Premises Committee

A school cannot function unless its buildings and equipment are safe and fit for purpose. The Premises committee has the responsibility to ensure that the school’s buildings and grounds are well maintained and provide a safe and suitable environment for the pupils and staff. The Premises committee also covers the governor’s Health and Safety responsibilities.

How do we work?

The premises committee meet once a term initially producing an annual plan for the tasks that need to be carried out and then working from this plan. These tasks can be broadly divided into three areas:

1. Building maintenance

As our school is a ‘maintained school’, the school buildings are owned by Norfolk County Council but the school is responsible for paying for all the expenses involved in running the school out of the money they receive each year from the local authority.

The central heating and other installations need annual servicing to ensure safe and efficient running and it is the governor’s responsibility to ensure that this is done. In these austere times, the governors ensure that we are buying in these services as cost effectively as possible and this often involves getting quotes for work and deciding on the best people to do the work. For simple jobs, it is not unusual for a member of the committee to carry out the work themselves to save the school a bit of money.

The governors undertake an annual inspection of the school premises and meet with staff to identify any parts of the building that are in need of repair or are causing problems. Recently, as a large part of the school building is new there have been few areas needing attention but in the older part of the building there are still occasional problems. An example of an issue highlighted by the premises inspections recently and addressed successfully is the windows in the Foundation classroom which when single glazed were often damp and mouldy but which have now been replaced by double glazed units.

2. Health and Safety

Nothing is more important to the staff and governors than the safety of the children and hence this a responsibility that governors take very seriously.

Thorough annual risk assessments are carried out encompassing three main areas; an assessment of general risks whilst within school, a fire risk assessment and a security risk review. Any deficiencies highlighted by these risk assessments are addressed as soon as possible. An example of this would include producing a fire action plan with mapping of escape routes which was carried out last year after it was noted that this was needed for the new building.

Other equipment that needs  to be maintained in a safe condition include the PE and games equipment, ladders, the outdoor play equipment and the school grounds in general

3. School Policies

The Premises committee ensures that various policies relating to the school premises and health and safety are in place. These policies demonstrate the school’s approach to a certain issue and hence are used by staff and available to parents. Policies are reviewed regularly and amended as necessary in accordance with new guidance from the government, local authority or Ofsted. An example of a recent policy that has been amended is the administration of medicines policy which has tightened up the record keeping and accountability in line with current safeguarding recommendations.

We ensure that by completing a thorough and regular review of the school premises and of health and safety arrangements, and by arranging for cost effective maintenance and repairs within the limits of the school’s budget, that the school is as safe and pleasant environment as possible for all those who use it.