Some of the health and safety resources developed by the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA) for the use of members are listed on this page.
Where a teacher’s health and safety is shown to be at risk in the carrying out of her/his duties the employer shall take all reasonable steps as are necessary to remove or minimise the identified risk for the teacher and if appropriate, to do so in consultation with the relevant health and safety authorities.
You may find additional materials here:
Publications and advice
Download PPTA health and safety guidelines for secondary and area schools (295.17KB, 56 pages)
Violence and Bullying
School anti-violence toolkit (2012)
The School Anti-Violence Toolkit has been updated to include a section specifically about violence against teachers.
Teachers - the new targets of schoolyard bullies? (Benefield, 2004)
This paper refers to both bullying and harassment of teachers. The School Anti-Violence Toolkit, published by the union in 2004, used the umbrella term “violence” to cover all forms of bullying and harassment, and preferred the term “harassment” when discussing behaviour directed at teachers by students. However, teachers themselves are increasingly using the term “bullying” to describe the targeted aggressive behaviour they experience from both students and adults in schools. Andrea Needham, writing about workplace bullying, has commented: The definition of workplace bullying has become a point of discussion around the world as individuals, groups and governments research the problem and develop criteria, boundaries, guidelines and even legislation. (Needham, 2003)
Best practice behaviour management: A view from the literature (Patty Towl, 2007)
... Challenging behaviour from students, however, occurs on a daily basis both in the classroom and around the school. The behaviours range from talking out of turn, hindering other students, minor disruption, and lateness to class (Elton, 1989; Chaplain, 2003; Rogers, 2006; Balson, 1992) to verbal abuse, verbal intimidation and challenges to authority (Benefield, 2005). As early as the Elton Report (1989), these minor ongoing irritations and disruptions to classroom flow were described as “wearing”. The PPTA report (Benefield, 2004) described the targeted aggressive behaviour experienced by teachers in schools as “bullying” (p.1) While teachers differentiated between minor incidents that were repeated and single significant acts that had the effect of significantly endangering or undermining their wellbeing, they still described all these behaviours as bullying.
Temperature in the classroom
PPTA) guidance on minimum and maximum classroom temperatures for the health and safety of teachers and students.
Branches are advised to apply use the Heat Stress Index as a guide. This is a formula which produces a number that represents the combined effect of the air temperature, radiant heat and the humidity. The reference chart attached can be used.
Members are reminded that they are legally entitled to take industrial action when their health and safety is demonstrably at risk.
It is assumed, however, that the board will be concerned about the health of both staff and students and branches should work with the board to establish a sensible upper temperature response into the board’s health and safety policies before a situation arises when it may be needed.
Online safety for teachers
Web tools can provide useful and powerful teaching and learning opportunities for teachers and students who use them. However the insecure nature of the Internet environment can mean there is an element of risk for both teachers and students.
A particular issue for teachers is that of maintaining appropriate student / teacher boundaries. Communication online is often informal. It lacks the non-verbal clues of our face-to-face conversations and it is easy to respond and publish before the time has been taken to consider exactly what the communication was about and whether the quick-fire response really was the right one.
Health and Safety representatives in schools
The Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002 requires all workplaces with more than 30 employees to develop a system for effective employee participation in health and safety and to elect health and safety representatives.
If you have been elected as a health and safety representative and want to register for training go to www.worksafereps.org.nz, or contact your local PPTA field office.
Education Change management toolkit
The toolkit contains general principles for implementing successful education change in schools and a series of questions to answer before, during and after a change is trialled.
Included is a draft policy which branches can discuss with their boards.
Education change management toolkit (609.11 KB)