Schools require insurance and may obtain this from Local Authorities, from the London Diocesan Board for Schools or independently.
Insurance is required for buildings, contents, employer’s liability, public liability and legal fees. Many schools also take out a number of optional policies covering, for example, supply teachers, maternity cover and school trips School Property. The London Diocesan Board for Schools provides a competitive block property insurance policy for Schools.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families requires Governing Bodies to insure their 10% liability for school buildings. The remaining 90% is the responsibility of the Department. In the event of a claim, the Department requires the insured to use devolved capital allocated to the School and if this is insufficient then to use capital allocated to the Local Authority for Voluntary Aided Schools.
This requirement has led to a number of schools having to cancel planned capital expenditure programmes when there is a fire, flood etc. at the insured’s school or in the event of a large claim at another Voluntary Aided school. As a consequence the London Diocesan Board for Schools’ block policy now covers 100% of the insurance value of each school.
The sum insured for participating schools for 2010/11 is:
- Buildings: £819m
- Contents: £ 38m
The Department for Children, Schools and Families will only regard claims over £2,000 +VAT as being capital expenditure entitled to grant aid and this is the minimum sum that can be claimed under the insurance policy.
In the event of a claim there is a business interruption all risks cover of £500,000 Glass and sanitary fittings are covered up to £10,000. Money is covered up to £500 whilst it is on school premises during school hours, in transit to a bank or locked in a safe outside school hours.
Computer equipment is covered for fire and perils but not for theft.
The London Diocesan Board for Schools has taken out a policy to cover building works at individual schools up to £250,000 with an overall limit of £5m in any one year. For larger contracts risks are priced individually and premiums charged out as a project cost.
Employer’s Liability Insurance
The governing body of each school is viewed as a separate employer and contracts are issued by the school. A certificate of employer’s liability insurance is legally required to be displayed in a public area in the school and retained on the premises for 40 years.
Since 2001, Local Authorities have arranged and paid for such cover and premium’s charged out to schools through the delegated budget.
Public Liability Insurance
Local Authorities hold public liability policies which cover liabilities which occur on school premises during the school day. The Governors of Voluntary Aided schools are responsible for public liability insurance outside school hours where it would not be
reasonable to expect the Local Authority to provide cover e.g. a regular letting that benefits the Governing Body’s own funds.
London Diocesan Board for Schools has arranged a block policy to cover all Governing Bodies of Voluntary Aided Schools within the Diocese of London up to £10,000,000 for any one claim. Schools can opt out where there is appropriate cover.
Legal Fees Insurance.
The London Diocesan Board for Schools offers cover up to £50,000 to Voluntary Aided Schools through a block policy for the following:
- Contract disputes Criminal prosecution Employment disputes
- Property disputes Data protection Statutory Licences
- Personal injury Schools Admission and Exclusions
There is a minimum sum in dispute of £1,000 and the insurer’s liability is limited to £1,000,000.
No claims for employment disputes will be allowed unless the School has followed advice from Mrs P Harvey, an employee of London Diocesan Board for Schools.
In respect of Schools Admission and Exclusion cover, the insurer agrees to indemnify the Insured against legal expenses incurred:
- in defending a judicial review of an appeals panel (set up under a s.52 Education Act 2002) to permanently exclude a pupil.
- In defending a judicial review of a decision of an appeals panel (set up unders.94(2) School Standards and Framework Act 1998) to refuse a child admission to the school.
- By an individual member of the admissions appeal panel (set up under s.94(2)
School Standards Framework Act 12998) incurred in connection with any decision or action taken by the individual in good faith in pursuance of their functions as members of that panel and insofar only as the insured is liable to indemnify them
under the Education (Admission Appeal Arrangements) (England) Regulations
Provided that hearings and decisions of the insured, admissions committee and appeals panel are in accordance with the applicable statutory guidance or code of practice issued from time to time by the Secretary of State.