0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

“let them eat cake” - Health and Safety gone mad?

7 December 2012

The threat of litigation and reputational damage can sometimes cause schools and Councils to take knee-jerk measures to protect themselves from health and safety liability. This was illustrated in a recent article which reported that parents were told they could not bring homemade cakes to a school Christmas fair unless they had a food and hygiene certificate. This follows reports of children being denied opportunities to go on school trips over health and safety concerns.

Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive states: “The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far as ‘reasonably practicable’”. Carrying out a risk assessment that identifies the hazard, notes who may be harmed and how, evaluates risk and decides on precautions should result in a common-sense approach being taken. Schools are right to take precautions in this litigious climate but using a sledgehammer to crack a nut could be to the detriment of pupils and the school community.

Related opinions

Does the move into Step 4 mean the ending of Covid-19 restrictions within schools?

With the Prime Ministers announcement that he intends for Step 4 to begin on 19 July, this will also bring an end to the restrictions currently in place on education settings.

View blog

Responsibilities towards students identifying as non-binary

Our top tips for supporting transgender and non-binary pupils.

View blog

Advocacy in Action: Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders (FGMPO)

The issue of Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders and the importance of education providers to act promptly.

View blog

Flexible working, childcare and indirect sex discrimination – important reminder

The courts have long recognised that, on a societal level, women bear a greater burden of childcare responsibilities than men which can make it more difficult for women to comply with employer requirements for flexible working (known as the ‘childcare disparity’).

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up