Handsam Reminders

In the hustle and bustle of other responsibilities, you may have overlooked some articles from Compliance Matters Issue 32. Below are some of the things making the news in the world of compliance in spring 2022.

Changes to PPE Regulations

Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations will be changing from 6 April 2022 regarding employers’ responsibilities to workers. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) amend the current Regulations to extend employers’ and employees’ duties in respect of PPE to a wider group of workers. HSE has provided interim guidance explaining the changes and what employers need to do to prepare.

New DfE Guidance: Political Impartiality in Schools

Following an incident in a Nottingham school where children were encouraged to criticise the Prime Minister in letter during a lesson, schools in England are being reminded under new guidance to teach sensitive issues in a non-biased way. The new guidance Political Impartiality in Schools was published on February 17th this year and explains the existing legal requirements relating to political impartiality in schools. It will also help those working with and in schools to understand how these legal duties might impact teaching and extra-curricular activity. It does not include any new statutory requirements.

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The alarming Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) report makes for disturbing reading. It identifies "extensive failures" by councils and police, leaving victims treated as offenders while perpetrators go free. It also reveals that grooming gangs still sexually abusing children across country in "most degrading and destructive ways." People may say; “we all thought it was decreasing?” Unfortunately, it is anything but doing so and those of us who work with young people have known this for a long time! It seems those in authority treat the lives of young people as disposable and cheap.

Schools Must Follow Government Uniform Rules

n November 2021, the DfE published new statutory guidance on the cost of school uniforms and also updated its wider non-statutory advice on developing and implementing a school uniform policy. The guidance clarifies the government’s expectation for schools to think holistically about the cost of their school uniform and covers a range of issues including branded items, supplier arrangements, and second-hand uniform.

Free Checks to Protect Against Cyber-attacks and Spoofing

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) invites multi-academy trusts (MATs) to register to use two free services: Web Check to find and fix common security vulnerabilities within your website Mail Check to assess email security compliance and adopt secure email standards to stop criminals from spoofing email domains After the testing phase with MATs is complete, the DfE will issue further information when these services become available to all schools.

Updated First Aid Guidance

The DfE guidance First aid in schools, early years and further education or first aid in schools has been updated. This outlines the requirements for schools, colleges and early years providers in terms of first aid. Although there is very little new, the DfE have formalised existing advice and inputted the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 into this useful webpage resource. The implications of this guidance will be different based on individual school circumstances and needs. For this reason, the guidance stresses that a first aid needs assessment to be conducted. The guidance goes into more detail about this.

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