Visit to the school 08.10.2018 regarding Health & Safety
I met with Julie Pullman (Finance and Business Manager) to investigate and discuss the school’s procedures regarding Health & Safety, having been tasked by the FGB with the responsibility of overseeing this area on behalf of the Governing body.
To begin with we discussed the current arrangement, which seemed somewhat unclear to us both, but I understand that site manager Sean Allen has been undertaking checks and repairs, and that there is a register of planned repairs to take place as time and budget allows.
I have yet to meet with Sean to ask what records are kept from previous H&S walks but understood from Julie that there is no “official” checklist template in use at the school. We studied a template provided by the local authority and used this to document our findings during a walk around parts of the school. We covered the exterior of the building and the boundaries of the school grounds, plus the interior of one section of the school, namely the nursery/reception/year3&4 block. This took us approximately 2,5 hours. We felt the template had a thorough content coverage but a thematic structure that was unhelpful in aiding effective note taking by section, which would be necessary when walking around such a big school. We also felt it would be difficult to complete a full check each time in order to do it thoroughly, due to the length of time it took.
We have completed a summary of findings on the round taken on the 8th Oct, which will be passed on to Site Manager. We feel it would make the inspections and reporting procedure easier if we had a template or a checklist that was better adapted to the physical structure of the building and grounds, whilst still adhering to the contents and recommendations of the one provided by Dorset County Council. Every inspection should have a written record to be kept in a folder, to serve as an archive/log for reference, enabling effective hand overs and reporting between staff/governors and to external auditors.
Due to the time it takes to cover such a big site and do it thoroughly, we suggest splitting it up into termly inspections, rotating areas to ensure they are all checked once a year. Walks to be carried out by JP and/or SA and H&S governor. As a result of these termly inspections, recommendations would be made by JP and SA to the F&P committee and in turn to the FGB. It might be wise to allow rotation of governors to attend the inspections, to make sure the site is regularly seen with fresh eyes.
Points for further action
- JP to complete new template for use on future inspections, with HB.
- HB to meet with Site Manager SA, together with JP, to discuss inspection template, structure for future H&S walks, record keeping and reporting procedures.
- Next inspection to be carried out in January 2019.
Helene Bishop, Foundation Governor, H&S