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What do educational employers need to do?
- Adopt a risk management approach that focuses attention on the real risks
- Educational employers should ask for information on students in advance; Wherever possible identify the needs of individual students, before they attend the educational establishment
- Involve the employees, students and carers in identifying the ‘individuals need’ and precautions
- Do not introduce a blanket policy – for example a ‘no lifting policy’ eliminates some handling risks, but totally ignores the needs and rights of the student.
- There should be a balance between the health and safety considerations of employees and individual students’ rights
- Enable rather than prohibit – look for solutions to enable educational opportunities
- Health and safety of employees should be sustained, but it is not an excuse for denying disabled students and/or students with SEN/ASN access to educational opportunities
- Effective management of health and safety considerations for disabled students and/or students with SEN/ASN should help to provide them with the same opportunities as other students in mainstream education
- The sensible pragmatic risk management approach should start as early as possible
- Many of the reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act are readily available – in practice many should already be in place
- Include systems for ongoing review – a student’s needs will often change over time.