- Case studies
A school that already had first class safety systems and practices
This is a model school with regards to health and safety procedures and practices. The SafetyMARK recognised the exemplary standards the school had already attained prior to inspection.
Because of these existing high standards, SafetyMARK was employed to ‘fine tune’ the current health and safety management systems by recommending additional controls to demonstrate best practice and also to confirm where standards were already met or exceeded. This provided great reassurance to the Headmaster and the school governors.
Nigel Helliwell, Headmaster at St Faith’s, commented, “We are delighted to be recognised with the SafetyMARK Award following our independent health and safety audit. Having achieved the SafetyMARK award, we can now visibly demonstrate our on-going commitment to maintaining excellence in the management of health and safety within our school”.
A State School left to its own devices
This is a state school that had fallen behind in maintaining its health and safety management systems due to dwindling support by a Local Authority suffering the consequences of funding cuts. Existing policy and risk assessment templates provided by the LA were poor quality, out of date and were lacking detail. External facility management support was becoming increasingly expensive.
Conducting the SafetyMARK audit provided an impartial critique of the school’s existing standards of safety management across the board. This provided a benchmark from which to work, a target to aim for and a prioritised improvement plan to work with. SafetyMARK provided follow up advice and resources with regard to the recommendations in the action plan ensuring that standards were quickly improved in a sensible and pragmatic fashion. The school management and governors felt better knowing where their gaps were, rather than worrying about what they didn’t know. They also felt confident that they could at least demonstrate to outside parties that they have a cohesive safety plan and they are sticking to it. They might not have been perfect, but they could demonstrate the improvements they were making. The school worked on their plan and within six months they had achieved the SafetyMARK award.
An historically poor performing school, seeking academy status and looking for a fresh start
Following a recent Ofsted report it was identified that there were significant issues with regards to safeguarding, health and safety management and the physical environment. The School Business Manager had recently left following a long running stress related illness. They had been overwhelmed with the collective responsibility of overseeing the management of facilities, the school budget and health and safety. The succeeding Business Manager had little experience with health and safety and was in desperate need of support, but resources were limited.
A SafetyMARK audit confirmed where their weaknesses lay and was able to provide a comprehensive improvement plan. Through SafetyMARK’s additional services the school accessed preferential rates for quality support, including health and safety training for management, teaching and maintenance staff as well as facilities support for asbestos, legionella and fire management. The school felt supported and with a plan to work with they were empowered to take hold of health and safety and to implement practical policies and follow robust safe working practices. Ongoing telephone, online and site visit support was also provided, enabling St Luke’s to eventually reach a standard worthy of safetyMARK accreditation.
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