, PE and Drama lessons extra attention is given regarding the Health and Safety issues. Whenever these lessons are taken, extra support staff is present to ensure the safety of the children as well as of to insure that the equipment e.g. internet, spots equipments and acids etc are not being misused. Fire drills are conducted , once in a term to ensure that proper procedure is followed and to teach pupil what to expect, and act in a calm and orderly manner; as well as to promote an attitude of mind where-by an average man will react rationally when confronted with an emergency within the school.
Annual risk assessment check is performed on the premises and equipment. A report by the Head Teacher is submitted to the Governing Body on the arrangements before the outdoor activities to assure that every thing such as supervision of pupil e.g. staff: pupil ratio in accordance with the LEA guidance. During my discussion with the Teaching Assistant regarding the health and Safety policy , I’ve learnt that before the outing takes place , the team leader visit the location of the proposed visit in advance and carries out a risk assessment of the activity. And without the consent of parents, pupils are not taken to the visit.
Not only are staffs responsible for Health and safety issues but pupil are also taught to consider the importance of health and safety issues. For example when children are given scissors, the teacher whom I am working with always questions them about its proper usage .Apart from this I also remembered, during another activity which required children to count pebbles as indicted on the card children were questioned about throwing pebbles on the floor and on each other. This also teaches them consequences of their actions which I suppose is a part of the curriculum.
It is stated in the policy that guidance issued by LEA would be followed during medication taken by pupil. However the school does not have the medication policy. I personally think that the policy, should briefly explained about procedures that were likely to be taken. Even though it states that parents should inform the school about their Childs’ illness such as asthma and diabetes etc, it does not say when and how they are to take the medication.
The weakest point of the school is that it is not aware of the importance of the safety of the children in the Nursery and Reception during physical play and this has also have been identified in the ofsted report during their inspection in June 2005. This is because of the cramped conditions in which they are required to work and play. The Teaching Assistant provides activities such as construction with Lego, Doll house etc in the infants and receptions playground which is the smallest when compared to the two other playgrounds in the school. As result not only playground equipment e.g. iron-bars etc, causes injury to the children but the laid down equipment by the staff as well.
To make the situation worse, the school has recently installed more playground equipment in the same playground .This has made the playground less spacious and has not left space for children to run around freely. I understand the importance of physical equipment in infant’s playground but instead of installing the equipment in the smallest playground they could have been installed in the larger playground which is also used by the infants and receptions children. This would result in more space for pupil to move around safely and enjoy their play time.
School also does not take responsibility of the children who go home for their lunch. As during my work as a Dinner Supervisor in the school, we were not allowed to let children in the school before 12:50 pm. Therefore children who arrived earlier were forced to stay outside the school premises unless they are attending extra lessons e.g. computer, Urdu etc or have permission form their teacher. This made children wander around the streets. I think, school should do something about it, for example the simplest step is to let children in the school and second is to educate / inform parents about their children safety during lunch break. To conclude, the Springfield Primary School has both the pros and cons of the Health and Safety policy practice by them, in my opinion a lot could be done to improve where as I am also in favor what the school has done till now as it could have been worse.