Achieving Educational Excellence e-guide



INTRODUCTION When you went into teaching you wanted to make a difference. Schools are vibrant, fun places for learning but they can also be a legislative nightmare and the last thing you want is to be bogged down in mountains of regulatory paperwork. Our education experts have a wealth of experience providing comprehensive support to schools and other educational facilities. We know better than most just how time-consuming, confusing and draining it can be trying to navigate the ever-changing legislation that governs the education sector.

No two schools are the same, so we know it’s important to you to have bespoke, specialist support tailored to meet the exact needs of your school. We also know that money is tight in your sector, which is why we never charge you for anything you don’t use.

SAFEGUARDING One of the most important areas in the education sector is safeguarding . As well as knowing what signs to look for to identify a child at risk, you also have a responsibility to protect them from coming to any harmwhilst under your care. Making the right recruitment choices plays a huge role in this and a DBS check can give you peace of mind, knowing that you’re doing all you can to protect your children. As an umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service, we pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive, high quality service getting you the information you need quickly so as not to hold up your recruitment process.

SAFEGUARDING Another important area is data protection . In your line of work, there is a lot of confidential information that you deal with on a daily basis and it’s important that this remains confidential . The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect from 25 May 2018. It was introduced by the EU in order to strengthen data protection for all individuals within the EU. People have more control over their personal data, including the right to be forgotten and it’s important to take all steps to protect personal data.

It’s essential that all staff who handle personal information understand the fundamental principles and requirements of GDPR , specialist training courses can help ensure you stay compliant. Ofsted places great importance on data protection so ensuring that your staff is fully up to speed on GDPR could not only save you from big fines but, also, help maintain a positive rating.

ABSENCE MANAGEMENT Everyone gets ill from time to time but continuous, prolonged or sporadic absences can take their toll. In education it’s not as easy as it may be for other sectors where work can often wait until the person is back, you need to minimise the disruption to lessons regardless of illness. This brings the additional logistical headache and expense of rearranging schedules, bringing in supply teachers and covering sick pay.

ABSENCE MANAGEMENT While Ofsted places great importance on student absence, they also look closely at staff absence . At ELAS we take the health and wellbeing of your employees seriously. We’ve been at the forefront of absence management for the last decade, developing smart software that has been proven to reduce absence rates by 62% and analysing absence statistics to identify trends . We coined the phrase National Sickie Day after identifying a trend for increased absence on the first Monday in February. Our latest statistics show that times have moved on and National Sickie Day is no more – the latest trend employers should be aware of is that of increased absence rates on Mondays consistently throughout the year; almost double that on Fridays.

Systems such as the Bradford Factor are particularly useful as they heavily weight against frequency of absence. This means that they don’t punish genuine absences but rather short, frequent absenteeism. It also helps identify any patterns of absence so that you can deal with them before they become a problem.

ABSENCE MANAGEMENT Absence management isn’t just about identifying trends, it’s important to have robust r eturn to work procedures in place. As part of our comprehensive service, we also help you tackle the reasons behind absences. We understand the impact that absenteeism and health and wellbeing can have on your business, particularly when it comes to employees with ongoing or complex conditions.

There are many ways we can work with you to support and improve the health and wellbeing of your employees, including their mental health . Should an employee’s absence rates suggest a health issue, our occupational health services can help ensure your employees are properly managing any underlying medical conditions.

FOOD HYGIENE RATINGS Our research has shown that some schools are failing children when it comes to food hygiene in school kitchens. While food hygiene ratings do not play a part in a school’s Ofsted report, they are something that the public places great importance on. Our research has shown that while providing nutritious, healthy food is high on the list of priorities for many schools, others have let their standards slip when it comes to monitoring the preparation and hygiene standards in kitchens. The food hygiene rating scheme helps us choose where to eat or shop for food based on how seriously a business takes its food hygiene standards. All businesses that serve food, including schools, are required to display their food

hygiene rating in a public place. Each business is given a rating after an inspection by a food safety officer based on how hygienically food is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored; the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and condition of the food preparation areas and how they manage and record their food safety standards. Businesses are then rated from 0-5 with the top rating of 5 meaning that they have very good hygiene standards. You’d be unlikely to choose to eat at a restaurant that scored a 2 or below, why should your students and staff have to?

FOOD HYGIENE RATINGS Many schools outsource the provision of meals to outside caterers however did you know that the food hygiene rating score applies to the school itself? There are currently 128 schools listed on the food hygiene ratings website with a score of 2 or below. Children are classed as a vulnerable group, which means that they are more susceptible to food borne illness – this means that it’s vital to ensure you’re doing everything you can to guarantee the food served in your school is prepared in a safe and hygienic environment.

We’ve all heard the media reports about peanuts being banned from schools but did you know that there are 14 ingredients covered by allergen management legislation? It’s important that any children or employees who suffer from food allergies are able to be confident that they can safely eat the food your school provides.

HEALTH & SAFETY Not only do you have a responsibility to secure the health, safety and welfare of your employees e.g. teachers and other staff by providing a safe work environment , there’s also an added responsibility to make sure that all pupils and visitors to the school are protected against any risks to their health and safety which might arise as a result of your work. This includes anything frommaintaining the cleanliness and temperature of your school, to seating arrangements, to risks associated with the lessons being taught e.g. chemicals used while teaching science, machinery/tools used in workshops, risk of injury during PE etc.

HEALTH & SAFETY From preventing slips, trips and falls to having the correct procedures in place in case of emergency, first aid provisions, protective equipment and signage, managing medical conditions and correct recording and reporting of accidents – health and safety can be a minefield. However it doesn’t have to be complicated. At ELAS we specialise in helping you apply sensible risk management . Our consultancy teamwill proactively help you manage the safety and health within your school, identifying any areas of non- compliance and recommending appropriate control measures. From creating management systems, policies and procedures right up to

specific risk assessments or having our health and safety consultants act as your competent person – we can provide the right level of support your school needs to take the headache out of health and safety.

HEALTH & SAFETY We believe in promoting a positive health and safety organisational culture at the heart of every company. It’s not simply enough to provide your pupils and staff with a safe school, it’s just as important to foster a culture that encourages a healthy, safe and supportive environment. This means creating safe working practices and rules for effectively controlling hazards, creating a positive attitude towards risk management and health and safety, and giving your staff the knowledge needed to learn from any accidents and/or near misses, whilst also striving for continual improvement. By its very nature, this kind of culture is continuously fluid but rest assured, ELAS will be with you every step of the way.

We know that issues can arise at any time which is why our 24/7 health and safety advice line gives you access to our support team any time of day or night.

HEALTH SURVEILLANCE Occupational health goes far beyond the traditional reactive process of preventing ill health, it aims to instill preventative measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of your employees. Every day your grounds keepers, maintenance workers, cleaners and teachers are working with substances that could pose a danger to their health if not managed correctly. Add in to the mix the need to protect the children who attend your school from inadvertently coming into contact with various chemicals, paints etc. and you will get an idea of how important this can be.

From statutory medicals to driver assessments, drugs and alcohol testing to vaccinations our team of experienced and highly skilled occupational health practitioners can work alongside your team to find the right level of support for you.

HEALTH SURVEILLANCE We can help prevent work-related ill health, work with employees who have ongoing health issues to help them remain in or return to work, ensure compliance with health and safety regulations including minimising and eliminating workplace hazards and help you to promote health in the workplace and healthy lifestyles. Once an employee has been identified as ‘at risk’ due to the tasks they perform or substances used in the course of their work, health surveillance can help monitor and contain that risk to protect your employee’s health . What’s more we can do this with minimal disruption to your school thanks to our mobile medical units , which bring the full range of testing right to your school.

FIRE SAFETY One of the biggest risks to any school is fire. Whether it’s arson or simply an accident, the nature and number or people using your school every day and the various fuels that are kept within the building e.g. paper, paints, chemicals, kitchen supplies etc. means that fire should be kept at the forefront of every school’s risk assessment . The ages and abilities of the people within the building, high occupancy and potential for behavioural issues e.g. panic in event of evacuation, make fire training a high priority. Ensuring that fire wardens are assigned and trained, maintaining fire detection and alarm systems, reducing the likelihood of fire and safeguarding pupils and staff during any emergency evacuation should all

be second nature for you. If you have any pupils or staff members with disabilities or temporary conditions such as broken limbs or pregnancy this will all need to be taken into consideration when putting together a fire safety management plan . Many schools are modern but some are in older or historic buildings which bring with them additional risk and challenges. Every school has unique risks and as such requires different levels of fire safety management. There is no one size fits all approach to this.

FIRE SAFETY Do you know what the specific fire risks are associated with your school? Does your staff know the evacuation procedures in the event of a fire? Do you have the correct fire extinguishers and know how and when to use them? We believe that fire safety training should be both informative and fun . In the event of a fire, your staff are more likely to recall their training if they enjoyed it, and with the safety of your pupils as well as your staff at stake, we take our responsibilities seriously.

Our expert trainers travel the length and breadth of the UK delivering a wide variety of fire safety training at your premises, including hands on use of fire extinguishers to give your staff the confidence they need to know how to respond if confronted by fire.

TRAINING It’s not only your pupils who need to

Our trainers can come to your school to deliver bespoke classroom courses on site or provide e-learning courses that enable your employees to learn on the go, the choice is yours. If you can’t find the course you’re looking for, simply give Trainer Trev - our head of training - a call. He’s always available to discuss your training needs or see about developing a bespoke course to suit you and your school. At ELAS we pride ourselves on being the flexible choice .

continuously learn – so do your employees! At ELAS we’re the leading UK providers of employee and management training ; this means we can give your team all the tools they need when it comes to best practice within the education sector. We’ve put together a comprehensive e-learning bundle specifically tailored to the education sector with modules ranging from slips, trips and falls to needle sticks, epilepsy to legionella. Our library of industry leading, fully accredited courses includes everything from fire warden training and first aid at work to level 3 food safety.

PAYROLL One of the most emotive areas of any business, if your employees aren’t being paid on time or receive the wrong amount then you will definitely know about it. Nobody wants disgruntled employees, especially when you already have so much else on your plate. At ELAS we have a dedicated payroll team and helpline , giving you the confidence and peace of mind you need to entrust us to manage your payroll professionally and sensitively. We guarantee a seamless transition from your current payroll provider, saving you time, money and worry.



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