Health and Safety
Health & Safety is an important area for all education professionals, and an important area for the NEU. It includes a wide range of issues, all of which can impact on students as well as educators. H&S matters can also impact on members' families: work-related stress is an obvious example of this.
For a full list of guidance on H&S matters, go to the national website A-Z guide
Every workplace's management, governors and trustees have a duty to monitor employee well-being and workload on a regular basis and to make sure that measures are taken to work smart rather than long. In schools there should be a published annual calendar of meetings and events to which staff "are directed" to go, so that staff can know well in advance what their family commitments are. There should also be a clear statement of the directed hours of each teacher, including part-time - normal school day teaching hours, duties, meetings, parents' consultations etc. It has been reported that many Dorset schools are failing to provide this basic information and are consequently increasing workload and stress.
NEU Reps are often asked about H&S matters like excessive workload, low workplace temperatures and unsafe working practices.
NEU urges members act collectively and to pose some questions:-
- Who is the official Heath & Safety Officer for your school, academy or institution?
- What is your H&S Policy?
- What are your staff Well-being and Stress Management Policies?
- Does your school, academy or institution have a H&S Committee?
- Does the H&S Committee meet regularly with a proper agenda?
- Is there an NEU person on the H&S Committee?
- Do the Governors/trustees carry out their annual H&S inspection tour and report back to the LA, Trust and in-house H&S Committee?