Accident prevention

3rd March 2000 at 00:00
SAFETY ACROSS THE CURRICULUM. Edited by Carole Raymond. Falmer Press pound;14.99

Safety in schools usually makes headlines in the wake of a high-profile accident. Questions are asked, solutions sought, lessons learned and school and local authority leaders think, "There, but for the Grace of God..."

This book eschews reliance on any such divine intervention and offers instead strategies to reduce the risk of such accidents. Protecting children is paramount, but we also need to protect ourselves because, underlying the bland familiarity of the terms in loco parentis and duty of care, is the daunting reality of the huge responsibility for safety shouldered by teachers.

After acknowledging that children are endlessly inventive and so the ways in which an accident can arise are limitless, this guide asserts that apart from elements beyond our control and sheer bad luck, there is a great deal that can be done to avoid accidents. The editor is also sufficiently pragmatic to recognise that, "while accident prevention is the firt priority, making sure that there is proper insurance cover comes very close behind".

Throughout, the editor successfully treads the narrow path between being complacent and being alarmist. Harnessing the twin defences of risk management and "negligence avoidance", she offers primary teachers comprehensive guidance on safe practice across a range of curriculum areas. In addition to advice on general policies and risk assessment there are chapters devoted to design and technology, information and communications technology, PE, science and the "outdoor classroom" all written by specialists. Checklists, statistics and research findings show that risk can be reduced and managed if recognised.

This book is a useful adjunct to safety advice from the DfEE. Realistically, it is unlikely to be at the top of teachers' must-reads, though headteachers and primary health and safety reps would be the better for putting its principles into practice.

Kevin Harcombe is head of Redlands primary school, Fareham, Hampshire


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now