School Case Study

Case Study

The Problem:

St. William Of York is a Catholic Primary School located in Forest Hill, South East London. Staff and Governors were becoming increasingly concerned about perceived weaknesses in their Health and safety system, the complexity of the topic in general, the vast scope of relevant legislation and their potential liability in the event of an incident.

The Premises Officer was responsible for management of health and safety and reported to the Head Teacher however he was not considered ‘Competent’ as defined by law and it was felt that safety issues other than those relating to the school premises were being neglected. An audit by the Local Authority confirmed that the school’s concerns were well founded. With a limited budget the school felt ill equipped to manage the changes that clearly needed to be made. Whilst the Local Authority had certainly confirmed the problem, it was not able to offer very much in terms of a solution.

The Solution:

Britrisk Safety carried out a ‘Speed Audit’ which clearly showed the strengths and weaknesses of the school’s safety management system by way of a simple colour-coded ‘Scorecard Matrix’ (a simple system of illustrating health and safety requirements for the uninitiated). This confirmed much of the Local Authority’s findings, but also identified a number of other issues that needed to be addressed.
A Safety Team was established, comprising a ‘Champion’ from the Governing Body, members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team and the Britrisk Safety Adviser. A training programme was agreed and delivered by Britrisk Safety using school facilities, thus limiting staff time spent off site.

Weaknesses in the school’s safety system were either addressed immediately or a strategy agreed to tackle outstanding problems in the longer term. Key safety procedures such as risk assessment were streamlined to improve simplicity and effectiveness.

Britrisk Safety is now providing regular, ongoing health and safety support to the school, helping to maintain compliance controls and staff awareness of key issues.


  1. A targeted, incisive training program ensures staff are legally ‘Competent’ and more able to delivertheir safety responsibilities.
  2. The school now has a clear vision of how safety is managed which has the buy-in of all staff.
  3. The school’s Safety Policy has become a robust, user-friendly guide to assist staff in dischargingtheir safety roles and responsibilities.
  4. There have been measurable improvements in safety as evidenced by the ‘Scorecard matrix’.
  5. The initial solution was delivered according to an agreed budget and timescale.


“The input we have received from Britrisk has significantly improved our whole approach to health and safety. Their colour-coded scorecard matrix easily identifies areas for development and allows us to monitor improvements. The whole process, with their high quality advice and guidance has been effective in encouraging all staff to recognise their individual and collective responsibilities. With such professional support in this vital area, we feel more confident, less exposed – and less stressed!”

Sharon Lynch

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