How we support schools
Our Property & Compliance team are here to offer the expertise and guidance your school needs to meet the multitude of health and safety obligations it faces – through audits, training and a whole host of other supports.
Improving health and safety step by step
We’re here to ease your school and staff through the process of addressing your school’s needs. From working to understand which areas need attention to applying practical solutions, we have it covered.
We talk to you to gauge the level of service you’re looking for and the areas of health, safety and facilities management with which you need help.
If relevant, we arrange for a property advisor to inspect your school facilities. They assess risks and identify issues that need to be resolved to achieve legal safety standards.
Based on our findings and your areas of need, we propose a bespoke plan of action. This might include training, setting up a monitoring system, and taking any remedial action needed.
We carry out the agreed actions – from providing training and creating policies to commissioning any required physical work on your property through our network of approved contractors.
We’ll review your health and safety arrangements, as necessary. If you’re a member with us, we’ll be back for regular site visits (at least six times a year), and we’ll bring you updates on legislation changes, annual reviews and more.
Frequently asked questions
How often should we portable appliance test electrical items?
The frequency of inspection and testing depends upon the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. For example, a vacuum cleaner used daily in the corridors and around the entrance areas should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a classroom. For guidance on suggested frequencies of inspection and testing, see Maintaining Portable Electrical Equipment in low-risk environments
Do I need to keep records of PA Testing, and should items tested be labelled?
There is no legal requirement to label equipment that has been inspected or tested, nor is there a requirement to keep records of these activities. However, a record and / or labelling can be a useful management tool for monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the maintenance scheme – and to demonstrate that a scheme exists.
I hot desk, so do I need to carry out display screen assessments every time?
In law, your employer must carry out a workstation assessment, looking at the whole workstation, including equipment, furniture, and work conditions, and the job being done. They must also provide you with the necessary training so that you understand the risks in DSE work and how to avoid these by safe working practices. Those who hot desk will need to complete the same assessment as those with fixed workstations, however, they will also conduct their own dynamic risk assessment when they move to another desk. This simply requires them to do a quick review of their new workstation which will include adjusting their chair, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc, so that all equipment is in harmony to their specific requirements as much as possible.
When is a ladder right for a job?
The law says that ladders can be used for work at height when a risk assessment has shown that using equipment offering a higher level of fall protection is not justified because of the low risk and short duration of use; or there are existing workplace features which cannot be altered. You should only use ladders when you have completed the appropriate training and in situations where they can be used safely, where the ladder will be level and stable, and where its reasonably practicable to do so, the ladder can be secured.
Should the school be providing me with PPE?
Yes. Employers should provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and training in its usage to their employees wherever there is a risk to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled by other means.
How often do we need to do an evacuation drill?
School fire drills are critical in ensuring the safe evacuation of everyone. It is important to practice the fire evacuation procedure so that everyone on the premises is familiar with the process and so that evacuation can be carried out as quickly as possible in a real emergency. They should be carried out at least once per full term at different times of the day. Ideally, different scenarios should be practiced with a ‘fire’ deemed to be in a specific location each time and blocking an escape route. This way, staff, fire marshals and pupils are best prepared for changing circumstances
What is the target time for a fire evacuation drill?
There is no target time for a whole school evacuation drill. The aim will always be to achieve a full, effective, and efficient evacuation, but the greater value lies in getting the best from the drill, checking that the Evacuation Plan is still relevant and identifying any shortcomings in the plan or procedure. As the new school year brings new children and staff into the school and a change of classroom for most of those returning, it is recommended that the first drill of the year is kept simple and carried out at a slower pace.
What is the minimum temperature allowed for a classroom?
There is no legal minimum or maximum temperature. Schools should follow government guidance on workplace temperatures, which requires a 'reasonable' indoor temperature. For classrooms (i.e. places where people aren't doing physical work) the guidance says this is a minimum of 16ºC. There is no guidance on maximum temperature, but your emergency or critical incident plan should cover 'severe weather' – for example, heatwaves.
What PLP's values mean for schools
We’re always here to deliver reliable advice and to help you adapt quickly to changing safety regulations.
Our overarching purpose is to help keep your school safe and empower people to take the right actions.
We use an innovative mix of personal guidance, training and digital resources to deliver the best possible service.
Collaborations between our advisors, contractors and school staff are central to effective health and safety strategy.
We'd love to support you
Please reach out to our friendly team at our office using the details below.