Luton school blasted for poor safety

L13-1338 Putteridge High School, Putteridge Road, Luton, on hold from joining g the Barnfield federation.
Bev Creagh
JR 46
12.11.13 ENGPNL00120131211111831
L13-1338 Putteridge High School, Putteridge Road, Luton, on hold from joining g the Barnfield federation. Bev Creagh JR 46 12.11.13 ENGPNL00120131211111831

A Luton school failed to investigate instances of violence and aggression – including death threats made to a teacher – it has emerged.

As we reported last week, Putteridge High School was visited by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in October, following an incident at the school in which a teacher was hospitalised.

Now, further information has came to light about the HSE’s findings.

In a letter to headteacher David Graham, HSE Inspector Emma Day stated: “There was no health and safety policy or other relevant documents on site at the time of my visit.

“I was told that Luton Borough Council provide advice and support ‘if asked’, but that no monitoring or reviewing of the school’s health and safety arrangements as [legally] required ... takes place.”

Ms Day went on: “I have been made aware of one incident where parents of two male students issued death threats to a teacher.

“I have not been provided with any evidence that an investigation into this incident took place.”

The inspector gave her opinion that staff members were exposed to risks of violence and aggression in the workplace.

She also found that no staff member was adequately trained in health and safety, and that a risk assessment that was in place hadn’t been documented.

Putteridge High School has twice the national average of pupils with special educational needs, as well as a number of pupils with mental health conditions.

Ms Day states she was handed a “generic” risk assessment document, of which page ten – the actual risk assessment – was blank.

She stated: “I would question whether the level of training Putteridge High School has provided is suitable and efficient.”

Headteacher David Graham said: “It is important that our school is a safe environment for students and staff and we have worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive to ensure we have robust procedures in place.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on the individual case as proceedings have not yet concluded.”