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Staff should have been trained to deal with violent and aggressive pupils, says HSE
Luton Borough Council has been substantially fined for not having risk assessments in place to protect staff at a local secondary school.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the local authority after a teacher at Putteridge High School was left with life-changing injuries following an assault from a pupil.
HSE investigators found that:
· There were significant shortcomings in the measures at the school regarding violence and aggression, which the council had failed to pick up and address
· Luton Borough Council failed to ensure that there were sufficient people with competence in the management of health and safety involved in running the school
· Staff members at the school did not have the training to deal with violent and aggressive pupils in a way which minimised their exposure to risk
Luton Borough Council admitted breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £104,000 plus £60,000 costs. The fine was reduced from £300,000 due to the council’s lack of revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
This horrible incident highlights the importance of procedures and training in how to de-escalate and maintain safety in heated situations at schools that can involve children, parents or outsiders.
Training should also develop understanding of child and adolescent behaviour including mental health, attachment, trauma, neurodiversity and risk-taking. This will help teachers reduce behaviours of concern and subsequent risks to pupils and staff.
Our comprehensive training curriculum provides schools with a prevention first approach, plus positive and safer ways to manage challenging situations. You can find out more here: click here