Teacher Health and safety
Education Review Office did not have the information requested.
From: David Nicholas
Dear Education Review Office,
Can you please supply me with your internal documentation that details the amount of Student and teacher safety in schools.
What data does ERO hold about Student and Teacher Safety in schools?
How many schools do not have suitable Health and Safety policies in place?
From: Mark Canning
Education Review Office
Dear David Nicholas
Your email message below asking under the Official Information Act for:
- ERO's internal documentation that details the amount of Student and
teacher safety in schools.
- What data does ERO hold about Student and Teacher Safety in schools?
- How many schools do not have suitable Health and Safety policies in
has been referred to me for reply.
ERO does not have "internal documentation that details the amount of
student safety in schools" and does not compile data about student and
teacher safety in schools or the number of schools that have "suitable
health and safety policies in place".
On the other hand in every regular school education review that ERO
undertakes, as part of the review process and immediately prior to going
on site, ERO asks each school to complete a Board Assurance Statement and
Self-Audit Checklists document (BAS), which, amongst other important areas
of school operations, asks the school board of trustees chairperson and
principal to attest that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet
their legal requirements in respect to health, safety and welfare. In
particular, through the BAS, ERO "wants to know that the board is taking
all reasonable steps to provide a safe physical and emotional environment
for students and staff" and says that "good practice suggests boards
should have in place policies, and procedures/guidelines/practices that
facilitate the provision of a healthy and safe environment for students
and staff and that protects their welfare".
The BAS is publicly available on ERO's website, www.ero.govt.nz, under
'How we review' and 'Review process'.
The BAS Self-Audit Checklist, Section 3 - Health, Safety and Welfare, asks
the board of trustees to answer a series of questions about student, and
staff, health and safety provision and practices, and I suggest you access
these in order to understand ERO's expectations of a school in this area
as a forerunner to each review.
Also on ERO's website is a publication called Framework for School Reviews
2014 which describes the framework for school reviews, and why and what
ERO reviews. At Page 6 of the Framework there is a discussion of the legal
requirements and how the BAS works. You will see there the comment that as
well as requiring a board to attest to its compliance with the legal and
good practice requirements, in each review ERO also checks six key areas
to do with student safety. These are:
emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and
physical safety of students
processes for appointing staff
stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
If you access school education review reports on the website, you will see
that each report includes a section entitled Board assurance on legal
requirements, which reads – Before the review, the board of trustees and
principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and
Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had
taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related
to: board administration, curriculum, management of health, safety and
welfare, personnel management, financial management, asset management. It
then goes on to state – During the review, ERO checked the following items
because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:
emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual
harassment), physical safety of students, teacher registration’ processes
for appointing staff, stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions,
Should there have been a compliance issue identified during the on-site
stage of the review when checking the six areas listed, then the report
will include a further statement referring to the compliance matter that
the school must address.
Finally, I should mention that ERO has just published (January 2014) a
recently completed national evaluation report Student Safety in Schools:
Recruiting and Managing Staff, which is an evaluation of schools’
approaches to ensuring student safety when recruiting and managing staff.
This report presents the findings of that evaluation. It was initiated by
ERO following recent cases where board employment practices had created
risk for children. This report is also on ERO’s website and you might find
it of some interest.
I hope this information is of assistance to you.
Manager Ministerial and Legal Services
Education Review Office