A Guide to Safe Practice in Art & Design

4.1   School Management

Good management is the key to effective teaching and learning, and largely determines the ethos of a school. In schools where a high priority is given to sensible behaviour, concern for others and the orderly conduct of normal activities, safety is to some extent inherent. In practical activities this ethos forms the basis for safe working practices, but additional codes and constraints may be needed for particular activities. In general, the majority of materials, small tools and equipment used for art and design are perfectly safe, but there is an increasing range of materials and equipment that is potentially hazardous. Whilst much of the advice on specialised equipment and materials applies mainly to secondary schools, the requirements of national curricula or guidelines have the potential to increase the range of work in many primary schools. Primary teachers who are using equipment and materials for the first time should refer to the appropriate sections in this booklet.

Well-organised systematic procedures that contribute to both efficiency and safety should be established. Pupils should have a clear understanding of what they are expected to do and how to do it. Teachers should prepare materials and equipment thoroughly and know what constraints need to be exercised in their use.