Short courses


CLEAPSS: Health and Safety Update for Science Teachers

  • 7 hours
  • 1 day


On this one-day course you'll learn about health and safety legislation as it relates to school science laboratories. It also covers the requirements and duties of science teachers and their employers.

The course also aims to de-bunk some common myths, and familiarise you with some potential hazards - such as chemicals, living organisms, pieces of equipment and procedures in use in school science laboratories.

This course is run by the Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services (CLEAPSS) at IOE, UCL's faculty of education and society.

Who this course is for

This course for science teachers working in schools and colleges.

Course content

The course involves five sessions:

  • Why do we do practical work?
  • Science IS safe
  • Introduction to health and safety legislation
  • How CLEAPSS can help
  • Risk assessment

Activities in the lab that commonly give rise to problems will be highlighted and discussed.

You'll have the opportunity to discuss your own safety concerns. You'll also be able to check model risk assessments, such as Hazcards, and consider how these might need to be modified to reflect the circumstances of a particular school, room or class.

The importance of adopting control measures, such as eye protection, and of sticking to agreed procedures will be emphasised.

Teaching and structure

The one-day course is divided into five sessions. In each session you'll participate in a number of activities, including presentations, discussions in groups and quizzes.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • consider the reasons why we do practical work in science
  • raise awareness about health and safety in school science
  • partly fulfil the legal requirement of employers to provide health and safety training for staff

You'll also be more familiar with CLEAPSS services and advice.

Course team

Chris Haines

Chris Haines

Chris works as an adviser for CLEAPSS.

CLEAPSS provides advice and guidance on all aspects of practical work in science, technology and art. This guidance explores ideas for exciting and engaging practical activities that fire pupils' imaginations. Then, unlike many alternative resources, it goes on to show teachers and technicians, in detail, how to translate these ideas into safe and exciting classroom experiences.

CLEAPSS has a membership of more than 28,000 schools and colleges, mainly in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where its advice is recognised by HSE, DFE and OFSTED as representing best practice in these areas. As such, it's used by employers as the basis for them to discharge their responsibilities under the H&S at work act, 1999.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:00