The Independent Grammar School: Durham

 Health and Safety Policy

1.         Statement of Intent

The policy of the Independent Grammar School: Durham is to maintain safe and healthy working conditions at the school for all staff, pupils and visitors. The allocation of duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements made to implement the policy are set out in this document. An annual review of the policy will take place. The Policy will be kept under constant review and reviewed at least annually.

2.         Responsibilities

The School Board

The Board is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the health and safety policy of the school as and when necessary. Health and Safety is an agenda item at every meeting of the Board and the Executive Principal will prepare a review of incidents, developments etc. related to health and safety since the last meeting.  The School Board will as appropriate make recommendations relating to health and safety.

The Executive Principal

Overall responsibility for the detailed health and safety arrangements within the school lies with the Executive Principal and in his absence with the Head of School. It is the Executive Principal’s responsibility to ensure compliance with Health and Safety legislation.


All staff have the responsibility to work together to achieve a healthy and safe workplace and to take reasonable care of themselves and others. Whenever a member of staff notices a health and safety problem this should be drawn to the attention of the Executive Principal immediately who will record it in the incident book.

3.         Procedures

Fire Safety

The Christchurch building has been subject to recent high quality refurbishment and is designed in line with modern safety requirements in mind. All exits are marked and kept free of obstructions. There are three fire extinguishers, one electrical extinguisher and a fire blanket in the school and an extinguisher and blanket in the kitchen (which will be out of bounds). Their location is marked with a red fire sticker. Fire safety equipment is checked regularly by external contractors and records of their visit are kept. The Principal checks the alarm on a regular basis. Fire practices are held regularly and recorded in the fire practice book. In the event of a fire, all staff and children congregate in the designated assembly area.  Named staff are responsible for checking toilets. It is the responsibility of the Executive Principal to call the fire brigade.  The school administrator will take the registers out to teachers for roll call.

Arrangements in the event of  fire are set out in the school’s Fire Plan.


We have first aid boxes in each classroom. All accidents are recorded and monitored. All staff hold a first aid certificate.  (Newly-appointed staff who do not hold such a certificate will receive training within their first term at the school).  Regular first aid courses are held for all staff.  Notifiable accidents and incidents are recorded and passed on as appropriate.

Letters to parents informing them of accidents to their children are recorded.  These forms are checked each half term for trends of accidents and this data is placed before the School Board at each of its meetings. Letters are always sent to parents when a child has a bump on the head.

Plastic, disposable gloves are available in each first aid box and staff are advised to use these when dealing with bleeding or other cases of body fluids. If there is an emergency situation, an ambulance should be called to transport a child to hospital. Wherever possible, the parent should accompany their child.  If this is not possible, the child is accompanied by two members of staff.  In a non-emergency situation, staff can transport a child if accompanied by another adult, but should ensure they have correct insurance cover, otherwise a taxi must be used.

Reporting Hazards

All staff are responsible for reporting hazards. It is then the Executive Principal’s responsibility to follow up reports.  The School Board monitors the action taken to remedy hazards.

4.         Electrical Safety

Electrical equipment used within the school is numbered and logged. All staff are expected to visually check equipment before use and report damage and remove from the area with a notice saying “Faulty: Do Not Use”.  In addition, a risk assessment is carried out on an annual basis and appliances tested in accordance with legislation by a contractor and a certificate held listing all tested and serviceable equipment.

Staff should note that particular care needs to be taken with extension leads, to avoid trailing wires. No electrical equipment should be introduced into school from home without the prior agreement of the Executive Principal.

5.         Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations

Any substances marked as dangerous must not be left in classrooms. Staff should check that instructions are followed when using any such substances. The cleaning cupboard is locked during the day and the key kept in the Secretary’s office.  Staff should note that the use of chemicals in science should be checked with the Executive Principal, who will take specialist advice where needed.

Staff must inform the Executive Principal of any additional potential COSHH items that have been brought into school other than those on the list.

6.         Equipment

It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that equipment is in good working order and is stored safely. Any faulty equipment should be withdrawn from use and reported to the Executive Principal with a note saying “Faulty: Do Not Use”. The following points about equipment should be noted:

·         Staple guns are not to be used by children and must always be stored in a drawer when not in use.

·         A pair of step ladders is kept in school.  Its condition is checked during health and safety inspections. Teachers and helpers are advised to use ladders and not chairs when displaying work.

·         PE equipment will be inspected annually by an outside contractor. Records are kept of these inspections.

·         The school does not at present use the on-site kitchen.  If for any reason the kitchen is used those operating the cooker will be given instruction in doing so safely.  Children will not be permitted to enter the kitchen under any circumstances.

7.         Health and Hygiene

Notifiable and Infectious Diseases

Details of notifiable diseases and periods of exclusion are kept in the school prospectus.


It is the school policy not to administer medicine except in the case of chronic illness after discussion with parents. A medical care plan is then drawn up in conjunction with the school’s medical officer. In general only inhalers are kept in school. Children who go home with a medical complaint or as a result of an accident are recorded in a book in the office.


Smoking is not allowed in or around the school grounds.


It is the responsibility of classroom teachers, liaising with the cleaners, to keep their rooms in a hygienic condition.  The Executive Principal will monitor the cleanliness of the building as part of the weekly visual inspection.

All staff are responsible for encouraging good hygiene habits in the children. Particular emphasis is placed on hand washing.

8.         Animals in School

The only animals which may be kept in school are fish, gerbils, mice, hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs.  No dogs are allowed in the school grounds. 

9.         Outdoor Visits

Trips and visits are a vital part of school life and will take place regularly.  Any outdoor visit is carefully researched and preliminary visit made by the teacher. Appropriate risk assessments must be completed by relevant staff and be approved by the Executive Principal before any trip or outing takes place.  The school uses a standard risk management template.

It is the duty of the teacher to ensure all helpers are fully briefed about the visit and the expectations for behaviour. Parental consent for the visit is always sought. Risk assessment for outdoor visits are completed and checked by a member of the Health and Safety Committee.

When residential visits are organised parents are invited in to school to discuss the visit in detail.

10.       Security

All staff and pupils are encouraged to be aware of strangers on the premises. If a visitor is unknown identification should be requested. All visitors must check in at reception and be issued with a visitors’ badge.  Visitors may only enter the school by the side door (the main doors to the church building will be locked at all times during school hours).  Outside doors at the school are closed once children have left the premises. Pushpads and keypads on doors prevent entry. Staff who remain in school late are advised to ensure that their classroom doors are locked. In the event of anything suspicious or a child or a teacher is at risk of injury then a pre-coded card will be sent to the Executive Principal and he will act appropriately (a red card denotes emergency, a green card means assistance is required). Any act of violence or abuse towards a member of staff must be reported to the Executive Principal, who will take the appropriate action. Further notes on our security policy are set out in Appendix 2.

11.       Contractors

All contractors are expected to report their arrival and departure to the Executive Principal or office staff before commencing work. If they are working in an unsafe manner they will be requested to stop work by the Executive Principal.

12.       Staff and the Health and Safety Policy

All staff, teaching and non-teaching, are given a copy of the policy. New staff are given a copy and are required to confirm they have read it.  The Executive Principal will be responsible for ensuring that supply staff are briefed on the policy before beginning work at the school.

13.       Training

 Staff will attend health and safety courses as appropriate.

 A reminder of this policy will form part of the annual staff training days before the start of the school year.

14.       General Building Security

 ·         The boundary of the school is clearly defined

·         The school has an intruder alarm which is part of the landlord's system

·         The alarm system is set only by the Executive Principal, Head of School or School Administrator

·         The alarm system is regularly maintained by the contractor.

·         The key holders for the school are controlled. The Executive Principal, classroom teachers and the school administrators will be registered key holders.  In addition, given the nature of the building, a number of church staff are also key holders. 

·         Access to the building during school hours is restricted by the use of push pads on doors

·         Visitors may only use the side door.

·         Staff will always challenge strangers and ask for identification

·         Church staff will have no access to the school site during school hours

15.       Equipment/Money

·         Computer equipment is kept in classrooms. It is security marked and records are kept of serial numbers.

·         Staff have lockers, which can be used for personal property.

·         Cash holdings are kept to a minimum

·         Cash is counted with the front door locked. Money is not left unattended

·         The timing of bank visits is varied

Health and Safety Policy Self-assessment Check List

To be completed by all staff following induction and each year during staff training in September



Have I got a copy of the Schools Health and Safety Policy?


Do I know how to report an accident?


Do I know where the accident book is kept?


Do I know what the fire drill is?


Have I been made aware of any workplace hazards?


Do I know who to inform about any faulty equipment or anything which may cause injury?


Do I understand my responsibility towards health and safety?


Am I aware of the safety policy regarding doors?


Do I know what to do if I encounter a stranger in the school building


Do I understand the school’s Red/Green Card system and do I know where the cards are?


Do I understand the school’s Medicines Policy as set out in the H&S policy?


Do I believe that the school is a safe place for children and staff? 


If you have answered “no” to any of the above questions, it is your responsibility to follow the matter up with the Head of School or Executive Principal.  Please be honest: the health and safety of everyone in school, especially children, could not be more important and your role is crucial in achieving this.  As a member of staff, you are often best placed to spot issues.  Any concerns you have will be taken seriously.







This policy was established in January 2017 and will be reviewed annually or as necessary.