Where does responsibility lie for health and safety

Where does responsibility lie for Health and Safety?

Due to schools seeking to, or being required to change their status, at Strictly Education we continue to be asked where legally responsibility lies.

The main legal responsibility, and thus accountability for health and safety, lies with the employer. This will depend on the category of school.

In England the local authority is the employer in:

  • Community schools, community special schools, voluntary controlled schools, maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units.

The Governing Body is the employer in:

  • Foundation schools, foundation special schools, voluntary aided schools, academies and free schools.

The proprietor is the employer in independent schools.

Although overall accountability lies with the school employer, other senior school managers involved in the day to day running of the school also have responsibility for the health and safety of staff and pupils.

Head teachers and staff should also be aware that under Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 they can be held individually liable for prosecution if they fail to take adequate care of themselves or others (including pupils and colleagues) while engaged in work activities.

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