Safety management in Catalonia’s schools

The management of safety in schools is an essential aspect to guarantee the protection of all the students, teachers and other staff from the risk and hazards of the school environment. The whole school community plays an important role in school safety assurance, but it is the headmasters who are in charge of protection. Spain's school legislation establishes this responsibility, but no general function directly refers to the safety management. The purpose of this study is to identify and analyse the functions that the headmasters develop to guarantee the integrity of all users, in the context of the Catalan schools (Spain). The approach takes the shape of descriptive-inductive study, using data from documentary analysis, interviews with headmasters (n=14) and teachers (n=12) of fourteen public schools, and one focus group with experts (n=7) to discuss provisional findings. The outcomes show that all the headmasters recognise their responsibility and obligation in the assurance of safety and health to all the members of the school, but in opinion of some experts the responsibility is not fully assumed. The study concludes that, for an adequate safety management in schools, the following factors are absolutely necessary: enough administration support, increasing time and resources and improving the level staff training.

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