11th Oct, 2021 Read time 1.5 minutes

School trust fined after failing to control animal disease risks

A school trust has been fined after they failed to control the risks to humans from infectious diseases carried by animals. The Spencer Academies Trust faced trial at the magistrate’s court of Southern Derbyshire for failing to control the risks from zoonotic diseases to employees, pupils and visitors to one of the academies the trust operates.


Lack of washing facilities

After an investigation by the HSE, it was found that proper washing facilities were not installed and these are vital when it comes to controlling the risks of disease for employees, pupils and anyone who visits the site. The academy also failed to provide suitable housing for the animals which is necessary when it comes to reducing contact with children. The lack of properly trained experts was also a mark against the trust.



The Spencer Academies Trust, Arthur Mee Road, Stapleford, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £20,000and ordered to pay  full costs of £7,304.10 and a victim surcharge of £170.

The ruling shows that whilst animals can provide a great opportunity of learning for children in the school enviroment, the risks need to be appropriately managed to avoid potentially dangerous incidents and issues further down the line.

HSE inspector Leigh Stanley said:
“The HSE recognises the wider learning benefits from keeping animals in the school environment, however, schools must ensure that the risks of zoonotic diseases are adequately assessed and effectively controlled. This includes adequate supervision and washing facilities. In this case, the Trust failed to implement suitable arrangements which meant that there was a significant risk to the health of people including the children.”

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