Pre-Opening Project Management: Compliance

PAG Staff2023, Article, Partnerships, Project Management, Schools, Uncategorised

Pre-Opening Project Management: Compliance 

Opening a new free school can be daunting. There are many important factors to consider during the pre-opening phase to ensure the smooth running of your new school and the safety of students and staff. Our partners at Handsam offer crucial pre-opening project management services to support you with this, such as their Fire Risk Assessment, Competent Person Health and Safety Support, Compliance Tracking Health and Safety, general Health and Safety training, and Health and Safety Support Packages. Below is an outline of these important pre-opening services.

Fire Risk Assessment  

Every school is required to undergo fire risk assessments to ensure the safety of students and staff. Handsam’s Fire Risk assessment offers a thorough check of the following for your new school:

Fire detection and warning system

• Means of escape

• Provision of fire-fighting equipment

• Planning and training for an emergency

• Identifying fire risk factors and the people at risk

• Maintenance and testing of fire safety equipment

As part of the assessment, a Handsam consultant will visit your new school and thoroughly check your fire management set up to identify any hazards. They’ll then write a report and practical action plan for your new school which will outline the findings of the assessment and offer important recommendations to ensure all buildings related to your school fully comply with fire safety regulations.

Health and Safety Compliance Tracking 

The Handsam Management System covers all aspects of Health and Safety within your new school, which ensures that compliance with all statutory and best practice obligations can be evidenced. The system assigns all important tasks to relevant members of staff and allows managers to produce reports on Health and Safety compliance while building thorough audit trails. The system is easily tailored to your school’s site and set up, and has security in accordance with ICO standards.

Health and Safety Training 

In addition to the above, Handsam also provide a wide range of health and safety training. This includes crisis management training, accident reporting and investigation, IOSH Health and Safety training, governor compliance training, and any in-person or online training that you may require.

Health and Safety Support Packages 

Handsam also provide four different Health and Safety Support Packages depending on the needs of your new school:

• Bronze support package: this is for schools that wish to use the Handsam System as a self-audit tool and who already have the necessary in-house tools for everything else.

• Silver support package: this is designed for schools who would like occasional advice and guidance throughout the year but don’t require anything else. This package is only for those who also purchase the Handsam Health & Safety system.

• Gold support package: this is for schools who require complete support and guidance throughout the year and do not wish to purchase any other Handsam services in a bundle. This package is only for those who also purchase the Handsam Health and Safety system.

• Platinum support package: this is for schools who wish for complete support and guidance throughout the year and who also wish to purchase Handsam’s Health and Safety competent person service. Radiation Protection Officer services and CLEAPSS membership are also part of this bundle. This package is only available for those who also purchase the Handsam Health and Safety System and is for a minimum of 2 years.

PAG's Expertise 

PAG and its staff have been supporting the creation and opening of new schools and trusts for over a decade, helping to shape and improve the education sector since the introduction of The Academies Act (2010). Our founder played a part in not only the creation of the first three free schools to open in the country, but also the first free school opened via the local authority presumption route.

ore recently, we have supported the creation of a new branch of the famous BRIT School, the BRIT School North, as well as a huge number of mainstream, SEND, and alternative provision schools offering both primary, secondary, and all-through provision.

With our extensive experience of the sector, we have developed an incredibly strong, diverse range of skills and services for our clients, but are also smart enough to see when someone knows more than we do. This is why we have always fostered a spirit of collegiate collaboration at PAG and have developed a number of close partnerships with other industry experts to help deliver best-in-class services to our clients. When choosing PAG for your pre-opening project management, not only are you choosing a highly experienced team from a range of backgrounds, including MAT governance and direct experience working with the DfE, but you are also gaining access to a network of expert partners all with the same aim of providing the best education experience for students and staff alike.

As you can see, there are many pre-opening factors to consider to ensure the safety of the future students and staff of your new school. Handsam’s comprehensive range of pre-opening project management services can support you with this throughout the pre-opening phase. Get in contact with Handsam here to discuss any of their services or for any enquiries.

If you wish to learn more about integral free school project management and how it can smoothen the pre-opening process, check our PAG Explains: PMC and Capital Project Management articles, and our Pre-Opening Project Management page.