Although the LA or governing body as employers are legally responsible for health and safety, head teachers and teachers are generally acknowledged to have a duty of care towards the pupils in their care as they are acting in loco parentis.
Such a duty does not derive from legislation. It has been upheld in the English courts as a duty which has derived from laws established through common use and case law precedents.
Mowbray School has pupils on roll with a wide range of special or medical needs. It is the responsibility of the school to make sure that safety measures cover the needs of all pupils. This may mean making special arrangements for particular pupils in compliance with the NYCC document Managing the Health Care Needs of Children and Young People (October 2008) .
The Medical Policy should be understood and accepted by all staff, and available to parents and pupils as it provide a sound basis for ensuring that pupils receive proper care and support at school. The policy is mentioned in the school prospectus and information is given to all parents as part of the parent pack on their child’s entry to the school. Parents are also invited to read the Medical Policy on request.
First aiders must complete a full training course approved by the Health and Safety Executive. At school, the main duties of a first aider are to:
- Give immediate help to casualties with common injuries or illnesses and those arising from specific hazards at school
- When necessary, ensure that an ambulance or other professional medical help is called
- Looks after the first aid equipment, e.g. restocking the first aid containers.
An appointed person is not a first aider but someone who:
- Takes charge when someone is injured or becomes ill
- Ensures that an ambulance or other professional medical help is summoned when appropriate.
At Mowbray this responsibility lies with the Head, Deputy and Assistant Heads.
There are no rules on the exact numbers of first-aid personnel required in a school, but the Health and Safety Commission has issued guidance on numbers of first-aid personnel based on employee numbers. This is referred to in the DfE Guidance on First Aid for Schools (available from DfE Publications, ref: FAS98). The Department recommends that for the purpose of assessing first aid personnel numbers that pupil numbers as well as employee numbers are taken into account. The minimum requirement is that an appointed person must take charge of the first aid arrangements.
There is no mandatory list of items for a first aid container. However, the Health and Safety Executive recommend that, where there is no special risk identified, a minimum provision of first aid items would be:
· A leaflet giving general advice on first aid
· 20 individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings (assorted sizes)
· Two sterile eye pads
· Four individually wrapped triangular bandages (preferably sterile)
· Six safety pins
· Six medium sized individually wrapped sterile unmedicated wound dressings
· Two large sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings
· One pair of disposable gloves.
A school’s first aid procedures should identify the appointed person (see above) responsible for examining the contents of first aid containers. These should be checked frequently and restocked as soon as possible after use. There should be extra stock in the school and items should be discarded safely after the expiry date has passed.
Head teachers should ensure that records are kept of any first-aid treatment given by first aiders and appointed persons. The Accident Log is situated in the school office. At Mowbray these records include:
- The date, time and place of the incident
- The name and class of the injured or ill person
- Details of the injury/illness and what first aid was given
- What happened to the person immediately afterwards
- The name and signature of the first aider or person dealing with the incident
- If a hospital visit is judged necessary records of the accident should be taken to the hospital. A copy of the child’s details taken from the front of the pupil’s file should also be taken. Form ARF1 should also be completed and sent by post to the Health and Safety Officer and a copy kept on file in school. It is the responsibility of the Head of Department to complete this with the assistance of first aider
- Any minor head injuries require the appropriate letter sending home informing parents of follow up treatment. These letters are held in the office.
In an emergency, the Headteacher should have procedures for contacting the child’s parent/named contact as soon as possible, although this task could be delegated to another member of staff. It is also good practice to report all serious or significant incidents to the pupil’s parents, e.g. by sending a letter home with the pupil or telephoning the parent. All these details are held in the student’s files in the office.
Mowbray School’s first aid procedures cover the arrangements for dealing with accidents on the school site and for the notification of parents. As well as school first aid records, there are certain statutory records and reporting arrangements which are required be adhered to.
Statutory Accident Records
Employers with 10 or more employees must keep readily accessible accident records, either in written or electronic form. These records must be kept for a minimum of three years.
Reporting of Accidents
Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation 1995 (RIDDOR), some accidents must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive. LEA maintained schools should also follow their LEA’s procedures as some LEA’s may require serious/significant accidents to be reported centrally for insurance/statistical purposes or as part of their RIDDOR arrangements.
The following accidents must be reported to HSE if they injure either the school’s employees during an activity connected with work or self-employed people (e.g. contractors) while working on the premises:
- Accidents resulting in death or major injury (including as a result of violence)
- Accidents which prevent the injured person from doing their normal work for more than three days (including acts of physical violence).
Accidents to pupils or visitors must be reported to the HSE if:
- The person involved is killed or is taken from the site of the accident to hospital and
- The accident arises out of or in connection with work.
At Mowbray one of the named persons must complete the Accident form, photocopy and forward to the Health and Safety Officer at County Hall. He should also be contacted by telephone as soon after the accident/incident as possible.
All maintained schools are required to have a suitable room that can be used for medical or dental treatment when required and for the care of sick or injured pupils. The area must contain a washbasin and be reasonably near to a WC.
The room need not be used solely as medical accommodation, but it should be appropriate for that purpose (see above) and readily available for use as such when needed.
Medicines in School
The Medicines Act 1968 places restrictions on dealings with medicinal products, including their administration. In the case of prescription-only medicines, anyone administering such a medicinal product by injection must be an appropriate practitioner e.g. a doctor.
There is no legal or contractual duty on school staff to administer medicine or supervise a pupil taking it. This is a voluntary role. Support staff may have specific duties to provide medical assistance as part of their contract. However, teachers and other school staff in charge of pupils have a common law duty to act as any reasonably prudent parent would to make sure that pupils are healthy and safe on school premises and this might, extend to administering medicine and/or taking action in an emergency. This duty also extends to teachers leading out-of-school activities, such as educational visits, school outings or field trips. Insurance policies should provide appropriate cover for staff willing to support children with special educational needs. Every trip out of school will be accurately recorded and details left in the office of all those persons going on the trip. A member of staff must be responsible for issuing and looking after all medication. A record of administration must be kept. Staff taking trips out of school will be required to carry a first aid kit and must take a mobile phone.
When pupils require medication on work experience, and a member of the school staff is not present, separate arrangements need to be made. On some occasions requiring parents to complete form 3, consenting for their child to self administer medication. On other occasions the work experience provider will follow guidelines in the personal Health Care Plan.
On residential visits this could be delegated to a site nurse or named person but it should be clearly defined who has responsibility at all times i.e. at night. The Health Care Plan will be kept with the medication at all times. The health and well being of students includes protection from the sun, and supplies of high factor sun cream should accompany groups if appropriate. Permission to apply cream should be sought in writing before being applied.
All medicines brought into school must be clearly labelled with the child’s name and dosage; the original container should always be used. Medication purchased over the counter for pain relief cannot be administered at school. Pupils with inhalers should be encouraged to look after their inhalers if appropriate, a record of consent from parents must be completed before pupils self administer medication-from 3. Staff must be aware where the inhaler is kept.
Written instructions from parents should be given for the administration of any medication (access the form here). A record should be made on the form situated in the medical cabinet with the date and the initial of administrator. When registered drugs are being administered eg Ritolin, 2 adults should be present to witness the dosage and ensure that the medication is taken.
Children who are unwell with an infectious disease should not be at school or EYFS. If a school or EYFS suspects that some of the children are part of an outbreak of infection (an unusual number of cases of infectious disease) they should inform their consultant in Communicable Disease Control. Advice can also be sought from the school doctor or nurse.
The Health protection agency have produced a poster, Guidance on Infection Control in Schools and Nurseries. The poster provides information on different types of infectious diseases and how to minimise the risk of transmission of infection to other children and staff. This guidance is clearly displayed in the medical room.
Immunisation programmes are organised by local health authorities, under the direction of the Department of Health. The Secretary of State for Health is required, under NHS and education legislation, to provide for the medical and dental inspection of children in all maintained schools. Local education authorities should encourage schools to take advantage of such provision.
Head lice are tiny wingless insects which only live on the human head, and can only be passed on by direct head to head contact. Clean hair is no protection, although regular (weekly) hair washing and combing sessions offer a good opportunity to detect head lice and arrange treatment if discovered. Parents have the prime responsibility for checking their children’s heads and carrying out treatment.
Where live lice are seen, teachers should notify the parent of the child concerned. Letters informing parents of infestation are available from the office.
All staff at Mowbray should be made aware that protection against Hepatitis B is available from their doctors. The onus is on the member of staff to take advantage of this offer.