Background All pupils participating in education are entitled to a safe learning environment. The Health Care Act (1326/2010) obliges comprehensive schools to monitor health and safety of school environments and well-being in learning communities every three years.
Methods Health and welfare promotion in schools and educational institutions has been monitored by the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Board of Education since 2006. In 2013 data were collected nationally using a form addressed to headmasters of Finnish comprehensive schools (N = 2734). The response rate was 74% (N = 2022). The topics covered also accidental injuries at school, accidental injury prevention, and safety promotion.
Results Inspection of health and safety of school environments and well-being in learning communities provides valuable information about the safety situation in the schools and their surroundings. One in four schools (24%) reported either that they did not know whether an accidental injury risk assessment indoors had been part of the inspection or that these issues had not been considered in the inspection. About three in four schools (76%) had taken into account indoors risk locations for accidental injuries.
One in three schools (33%) did not know whether an accidental injury risk assessment outdoors had been included in the most recent inspection or not. Accidental injury risks had been assessed in 68 per cent of the schools, and outdoors safety was found deficient in 28 per cent of the schools.
Conclusions Multiprofessional inspection provides valuable information about school indoors and outdoors conditions, school surroundings, and safety at school trips. Most schools had paid attention to accidental injury prevention and safety both indoors and outdoors. However, a significant part of the schools did not monitor the risk of accidental injuries indoors or in the school yard.
- Accidental injury
- comprehensive school
- multiprofessional inspection
- school environment
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