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The Government is determined to reduce burdens on schools. We want to simplify health and safety requirements and explain them better. The Government is making it easier for schools to take pupils on trips, removing paperwork and taking steps to reduce teachers’ fears of legal action. Teachers should be confident that they know best how to look after pupils and keep them safe.
This document summarises the existing health and safety law relevant to schools and explains how it affects local authorities, governing bodies, headteachers and other school staff. It covers activities that take place on or off school premises, including school trips.
This advice document replaces a number of guidance documents on health, safety and security in schools, including Health and Safety: Responsibilities and Powers (2001) and Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits (HASPEV 1998).
Independent schools - Please note that the amended Independent School Standards Regulations 2010, which will come into effect from 1 January 2013, will no longer require proprietors to have regard to specific guidance. However, schools may find it useful to refer to this health and safety advice. Further information on the amended regulations can be found on this page.
In conjunction with this advice document you should read the following policy statement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ‘School trips and outdoor learning activities: Tackling the health and safety myths’, which can be navigated to in these pages.
This advice will be kept under review and updated as necessary.
The advice in this document is based on the law as it stands. The Government is reviewing health and safety laws to simplify them further.
Although this advice is aimed at schools, sixth-form colleges are covered by the same health and safety legislation and may also find the advice useful to inform their approach to health and safety.
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Updated 18 December 2012.
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Guidance and advice on the process for registering an independent school, and information about how to resolve disputes.
Non-statutory departmental advice produced by the Department for Education (DfE), the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on driving licence entitlement when driving a school minibus.
HSE statement tackling the health and safety myths.