Staff Lone Worker Policy

Lone Worker Policy - For Trust & School Employees (PDF Download)

This policy and procedure has been produced by One Education’s HR and People service. The HR and People team provides management and HR support and advice to schools and academies purchasing their services under an agreed Service Agreement. For further information please contact the HR and People team via the HROne Helpline: 0844 967 1112 (local rate from landline) or HROne Helpline Email: Website:


This document is recommended for adoption by all schools including community, voluntary controlled, community special, maintained nursery, foundation, foundation special, voluntary aided, academies and free schools. References in this document to the Headteacher include a reference to an academy or free school Principal.

Document Control


Lone Working Policy


Sept 2016 Updated Nov 2017




Made school specific

Related Policies/Guidance

·         Risk Assessment for Attendance Officer Transporting Children

·         Attendance Officer Lone Working arrangements

·         Health & Safety Policy

·         Whole School Risk Assessment


2 year 2018


Under the public sector equality duty, all schools/academies must have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010; to advance equality of opportunity between those who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it and to foster good relations across all protected characteristics. This means schools/academies must take into account equality considerations when policies are being developed, adopted and implemented. The HR and People team regularly reviews all policies and procedures which are recommended to schools/academies to ensure compliance with education and employment legislation including the Equality Act 2010. Consultation with schools/academies is an important part of this review process. Headteachers, Principals and Governing Bodies are asked to contact the HR and People team via the HROne Helpline if they believe there are any negative equality impacts in their school/academy in relation to the application of this policy/procedure.


The Trustees of the Cherry Tree Trust and the governing body of Newall Green Primary School are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all school staff and promoting and maintaining an environment that is safe for all staff to work in.


The governing body seek to minimise the need for staff to engage in lone working but are aware that there may be times where this is necessary or an occupational requirement. The governing body recognises that there may be an increased risk to the health and safety of its employees whilst working alone.


Lone working is itself not against the law and it will often be safe to work alone. The school has legal obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees and this act also covers lone working.


Additionally, in line with the Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations 1999 the school has an obligation to assess and manage risks to their employees and others arising from work activities.


The health and safety of all employees is ultimately the responsibility of the Headteacher and the governing body. However, employees also have an obligation in line with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to take reasonable care of themselves and other people affected by their work activities and to co-operate with their employers in meeting their legal obligations

This policy stipulates practices that are acceptable and unacceptable for lone workers as well as measures that the school will take to ensure the health and safety of lone workers as far as is reasonably practicable.


Contractors working on the school site(s) will be provided with a copy of the Lone Working policy and will be required to undertake an assessment relevant to the work they are undertaking prior to work commencing. All contractors are required to fully comply with all aspects of Health and Safety legislation and procedures whilst working on site.

Definition of lone worker

For the purposes of this policy, a lone worker is defined as an employee who spends some or all of their working hours carrying out work activities alone. This may occur during the working day when an individual is carrying out work in an isolated location or when working outside of normal school operating hours.


Expectations of lone working

All lone working must be pre-arranged and approved by the Headteacher or Senior Leader on site. Staff must comply with instructions from the Headteacher or Senior Leader at all times with regards to line working.

Unless it is an occupational requirement, staff should avoid lone working as far as is reasonably possible. For example, staff should arrange to work in groups where access to the school is required outside of normal operational hours.

All staff must follow the normal signing in and out procedures when undertaking lone working.

Staff should carry their personal, or if applicable work mobile telephone, with them at all times when carrying out lone working.

It is advisable that staff undertaking lone working advise a family member or friend of their intended arrival and departure time.

If staff need to access the school during the holiday period, this should always be during normal opening hours and permission should be sought from the Headteacher or other senior leader beforehand. Staff should provide the reason for this request as well as how long they are likely to stay on site. Consideration will be given to the request, taking in to account whether lone working will be undertaken and also the practicalities of arrangements – e.g for the opening and securing of the relevant area of the site.

If a lone worker feels ill or fatigued, to the extent that it is impacting on their capacity to work, it is their personal responsibility to stop working and to make contact with a family member, friend, colleague or the emergency services if necessary.

Emergency situations

In the case of an urgent matter, staff should contact Sarah Rudd on 07969593379.

In the event of a more immediate emergency, staff should call the relevant emergency services on 999 (or 111 the NHS non-emergency number).



The school are aware that conducting certain activities whilst working alone may increase the risk to staff members. Therefore, possible potential hazards have been identified and control measures identified.


Whenever lone working is being considered, the safety of the activity will be assessed as part of a risk assessment process. Any potential hazards identified will be evaluated by the Headteacher/ Health and Safety representative and measures will be introduced if the assessment identifies that the existing precautions do not adequately eliminate or control the potential hazard.

All job roles where lone working is currently required have been assessed as part of the school’s risk assessment process.

Potential hazards include:

·         The risk of violence

·         Manual Handling

·         The suitability of the individual to work alone, including consideration of any relevant medical issues.

·         Working with chemicals

Control measures

In order to effectively manage these potential hazards, a number of control measures have been identified.

Risk of violence

The risk of violence may potentially be increased because of the isolated position occupied by lone workers.


·         Lone workers must not allow unauthorised individuals on to the school premises at any time.

·         Lone workers must not accept deliveries unless an occupational requirement e.g. site staff.

·         Lone workers must not publicise the fact that they are on site alone, this includes posting information on social media.

·         All meetings with members of the public, including parents, must only be organised during normal school operating hours.

·         When working alone, staff must ensure that unused areas of the school building are secure to prevent unauthorised access


Manual handling

·         Staff should only carry loads they feel comfortable and equipped to handle.

·         Manual handling training may be arranged following a risk assessment for certain occupational roles.


Suitability of the individual

·         Staff must notify the Headteacher of any medical conditions which may impede their ability to safely work alone. If appropriate, a referral to the school’s Occupational Health Provider will be made.

·         The Headteacher will consider whether the individual is capable of responding correctly in an emergency when assessing the risk of lone working

·         Staff must ensure they are familiar with the school’s health and safety policy and the location of safety equipment


Working with chemicals

In certain lone working roles, such as caretaking or cleaning roles, the use of chemicals will be a requirement of the role.

·         Staff should only use chemicals they have been trained to use and which are already in use within the school.

·         Staff planning to use chemicals during periods of lone working must notify the school’s Health and Safety representative prior to the first usage and a risk assessment will be conducted.


First aid box locations

First aid boxes are located in the following locations:

Main Office

Nursery Department

Reception Department

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2


Unacceptable lone working practices

Staff undertaking lone working are expected to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and continue to exercise their professional judgement when assessing what is acceptable work to carry out alone.

The governing body has identified the following activities that are unacceptable for lone workers to carry out in any circumstance:

·         Working at height

·         Manual handling of any heavy or bulky items

·         Use of the school kitchen equipment

·         Entering confined spaces

·         Use of machinery which individuals are not qualified or trained to operate

·         Entering the building if there is evidence of intruders, including responding to the school alarm, without appropriate assistance


A failure to adhere to policy this may lead to disciplinary action being taken.

I confirm that I have read and understood the lone working policy and will comply with this at all times.