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Newly revised health and safety guidance for schools

5 July 2011

This week the government issued its new health and safety guidance for schools and having taken the view that 150 pages was simply too much, the new guidance runs to a mere eight.

This is not the first piece of guidance the Department for Education has scaled back – draft guidance on the use of force and searching pupils saw a similar approach.

Rather than support the efforts to reduce red tape, the teaching unions have been critical, referring to the approach as “potentially reckless” and question the need for change.

One key area on which the guidance focuses is school trips. It aims to make educational visits easier to organise and provide teachers with more confidence to do so. The HSE went further, saying that the new guidance “out those who hide behind red tape” when considering educational visits.

It should be noted that there is no change in the law here, the guidance simply seeks to clarify the existing position and promote a sensible balance.

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