Health and Safety Policy


Nick Paterson, the Proprietor of Woodcote House School has delegated day to day responsibility for managing health and safety to the Bursar (currently Robin L’Oste-Brown).  That role requires the Bursar to ensure that an effective health and safety policy is in place, that the policy is understood by all relevant persons at Woodcote and that the policy is effectively implemented.

It is every individual’s responsibility to conduct themselves with due regard to their own and other’s safety in addition, every Head of Department is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of staff, pupils and others (e.g. visitors who are unfamiliar with the school, those who are disabled, or who have special educational needs).

This policy has been developed using advice provided by the Department for Education in their document ‘Health and Safety Advice on Legal Duties and Powers (2014)’.



The Bursar is responsible for producing a Health and Safety Report which is to be presented to the Advisory Board each term. These meetings will be minuted and any significant actions recorded.


Overall responsibility for the effective management of health and safety remains with the Bursar, however, some duties have been delegated. The following lists key areas of health and safety and indicates where duties have been delegated:

 Safety and Security

  • Building security (including alarms, locking external doors and windows) – the Bursar.
  • Preventing unsupervised access by pupils to potentially dangerous areas, such as the swimming pool, the science laboratories, the art rooms etc. – The Bursar, working in cooperation with the Heads of Games and Science.
  • Controlling lone working after hours – the Headmaster
  • Ensuring that all visitors book in at Reception – the Registrar.


  • Car parking on site and vehicles on site – the Bursar.
  • School Bus arrangements (including notifying parents of delays) – the Registrar
  • Ensuring the school minibus’ and other vehicles are properly maintained and roadworthy – the Bursar.


  • Maintaining an accident book and reporting notifiable accidents to the HSE in accordance with RIDDOR – the Head Matron/Bursar, who is also responsible for keeping statistics of accidents and preparing summary reports.
  • Escorting pupils to hospital (and informing their parents) – the Head Matron.
  • Checking that all first aid boxes are kept replenished – the Head Matron.

 Fire Prevention

  • Keeping fire routes and exits clear – the Bursar.
  • Electrical Safety Testing.  All the buildings at Woodcote House school have current electrical installation certificates – the Bursar
  • Regular portable appliance testing – the Bursar
  • Testing all fire alarms weekly (and recording all tests). Arranging an annual service of alarms, smoke detectors, emergency lights, fire extinguishers – the Bursar
  • All gas appliances (boilers, kitchen equipment etc.) are regularly maintained and serviced by Gas Safe Registered Engineers – the Bursar
  • Ensuring that flammable rubbish and combustible materials are stored away from buildings – the Grounds staff
  • Termly fire practices, combined with a programme of inducting new staff and pupils with emergency escape procedures and the presence of trained Fire Marshals in every building help to ensure that the school can be safely evacuated in the event of a fire – the Headmaster
  • Switching off all kitchen equipment at the end of service – the Catering Manager.
  • Checking that all Scientific equipment is switched off at the end of the school day – the Head of Science.
  • Setting all computers, projectors, printers and electronic whiteboards to switch off automatically every evening and during holidays and weekends – all Teachers and Admin Staff
  • Securing flammable materials used in teaching or maintenance locked in purpose-made, flame-proof containers – The Heads of Science, Art and CDT, the Head Groundsman.
  • Storing weapons and ammunition used by the Rifle Club in a securely locked, fire resistant store that is within a permanently locked room – The Head of Shooting

 Water, Drainage, etc.

  • Maintaining water quality.  A sampling regime, using external contractors, is in place – the Bursar
  • Ensuring that drains, gutters etc. are kept unblocked. Checking that all drain runs are clear (using external contractors) – the Bursar


The following lists what risk assessments are required and who is responsible for producing and/or keeping them up to date:

  • Fire – the Bursar
  • Legionella – the Bursar
  • All rooms, corridors and exits- the Bursar/Individual Staff
  • Catering and cleaning functions, (including Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) system of food hazard awareness and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) procedures) – the Catering Manager
  • Grounds maintenance (including use of pesticides and COSHH) – the Head Groundsman.
  • Maintenance functions, (including working at heights, electricity, manual handling, and building work, use of power tools, COSHH and flammable materials)- the Bursar
  • Asbestos – the Bursar (register to be maintained)

In addition, up to date risk assessments are to be maintained for teaching in the following areas:

  • Science (including COSHH and flammable materials) – Head of Science
  • Gun Club/Rifle Range – Master i/c Gun Club
  • All outdoor games – Master i/c Games
  • Swimming – Master i/c Games
  • Athletics– Master i/c Games
  • Art (including COSHH and flammable materials) – Head of Art
  • Music – Director of Music
  • All outdoor lessons – Director of Studies
  • All visits and trips – the Bursar / Educational Visits Officer (EVO)


Responsibility for organising (and maintaining records of training) is as follows:

  • Driver training – the Bursar
  • Science-related health and safety training – the Head of Science
  • Health and safety training for the Catering and Cleaning staff – the Bursar
  • Briefing new pupils on emergency fire procedures – all pastoral staff.
  • Briefing new staff on emergency fire procedures (Induction) – the Bursar
  • Inducting new staff in health and safety – the Bursar.
  • Identifying specific health and safety training needs of staff – all Heads of Department.
  • First aid training- the Head Matron (and the Bursar).
  • Manual Handling & Working at Height – the Bursar.


At Woodcote House School, we use external consultants to advise on matters of health and safety within the School.

  • Structural Surveyors give advice on the external fabric of the school
  • Engineers monitor and service the school’s boilers.
  • The school’s adherence to health and safety in catering and cleaning is subject to external inspection by the Environmental Health Officer (EHO).  In addition, the Catering Manager arranges for:
    • The deep cleaning of all equipment, high level cleaning of all cooking, food preparation and storage surfaces, areas etc. twice a year.
    • Appropriate pest control measures to be in place.
  • The school has a professional fire risk assessment which is updated every year, more frequently if significant changes are made to the interior of buildings, or new buildings are bought or added.
  • In addition to the weekly fire alarm tests, the alarm system, together with all smoke detectors, emergency lighting, and extinguishers are tested annually by a qualified contractor.
  • The School has current electrical test certificates for all its buildings. It uses NICEIC qualified Electrical Engineers to inspect and maintain its electrical installations all of which meet the requirements of BS7671 IEE wiring regulations.
  • All work on gas boilers and appliances is carried out by registered Gas Safe Engineers
  • All domestic boilers are inspected annually.


The Bursar is the School’s Safety Co-ordinator, and is responsible for advising on any measures that may be needed in order to carry out maintenance work without risks to health and safety.  He also co-ordinates the advice given by specialist safety advisors and produces action plans.  He is responsible for ensuring that all contractors are carefully selected and have appropriate health and safety policies. He has overall responsibility for monitoring health and safety within the School and for reporting any breaches. The Bursar attends termly staff meetings and will listen to and act upon any Health and Safety concerns raised by any member of staff, he will also lead any necessary consultations with staff.

January 2017