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Not having safety audits? See you in court.


Ensuring that schools provide a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, and visitors is a top priority. As part of this effort, it is important for schools to conduct regular health and safety audits to identify any areas of risk and ensure that they are meeting legal and regulatory requirements. An annual school health and safety audit, carried out by a competent person, can help schools identify areas of improvement and implement necessary changes to prevent accidents, injuries, and illnesses.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that schools conduct an annual health and safety audit to ensure that they are meeting legal and regulatory requirements. The audit should be carried out by a competent person who has been accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). A competent person has the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to identify areas of risk and make recommendations for improvement.


Benchmarking school health and safety performance is important to ensure that the school is meeting legal and regulatory requirements. A health and safety audit can help identify areas of improvement, allowing schools to compare their performance against industry standards and best practice guidelines. Benchmarking can also provide insight into the school's performance relative to other schools and educational institutions, providing a clear picture of where the school stands and where improvements are needed.



Understanding whether a school is meeting health and safety legislation is vital to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. A health and safety audit can help schools identify any areas of non-compliance and take necessary action to address them. Non-compliance with health and safety legislation can result in legal action and reputational damage, highlighting the importance of regular health and safety audits.

Demonstrating continuous improvement is a key part of a school's defence in court. A school that can demonstrate that it has taken steps to identify and address areas of risk is less likely to face prosecution in the event of an accident, injury, or illness. A regular health and safety audit can provide evidence of continuous improvement, highlighting the school's commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment for all.

Communication of the results of a health and safety audit is vital to ensure that school leaders are aware of any areas of concern and can take necessary action. A competent person should provide a detailed report that outlines areas of risk and provides recommendations for improvement. School leaders should then work with the competent person to develop an action plan that addresses areas of risk and sets objectives and targets for improvement.


Setting objectives and targets is a key part of ensuring that the school's health and safety performance is continuously improving. Objectives and targets should be developed based on the findings of the health and safety audit and should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Regular monitoring and reporting on progress towards these objectives and targets can help ensure that the school is meeting its health and safety obligations.

School leaders can be prosecuted for failing to monitor their school health and safety performance. It is their responsibility to ensure that the school is providing a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, and visitors. Regular health and safety audits can help school leaders meet this obligation by identifying areas of risk and providing recommendations for improvement.

In conclusion, conducting an annual school health and safety audit by a competent person accredited by IOSH is vital for ensuring that the school provides a safe and healthy environment for all. A health and safety audit can help schools identify areas of risk, benchmark their performance, and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Communication of the audit results and development of an action plan with objectives and targets can ensure that the school's health and safety performance is continuously improving. By taking these steps, schools can reduce the risk of accidents, injuries, and illnesses, and demonstrate their commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, and visitors.

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