Thurrock schools praised for commitment to creating safe environments

Schools across Thurrock are being praised for their commitment to creating a safe environment for staff and pupils, school support staff union UNISON says today.

Twenty schools have signed up to UNISON Thurrock’s statement of principles on health and safety to ensure children are kept out of harm’s way in the classroom, while staff and visitors can also enjoy a secure environment.

Thurrock Council chief executive Lyn Carpenter presented some of the schools with UNISON’s certificates of excellence in health and safety at a ceremony last week at the Civic Offices in Grays.

Before the presentation, attendees held a minute’s silence to mark International Workers Memorial Day.

UNISON Thurrock branch secretary Peter Sansom said: “Schools are at the heart of the community and health and safety should be at the heart of everything we do.

“We’re already very impressed with the picture on health and safety in Thurrock. Standards are high, but we can’t be complacent – you can’t have good education in a bad situation.

“Like other parents in Thurrock, I’m extremely grateful for the fantastic work teachers and school support staff have done for my children.

“What better way to show that appreciation than by making sure schools are as safe as possible for educators to do that fantastic work in?”

A spokesperson from Thurrock Council said: “We are proud to support UNISON with their project to improve the already high standards of Health and Safety and reward those meeting the set standard with a UNISON Certificate of Health and Safety Excellence.”

The schools that have signed up so far are Arthur Bugler, Corringham Primary, East Tilbury, Gable Hall, Gateway Academy, Gateway Primary, Grays Convent, Hassenbrook, Herringham, Horndon on the Hill, Lansdown, Ormiston Park, Somers Heath, St Cleres, St Thomas, Standford Le Hope, Thameside, Tilbury Pioneer, Tudor Court and Woodside.

The set of principles are:

  • To ensure the health safety and welfare of all staff, pupils and visitors to the school/academy,
  • To work proactively to ensure the highest standards of health safety and welfare are maintained at the school/academy,
  • To meet legislative requirements for health and  safety but also strive to achieve even higher standards,
  • To engage with all stakeholders to ensure that health and safety is at the core of all school/academy activities,
  • Ensure that all have a greater understanding of health and safety and are actively involved in improving standards.