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RR1062 Health and safety in schools - exploring the perceptions of HSE’s communications to promote and support sensible risk management

This research was commissioned to explore the viewpoints of school staff responsible for managing day-to-day health and safety in schools. This study explored what guidance schools use to support their management of health and safety and, in particular, examined how HSE’s education-specific materials were used.

The study found that HSE is not the primary source of information and guidance used by the schools. Instead, the primary sources are the Local Authorities (LAs) or other bought-in health and safety advisory services.

Participants reported using a wealth of HSE and non-HSE information and guidance to inform their health and safety decision making. HSE is considered to be a trusted and authoritative source of health and safety advice, which is valued by schools, but not always used directly.

Bureaucratic burdens and paperwork were not described by school staff as posing a barrier to sensible and proportionate risk management in schools.

Although not all schools in this study have used HSE’s education-specific health and safety resources those that have used them find them very useful. Schools that subscribe to a membership subscription service use it as their main point of access for health and safety guidance and information about school trips.

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Updated 2015-12-22