Torbay Students Put Safety First

Torbay Students Put Safety First

  • Date: Monday 25th March 2013

STUDENTS from Torbay are learning how to improve their school environment by becoming more safety aware. In a culture where employers are increasingly focusing on safety management the year nine pupils at Churston Ferrers Grammar School in Paignton, have been involved in a project to identify improvements in safety management at their school.

 More than a hundred students are taking part in the challenge, which requires them to risk assess the projects they create. Projects range from improving external traffic management at peak times, bullying, through to slip and trip hazards in high usage areas.

 Year nine pupil, Amelia Farmer, says: ‘It’s great to be involved in an activity where we can identify the risks in school as we see them. My group chose bullying, which isn’t a major problem, but we think we have some good ideas that may help a little.’

The six week challenge has been organised as part of the school’s Learning to Learn and Personal Development programme, which encourages students to develop skills aside from the main curriculum.

 Dr Michael Cash, a Community Governor and Director in Devon-based health and safety training and consultancy company SSG, has been advising students with technical aspects of their projects. He says: ‘My concern is that safety is developing a bad name through the ‘where there’s blame there’s a claim’ culture, and general misrepresentation and mismanagement. If these young students begin to learn the skill of sensible risk management in their school environment, the skill will directly transfer to any future employment.’

Five of the student groups will get the opportunity to present their findings to Dr Cash who will select an overall winner. The school may then decide to put their ideas in motion.

Headteacher Robert Owers says: ‘This project will really help the pupils grow as individuals. Many of our students will inevitably go on to live and work outside the West Country and even internationally, so it’s vital they have these additional skills to give them the best chance to flourish in their chosen careers.’

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