Details of the compulsory insurance cover for schools.

Legal liability

Public liability insurance

This insurance protects the council, the school employees and governors against their legal liability for accidental bodily injury, illness or disease to third parties or accidental loss or damage to third party property arising out of the school's usual activities.

The cover extends to indemnify the council's employees, governors, volunteers, parent teacher associations (when acting as a body for the benefit of the school) and members of management committees set up to assist in carrying out the education function.

Cover is conditional on the council ensuring "that all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent or minimise accident, injury, loss or damage and all regulations imposed by any competent authority are complied with". For example, safety clothing and equipment must be worn or used when applicable and all regulations as laid down by the chief education officer must be adhered to.

Certain outdoor activities may need additional insurance

Volunteer staff/ parents must be under the control and supervision of a suitable member of staff, have their duties and responsibilities fully explained to them and the headteacher must satisfy himself/herself that they are capable of executing the duties required of them.

In addition to school tuition the cover extends to include "away from school activities", visits to firms and community studies, providing they are officially organised and supervised by the school.

Risk assessments should be carried out in advance of all activities to enable the school to minimise the risk of injury, loss or damage.

The council also requires that all contractors carrying out work on site have a minimum of £5 million public liability insurance.

Employer's liability insurance

This insurance protects the council and governors against their legal liability for bodily injury, illness or disease suffered by any persons under a contract of employment or apprenticeship with the council or school arising out of and in the course of their employment.

In order for a claim to succeed, the claimant must prove that the council, employees or governors were negligent in causing the injury.

Official's indemnity (errors and omissions)

This policy indemnifies the council, school employees and governors for all sums they become legally liable to pay as compensation for loss or damage (other than arising from bodily injury or illness or physical loss or damage to property) occasioned by any negligent act or accidental error or omission committed or alleged to have been committed by the council' school employees or governors.

Libel and slander

This policy protects the council, school and governors against their legal liability for:

  1. libels appearing in any publications normal in the school's business by employees and governors
  2. slanders uttered by employees or governors in the course of their official duties

Note: the personal indemnity given to governors of the school is subject to the governor bearing 10% of all the sums payable - limited to a maximum of £500 any one claim.

Personal accident insurance

Employees - all duty

The council holds personal accident cover for all employees which provides compensation should the employee sustain bodily injury whilst engaged on official duties, including travelling to and from the place of work. The benefits provided would depend on the degree of the injury and would relate to the following scale:

  1. Death or loss of one or more limbs or eyes or other permanent total disablement - 5 times gross annual earnings.
  2. Permanent partial disablement - varying percentages of the above.
  3. Temporary total disablement - weekly/monthly top up to full pay, for up to 104 weeks from the date of the accident.

This policy also covers the following classes:

  • Teachers on out of school activities
  • Volunteers
  • Pupils on work experience

Other personal accident policies

School journey insurance
Personal accident insurance is also incorporated as part of the school journey insurance package.

Pupils on work experience

The council's insurance will cover its responsibilities for the placement of students with employers and the supervision of those placements. However, whilst under a placement pupils are under the control of the employer and the employers own insurance must cover the pupil as an employee of the firm. This is explained in the guidelines for work experience.


In the event of the work experience organiser or pupil being asked to sign an undertaking, indemnity or exclusion of liability, in respect of a work experience Scheme, the document must be submitted to the chief education officer who will send it to the County Solicitor for examination and signing, after consultation with the council's Insurance Team.

This process can take several weeks therefore schools should not expect an indemnity to be dealt with in a matter of days or that an indemnity will automatically be signed by the County Solicitor.

Note: it is imperative that work experience organisers or pupils should not sign any indemnity or other insurance document on behalf of the council.

Buildings and equipment

All property owned by the county council, or for which it is responsible, is covered against the consequences of the following perils:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Explosion
  • Aircraft
  • Riot and civil commotion
  • Earthquake
  • Storm, tempest, flood
  • Bursting and overflowing of water tanks, apparatus or pipes
  • Subsidence

This insurance will replace/repair all items damaged by the above perils. It will also provide temporary accommodation for up to two years, if necessary, whilst any reinstatement is being undertaken.

It will also cover the cost of recreating records that have been lost, whether paper or computer records.

Cover for theft, vandalism and accidental damage is an optional cover. Where there is no insurance cover, schools should meet losses from their delegated budgets.

Schools should keep an up to date inventory of all equipment in a fireproof safe or away from the premises.


Equipment on council property needs to be covered under the Engineering insurance policy to ensure compliance with Health and Safety Regulations. Under the regulations, there is a statutory requirement for all equipment to be added to the schedule to enable regular inspections to occur. These inspections are organised by our insurers and carried out by trained inspectors and are different to the service and maintenances of the equipment as they specifically assess the risk the equipment holds. 

The type of items which need to be covered included (but are not limited to) pressure boilers, air receivers, goods and passenger lifts, chain blocks and lifting tackle, scaffold towers, Science equipment (such as Fume cupboards). 

There are three main types of engineering insurance which are:

i) Breakdown Cover - This insurance applies to the unexpected breakdown of electrical and mechanical plant and machine equipment. For example the policy would cover failure of lift door opening gears and burn out of motors. Please note that this cover excludes wear and tear of the machinery and expendable parts.

ii) Sudden and unforeseen damage - This insurance relates to sudden and unforeseen damage which necessitates the immediate repair or replacement of the equipment. For example the policy would cover impact damage, weld failure or cracking of the equipment.

iii) Explosion and Collapse Cover - This insurance relates to damage caused to the equipment and surrounding property following an explosion. For example the policy would cover explosion

The purchase of new equipment should be reported to the Insurance Team immediately, so that the appropriate cover can be arranged.

Fidelity guarantee

This policy provides cover in respect of the loss of money or property belonging to or in the trust or custody of the school for which it is legally responsible as a result of fraud or dishonesty on the part of the school's employees.

This policy gives an indemnity to governors and also includes losses of unofficial school funds (including PTA funds).

Summary of cover

Policy Policy number Limit of Indemnity/
Sum insured £
Excess £
Legal Liability QLA18AC040013    
Public Liability   50 million nil
Employers Liability   50 million nil
Officials Indemnity   5 million nil
Libel & Slander   5 million School - nil
Governors - 10%
Personal Accident QLA18AC040013    
Employees   5 x Annual Salary nil
Volunteers   50,000 nil
Pupils on work experience   7,500 nil
School Journey SJ18AC040036    
Cancellation   1,000 15.00
Medical   1 million 15.00
Personal Accident   20,000 nil
Personal Effects & Money   As stated in policy 15.00
Legal Liability   5 million nil
Motor QLA18AC040013 Market Value 100.00

Policy Policy number Limit of Indemnity/
Sum insured £
Excess £
Fire & Related Perils QLA18AC040013 Property Value nil
Engineering QLA18AC040013 Plant Value nil
Fidelity Guarantee QLA18AC040013 2 million nil

The insurances below are additional options and cover needs to be arranged for these policies directly with the Insurance Team.

Theft Vandalism & Accidental Damage OCCTVAD Property Value Nursery 100.00
Primary 250.00
Secondary 500.00
Special 200.00
Third Party Hirers TP18AC040013 5 million 50.00
Loss of Revenue OCCLOR 4,000 nil
Personal Accident - Governors PAS18AC040016 25,000 nil
Personal Accident - Pupils PZ923882547