Reviewed by: Sarah Cokayne, Resources Committee, 8th November 2021
Next Review: Autumn 2023
Kelvin Grove Primary School will not tolerate violence and aggression towards its employees. Kelvin Grove will take all reasonable steps to ensure that violence to its employees is eliminated, or the risk of harm minimised in situations where it cannot be eliminated. The Health and Safety Executive has defined violence at work as:
“Any incident, in which an employee is abused, threatened or assaulted by a member of the public in circumstances arising out of the course of his/her employment”.
At Kelvin Grove we believe that incidents of violence and aggression can be verbal or physical. We believe that inappropriate use of body language is physically threatening. This includes incidents of violence and abuse from pupils, parents and members of the public.
Head teachers and managers have a responsibility to identify whether or not there is a problem of potential violence in their areas of work through the risk assessment process. No employee should be asked to carry out duties that would place them in danger of violence.
Employees have a duty not to knowingly carry out any activity that would put them at risk of violence. Employees should ensure that they have read and understood all risk assessments regarding potential violence and aggression and must comply with the appropriate control measures.
Questions relating to a history of violence and aggression should always be included in all referrals, assessment requests, and/or admissions documents. Where this is not forthcoming a ‘worst case scenario’ assumption must be implemented until information is obtained that refutes this.
Where no relevant risk assessment is in place Managers/Team Leaders are expected to take time to write one in order to ensure appropriate controls are in place for the safety of their employees and others.
An appropriate risk assessment should always include information regarding the pupil/clients family history in order to identify past incidents, or likelihood, of violence. Where this has been established, employees should not be expected to have lone contact.
General guidance on ‘Preventative Measures’ can be found in the Council’s Violence and Aggression Policy.
In conjunction with the Council’s Policy ‘Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers’, it is the duty of employees to inform their Manager as soon as they think they might be pregnant.
A specific risk assessment must be undertaken and should include any potential risk of violence and aggression.
- In educational establishments an assessment should be made of recent history of violence and aggression in the employee’s area of work in particular, and in the establishment in general. Redeployment to an area with minimal risk should be considered where a significant risk to the employee has been identified.
There may be circumstances where an employee has to visit a pupil/client at their home. Checks should be made as to whether the home contains any animal that cause injury to the employee.
- Where a dangerous animal is likely to be present, such as a dog, the risk assessment should include appropriate controls to eliminate the risks. For example, request that the animal is removed to a secure area or arrange the meeting at an alternative venue.
- The school does not permit dogs on the school site.
VISITORS AND CONTRACTORS
Kelvin Grove will not tolerate violent and aggressive behaviour towards its employees by visitors, contractors or from parents or family members. If this occurs the person should be written to emphasising that this will not be tolerated.
The school has a formal warning process which can result in that person being barred from the school site.
Prior to sending such letters Head teachers should contact Lewisham’s Legal department seeking advice whether the letter is appropriate under the particular circumstances.
Visitors and contractors should be controlled through the use of clear signage directing them to the main reception area. The school should have a secure entry system in place and a Visitors signing in book. All visitors and/or contractors should wear visible identification and should be escorted around the building.
The school should have clear written procedures in place for visitors and/or contractors on site and for challenging any person not authorised to be there.
No unsupervised access to children should take place unless the person/s has been thoroughly checked through the DBS.
Schools are private property, thus persons entering without permission or lawful authority to be there may be treated as trespassers.
Schools can ask a trespasser to leave. If they refuse to leave, a police officer or authorised person may remove the trespasser.
The LA / school may also warn the trespasser by letter. If the trespasser causes or permits nuisance or disturbance a police officer, authorised person or LA may bring proceedings under section 547 of the Education Act 1996: this applies to maintained schools.
Parents have an expectation that they should be allowed to enter school premises, for example to bring or fetch children to and from school. However, parents should conduct themselves properly.
If a parent or other visitor to the school does not conduct him/herself properly the school may write to them warning them that their conduct was unacceptable and that any further unacceptable behaviour could lead to them being banned from the school premises.
All establishments should have adequate ‘alarm’ systems and/or procedures in place to alert others that assistance is required to prevent a violent or aggressive incident.
A risk assessment of the best method for individual establishments should be undertaken as part of general security and risk management systems. This may include personal alarms or radio alarm systems.
Clear procedures should be developed on who will intervene and how, when an alert has been activated.
No employee is expected to be put at risk to protect property.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
In some settings employees often work with young people who present very difficult and challenging behaviour. However, this does not condone violence and aggression towards employees; it is not an expectation of their employment.
The use of protective equipment or clothing should be used as a last resort only. However, where employees work with young people who do not understand the concept of violent behaviour, additional control measures may be necessary whilst work continues to try and effect change in the behaviour.
Through the risk assessment process some of the following equipment, or similar, may be appropriate where a high risk has been identified:
- Chest guard – to prevent pinching/biting
- Genital guard – to prevent pinching/kicking
- Wrist guards – to prevent biting
- Baseball caps – to prevent hair pulling
However, employees should also be trained in physical intervention techniques, as appropriate to their field. It is further recommended that employees who may face conflict situations or travel alone also undergo personal safety training in order to identify behaviour triggers and implement personal safety plans.
(See Accident / incident reporting for further guidance)
- All injuries and violent incidents to employee’s should be reported as soon as practicable after an incident to local management and to the Council on a CS2 form. Certain incidents may also be reportable to the HSE using the RIDDOR.
The circumstances of an incident should be investigated at the earliest opportunity. Where remedial or protective action is required, then this should be carried out without delay
The CS2 forms are stored in the school office and should be used to report all violent incidents involving employees. (Violent incidents between two children, where staff have not been involved, do not need to be reported to the Council, but should be reported to the Head teacher.)
Completed CS2 forms should be sent to:
Health and Safety Team (Education)
3rd Floor Laurence House
Further advice on Violence and Aggression, Personal Safety and/or training can be sought from the Education Health and Safety Team on 020 8314 6000.