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Safety and ethical considerations

Science programmes and activities should not put students in situations where their health or safety is at risk.

Health and safety within schools

In planning and implementing their curricula, science teachers are required to take account of the appropriate Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) regulations, the 1996 Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act (including the Exempt Laboratory Regulations 2001). They must also consider animal ethics, and human ethics when engaging in research or projects that involve people.

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Reminder – Code of practice for school exempt laboratories guidelines

December 2017
Hazardous Substances Regulations came into effect on 1 December 2017.
For school laboratories, we are working with WorkSafe to develop guidance and compliance documents to replace the Code of Practice for School Exempt Laboratories. Until they are released. The Ministry of Education and WorkSafe suggest schools continue to use the Code of Practice for school exempt , as well as the Ministry's other guidance to the Code, (which outlines your responsibilities as a board) as their guidance documents for hazardous substance management.
We are also working with a number of education sector organisations to ensure that schools and their boards are supported in complying with the regulations.
Where can I find out more information?

Education outside the classroom

Schools are required to have policies and protocols to ensure that off-site activities, such as field trips in their local community and the wider community, and industry visits, are properly planned and supervised.

Learn more:

  • The Ministry of Education’s EOTC Guidelines clarifies schools’ responsibilities regarding curriculum-based education outside the classroom (EOTC) and provides guidance on how they can meet legal requirements and enhance learning and safety.

Last updated November 9, 2021