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The Student Safety Plan

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ETFO members are finding that some district school boards are not doing an effective job of developing student safety plans. This is a serious concern when the student safety plan fails to protect the student him or herself, ETFO members and others from physical injury. This document provides information to assist in recognizing and responding to shortfalls in student safety plans. If you believe that a student safety plan falls short of its intended purpose, you should report your concerns to your principal. You should also contact your ETFO local for advice and assistance.

What is a student safety plan?

The student safety plan is developed for a student whose behaviours are known to pose an ongoing risk of physical injury to him or herself, staff and others in the school community. The safety plan is designed to protect the student and others from physical harm related to these risks.

The student safety plan is based on the findings of a risk assessment that identifies what the student is doing that causes or is likely to cause injury. The injury could be to the student him or herself, or other people at the school site or school program including ETFO members and other staff, students, parents or guardians.

The student safety plan includes vital information such as a description of the unsafe behaviours; preventative or instructional strategies; how to get immediate assistance; steps to protect the student, other students and staff from harm; crisis response; first aid and emergency procedures; and reporting requirements.

When a student safety plan deals with workplace violence.

Sometimes a student safety plan deals with the risks of workplace violence against an ETFO member or others who work for the district school board. In such cases, the district school board and the principal must ensure that the development, use and revision of the student safety plan reflect the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, for example:

  • The assessment and re-assessment of the risks of workplace violence, as often as may be required, to protect a worker from workplace violence;
  • Measures and procedures (e.g., safety plans) to control the risks identified in the risk assessment;
  • Measures and procedures for getting immediate assistance when workplace violence occurs or is likely to occur;
  • Measures and procedures to report workplace violence incidents to the principal;
  • How such reports will be investigated and dealt with;
  • The provision of information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker; and
  • Taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.

The student safety plan is a work in progress.

The student safety plan is a work in progress. It needs to be reviewed and revised as often as necessary to control the known risks of harm.

The student safety plan should be developed by the principal in consultation with staff who work with the student on a daily and ongoing basis, with support as may be required from parents and guardians, the special education and health and safety departments of the district school board, and community agencies.

The student safety plan is part of a larger system of support.

The student safety plan should be a component of the district school board’s management procedures for student behaviours causing risk-of-injury. The components of these procedures may include responsibilities; risk assessment and safety planning guidelines; notification of staff about the risks of injury; and classroom safety audits.

A student safety plan should also be a component of the district school board’s larger program of supports and services that may also include case conferences and assessments; a behaviour plan; an Individual Education Plan (IEP); the services of a school support counsellor; and the support of a community agency.

What to do about shortfalls in a student safety plan.

If you have concerns about shortfalls in a student safety plan, you should report your concerns to your principal. You are also encouraged to contact your ETFO local for additional advice and support.

For further information contact your local ETFO president or Professional Relations staff in PRS at 416-962-3836 or 1-888-838-3836