Health and safety in academies and schools
Our team understands the increasingly complex and everchanging nature of health and safety advice, regulations, investigations and prosecutions, and aims to work closely with you, as an education provider, to provide you with reliable advice and support.
Our proactive risk management advice includes issues surrounding corporate manslaughter legislation and other specific health and safety risks.
As well as non-fatal investigations we also advise on fatal accidents and Health and Safety Executive investigations including corporate manslaughter investigations, advising on investigative process, interview under caution, inquests and prosecution. Cases we have previously dealt with include deaths upon school premises and local authority premises as well as issues arising from a wide range of risks including workplace transport, maintenance of property and equipment, asbestos and Legionella.
We’re experts in defending regulatory prosecutions and enforcement notices, advising on complex regulations and managing police investigations which includes advising on police powers generally. We also represent clients during investigation, attendance at inquests and in connection with any subsequent prosecution.
We can provide proactive advice and conduct reviews on both general and specific health and safety policies for all educational establishments, advising on the duties and responsibilities of the local authority and the trustees/board. We also offer bespoke training packages for staff.
Daisy May Coster-Hollis
"Work closely with our team and become part of our extended team. Maintain high level of sector knowledge. Provision of CPD and events by experts."
"Brown Jacobson (North West) are an exceptional company to work with, as we have had a great deal of activity that has needed their sage advice, professional input and guidance. Their understanding of the education sector is exceptional and they also have access a wider range of expertise to support complex questions which have come up in these exceptional times."
"Excellent service, all legal support has been excellent quality."
"Huge enthusiasm and keenness to meet clients’ needs. They want to know and understand your business."
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Safeguarding at scale report published
Law firm picks up record breaking sixth Education Investor Award
Browne Jacobson’s education team has been named as winner of the ‘Legal Advisors to Education Institutions’ category at the Education Investor Awards 2022 for a record sixth time.
Thousands take part in virtual careers event to help increase diversity in the legal profession
Over 3000 young people from across the UK and Ireland took part in a virtual legal careers insight event, aimed at making the legal profession more diverse.
Directors fined for unsafe removal of asbestos
Two directors of a construction company were fined after failing to ensure the safe removal of asbestos from a plot of land. On 14 and 15 November 2021, Directors Anthony Sumner and Neil Brown, of Waterbarn Limited were involved in the uncontrolled removal of asbestos material from a plot of land in Grasscroft, Oldham.
Don't look down
An engineering company in Tyne and Wear was fined £20,000 after a worker fractured his pelvis and suffered internal injuries after falling through a petrol station forecourt canopy, whilst he was replacing the guttering.
Insights from the DfE on pandemic recovery and major policies
On 21 September 2022, we had the pleasure of hosting a Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) lunchtime briefing, delivered by the Director General for the DfE’s Strategy Group, Julia Kinniburgh.
HSE inspection of asbestos in schools
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have announced they will be carrying out a programme of inspections to primary and secondary school establishments from September 2022. The inspections will assess how schools are managing the risks from asbestos and meeting the Duty to Manage requirements, set out in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Browne Jacobson’s market leading Education expertise recognised again in latest Legal 500 rankings
The new set of Legal 500 directory rankings have been published and we are proud to once again be recognised as one of the country’s leading firms advising the Education sector.
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022: updated Governor and Trustee training requirement
The two biggest changes in the new safeguarding guidance revolve around sourcing high quality governor and trustee training and the new requirement to carry out online searches for shortlisted candidates.
Is it hot in here, or is it just me?
Whilst the weather conditions are predicted to be cooling down this week, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is asking employers and businesses to consider adapting to recurrent warmer weather conditions for the safety and benefit of their staff. It asks employers to ensure that extreme heat becomes a firm part of longer term risk management. Climate change in any event is something all businesses will need to consider as the warmer weather becomes more frequent - extreme heat is something that will impact employers on a day to day basis.
Building Safety Bill – what’s coming and how will it affect you?
In anticipation of the adoption of the Building Safety Bill, our specialist compliance and regulatory team will give an overview of the measures proposed in the Bill.
Browne Jacobson’s C-suite exec level coaching team appoints two new education specialists
National law firm Browne Jacobson has grown its team behind its dedicated Space + Time executive coaching programme with the addition of two more qualified coaches who will work with clients in the education sector.
Health and safety successes at trial highlighting need for engaging staff compliance training
Our insurance litigation specialists have recently successfully defended claims brought against two schools for alleged health and safety failings.
KCSIE: How to research applicants' online profiles
The Department for Education published the draft 2022 version of Keeping Children Safe in Education. A few changes caught the eye and the one that most of us in education are discussing relates to a new set of text that suggested checking the online presence of job applicants.
Fines for unsafe removal of asbestos in schools
In order to reduce the risk of potential breaches, schools should follow this Health and Safety Executive guidance.
Schools and Covid vaccinations - the legal landscape
The Government has decided that healthy 12 – 15 year olds can receive the Covid-19 vaccine and this autumn the first dose is being offered as part of the school based vaccination programme.
Asbestos: Still the UK’s number one occupational killer
A ResPublica report highlighted that asbestos continues to be the UK’s number one occupational killer, with nurses and teachers 3 to 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general UK population. The House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee is investigating how the HSE manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.
Browne Jacobson hosts UK’s largest virtual legal careers event to boost access to careers in law
Tomorrow, (Wednesday 27th October), national law firm Browne Jacobson will host its second FAIRE: virtual work experience and legal careers insight event, in partnership with Young Professionals.
New benchmarking service now available to guide the remuneration of school trust executive teams
The Confederation of School Trusts (CST), as the sector body for School Trusts, today releases a salary benchmarking service for executive roles in School Trusts, in conjunction with partners XpertHR, Cendex and Browne Jacobson.
Mandatory directing off-site
On 17 September 2021, the High Court handed down judgment in the case that covers some important points in relation to directing pupils off-site and is one of the few cases that covers the powers of schools to do so.
Updated guidance on Covid-19 vaccination: 12 to 15 year olds
On 13 September the Department of Health and Social Care announced that young people aged 12 to 15 are to be offered a Covid-19 vaccine. People aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, following advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs).
Civil claims in schools
Civil claims are an ongoing area of concern for schools, with the potential for financial and reputational implications. Here at Browne Jacobson we assist both maintained schools and academies in dealing with the full range of civil claims that schools face.
be connected newsletter for education - July 2021
In this edition we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the sector.
Consultation opens on a revised Building Bulletin 100 design guide for fire safety in schools
Key aspects of the DfE's revised regulations following the Grenfell Tower fire and wider work on fire safety standards.
Schools face scrutiny over Covid-19 vaccinations for children
On 4 June, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds.
School not liable for reckless actions of a student
The decision reinforces that the standard of the duty of care owed by schools is one or reasonableness.
Teachers report inadequate training on peer-on-peer abuse
Despite the increased media and regulatory focus on peer-on-peer abuse within schools, teachers are still reporting that they feel undertrained and ill-equipped to recognise and respond to allegations and incidents.
Everyone’s Invited – Ofsted to review safeguarding policies
Ofsted has announced that it will begin an immediate review of school safeguarding policies. It is now time that you take steps to ensure your policies and procedures are up to date.
Allegations of abuse in schools, colleges and universities
The website “Everyone’s Invited” is a movement which is “committed to eradicating rape culture” and describes “rape culture” as “all the ways that different forms of aggressive and violent sexual behaviour are normalised, encouraged and even admired by society”. Find out more.
‘Everyone’s Invited’ - managing reports of child-on-child assault and harassment
The ‘Everyone’s Invited’ movement has over 9,000 testimonies on its website and, whilst it has recently taken the step to anonymise everything on the platform, a number of schools have been named.
Back to School: HR and employment FAQs, March 2021
Despite the national vaccination rollout going to plan it is understandable that many school staff will be feeling hesitant about next week’s almost full return to the school site. We have put together FAQs to assist with your ongoing support and management of your employees.
be connected newsletter for education - March 2021
In this edition we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the sector.
Advice for secondary schools on wearing face coverings
The latest guidance from the Department for Education (DfE), March 2021, recommends that staff, pupils and students in year 7 and above should wear face coverings.
Lateral flow daily contact testing paused
Following last week’s Guardian article about the concerns over lateral flow daily testing for those identified as having been a close contact of a person testing positive for Covid-19, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace (NHSTT) have published a position statement to recommend that daily contact testing in schools will be paused.
Evidencing compliance and how to get it right
This on-demand training video sets out the expectations of OFSTED, the ICO and the HSE, and cover how to evidence staff training and development throughout the year.
Lateral flow testing in schools
Lateral flow testing is underway in schools across England to provide rapid Covid-19 testing of staff and students in secondary schools and colleges.
Department for Education (DfE) guidance on educational provision during lockdown
The government decision on lockdown and the subsequent Department for Education (DfE) guidance vulnerable children and the children of critical workers and actions for schools to take during lockdown.
Can we limit the number of vulnerable and/or critical-worker children we have in school during lockdown?
On Friday 8 January, the Department for Education’s (DfE) updated its guidance slightly to explain that where a child can remain at home rather than attend school, they should.
Exams and assessments: what we know so far
The government has issued updated guidance for schools during the 2021 national lockdown. Find out more here.
When Covid-19 ‘trips’ up your school’s travel plans
Throughout 2020, journalists and politicians stressed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on holiday and travel plans for individuals and households. However, the pandemic has also affected countless school trips, giving rise to legal issues such as schools’ financial exposure to cancellation fees and deposit refunds.