1.1 Describe the factors to take into account when planning healthy and safe indoor and outdoor environments and services
Before we start and activity it is vital to consider and check for any potential hazards and risks that may harm pupils, staff or visitors. Health and safety checks are done to check that the classroom or area in question is equipped for the task and the children that are involved. There are many factors to check when doing so:
Age and ability & Needs of the pupil – We must take into account any specific individual needs of pupils for example a three year old would need a much smaller desk and chair compared to a fifteen year old so we need to make sure that the equipment is size appropriate for the age in question when we are planning and checking the area where the task will be done. Age and ability should be checked and then if needed extra resources can be used. Example being a pupil who uses a wheelchair will require a appropriate access to the area and another could be a child with a sensory impairment that would require some additional help or resources to complete the task.
Risks to individuals – Any persons with specific needs could be at an extra risk and we need to think of this before planning any activity/tasks. Examples of this could be allergies, disabilities, sensory impairments. Pregnancy could also be included in this as they may be
Duty of care – The duty of care is the adults responsibility when planning a activity whether its indoors or outdoors. Its important to have the correct amount of adults to pupil ratio to make sure the children have enough supervision. In particular that children with medical needs are known to all staff. We also have a duty of care to leave the area/classroom safe and tidy upon leaving so its suitable for anyone else to use it. We also have to make sure the light level and noise level is appropriate for the children. We also have policies and procedures to follow within the school setting and we are all accountable for safety within the entire school.
1.2 Explain how health and safety is monitored and maintained and how people in the work setting are made aware of the risks and hazards and encouraged to work safely.
Health and safety is usually checked on a regular basis especially in school sites. Health and safety ensures that the school is safe for all children, staff and visitors. In my school there is a designated health and safety officer who will be responsible of keeping the standards as high as they can in the school and I’d presume this would be the same for all schools. She carries out regular checks around the entire premises which entails her checking for any potential hazards, risks or damage that could result in an incident. If she finds any they have to be addressed. This could vary from broken furniture, electrical wires being exposed or heavy items stored above head height. She will also have to follow legal obligations and keep a updated record of this. This information along with other important health and safety information can be displayed and shared through the school to make sure that children, staff and visitors know what to do should they come across a potential risk or hazard. We are also individually expected to ensure that equipment and apparatus is within good working order and complete and if there is any issues then we are to report them to the health and safety officer.
1.3 Identify sources of current guidance for planning healthy and safe environments and services.
There is plenty of guidance in place in the planning of healthy and safe environments. These can vary from the schools own policies or actual legislation. They are equally important and must be followed at all times to help keep children, staff and visitors from potential harm or risk.
COSHH – Controls Of Substances Hazardous to Health would be an example of a legislation health and safety which is in place to stop chemicals or substances causing any risk or harm to anyone.
RIDDOR – Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurring Regulations which is the requirement to report some accidents to the Health and Safety Executive and keep a record of all reportable injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences.
Children’s act 1989 – Legislation that provides a basis for child protection, It states the child’s welfare to be of upmost importance and it gives some guidance and the expectations that are needed to be the duty of care to children.
Data Protection Act 2018 – The data protection act has recently been updated to include stronger rights over how information is shared, knowledge on who keeps information on individuals and to be informed on what their information is being used for. In schools information on children and their families should be kept strictly confidential and only shared on a need to know basis.
1.4 Explain how current health and safety legislation, policies and procedures are implemented in own work setting or service.
As mentioned previously there are plenty of policies and procedures in place to help support health and safety in school setting. These being upheld and kept on top of is what keeps the school safe as a whole. Current legislation makes sure that the right people are working in the school and that the school and equipment is all suitable. Some policies that are in place in my school are :
Food Safety Act 1990 – The Food Safety Act 1990 sets out the rules around basic hygiene and food preparation. This is important within a school as many pupils will eat school dinners and receive other food from the school on occasions such as school trips packed lunch, breakfast club. This policy is implemented into school life by ensuring all kitchen staff are trained in food hygiene and hold the relevant certificates and that food is stored correctly, temperatures of fridges and freezers is correct and that general good hygiene practices are followed, such as, wearing gloves while handling food, washing hands and wearing hair nets.
Medicine Act 1996 – This ensures that children with medical needs are protected. It outlines that medication prescribed by a doctor can be given out by a non-medical person but that parental consent must be given in order to do so. Parental consent forms are signed and returned, staff undergo regular training on administering common medications and that a list of pupils with allergies is kept. This information is confidential and shared on a need to know basis.
There are also some more basic policies to follow such as no smoking on the school grounds as a whole, No speaking of the children across all social media platforms and a uniform policy to adhere too. We also have a Bilingualism policy with the welsh language which in in place to aim to raise the status of the welsh language and to nurture the children’s confidence in speaking and responding to welsh.
2.4 Explain how health and safety risk assessments are monitored and reviewed.
Risk assessments are carried out often within my school setting. General risk and health and safety assessments are carried out each term but there are some others that are completed once a year. However if there is an incident then assessments are reviewed straight away and done so to fix the issue which led to the incident happening. Once a risk assessment has been reviewed it has to be shared with all the members of staff within the school and they have to sign it so that everyone who works in the school understands and can find themselves responsible they will also share when the next risk assessment will be so that the staff are kept up to date. When you put together accidents with risk assessments it becomes easier to notice how and why these accidents are happening for example if there is a certain area in the dinner hall where children and adults are continually tripping or falling over then it becomes clear that a risk assessment should be done on that area and any sort of repairs or any equipment that can be put into place to stop this from happening over again. If this is not able to be fixed or resolved then the area should be cordoned off to prevent accident or injury.
3.1 Explain why it is important to take a balanced approach to risk management.
Taking a balanced approach to risk management is very important in helping children and young people develop. The school setting is a secure and safe place for them and ideally is a safe place where pupils can explore some risks. Staff in the school can give the children chance to run risks without putting them in direct danger, for example the school where I am placed some classes do cycle classes where they are taken into the yard and taught about bike safety and the importance of wearing a helmet and high visibility clothing and about safely moving around on their bikes, Some who are capable to do so are taken around some of the streets by the school to put what they have learnt into practice, By doing this pupils are encouraged to use the skills that they have learnt to reduce the risk to them and others when they are cycling outside of school.
Giving the children the chance to use their own risk management will help the children gain more confident and have their own sense of independency which will help them when they come across risks and it will help them figure out risks in future.
3.2 Explain the dilemma between the rights and choices of children and young people and health and safety requirements
The UN convention of the rights of the Child states that children have the right to their own opinions and choices. Children learn and develop by making their own choices and trying new experiences but in some instances they do not have the maturity to judge the risk that is included with the choice, It is very important to have these open discussions with children when they want to do something that could potentially harm them or others around them, They must be encouraged to consider the consequences that may happen to themselves or others around them and to assess the whole outcome. If the child is still wanting to continue with that particular action which would cause them harm then it would be the responsibility of the adult to step in and stop this from happening if its not safe for the child to do so.
It is also very important when possible to do so of course that children are given the opportunity to explore their own personal strengths and weakness and to try and predict the risk. Avoiding risks and challenges at a young age can have a massive impact on a child’s confidence and self esteem as they grow through life. A risk free environment lacks challenges and stimulation and this leads to children and young people becoming bored and exhibiting signs of inappropriate behaviour. This could lead to knock on effects such as the lack of ability on how to cross the road, fire safety and stranger danger which are all crucial I believe. We also have to take into account each child’s comfort zone as some may be more confident making their own decisions and taking risks into account where other children may need some persuasion to do so. An example of this would be allowing children to visit a local park providing the park is fenced off and there is a suitable adult to child ratio in place and letting them take part in an activity that would require them to take part in a study where they are needed to explore on what they believe is their own accord.
3.3 Give an example from own practice of supporting children and young people to access and manage risk.
One way of supporting children assess and manage risk was recently done in my placement with scissor safety where we had an activity that required all the children to use scissors so we had to talk to the children first saying how they should hold and behave while they had scissors, also to hold them correctly so that they would not hurt themselves, which we repeated at the start of the activity so that it was fresh in their minds. The activity was to cut out shapes of fruit that was outlined on paper so they could use their fine motor skills as well as use the scissors safely. One child from each group was given the responsibility of getting the scissors and handing them safely and correctly to the rest of the group while we closely monitored this to ensure safety. We then supervised the activity without being over cautious or anxious and this was completed with no dilemma at all as the children followed the instructions and used the scissors in a safe manner. Another example of this within my placement we have a climbing frame/assault course called the trim trail that we are allocated days to use for our class the children have to be supervised at all times as there are some bits where they can climb up quite high but we monitor this closely. On the trim trail there is a rope walk where they have to step very carefully in order to stay on the rope and they can only do this one at a time other wise the rope will strain too much and they will not be able to hold the safety rope above them in order to stay on this again is monitored but the children are aware of this and making their own decisions to go around or wait. Allowing controlled risks, children build up life skills that will support their decision making in the future.
4.1 Explain the policies and procedures of the setting or service in response to accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness & 4.2 identify the correct procedures for recording and reporting accidents, incidents, injuries, signs of illness and other emergencies.
In a school placement it is extremely likely that there will be some accidents that staff will have to deal with to protect the child’s welfare. Having the knowledge and certain skills are effective to react to potential accidents, emergencies and illness.
Scenario 1 – A child has symptoms of chicken pox. If a child has suspected chicken pox then the First Aid and Medical Emergencies Policy will be followed. The child will be taken to the first aider and become in an isolated environment, and only adults who have already had chicken pox will be in contact with the child. Other vulnerable adults within the school will also be informed, such as pregnant women. The parents will be contacted and they will be advised that they will need to inform the GP if their child has chicken pox.
Scenario 2 – A child has fallen over whilst playing on the yard and has a wound that is bleeding badly. This accident will require staff to follow the First Aid Policy. The first adult on the scene will be required to minimise the loss of blood by applying pressure, if gloves are not available, then the adult must get them or ask another adult or pupil to bring them the first aid kit which can be found in every classroom. It is taken to a first aider who will check the wound. If the bleeding continues to be heavy then the first aider will decide that hospital treatment is required and will make arrangements for the child to be taken to the A;E department. The parents will be informed of this decision. The accident will be recorded in the accident book and a risk assessment of the playground will be carried out.