PAT Testing in Schools
PAT testing in schools can be a simple process, and the way we do it minimises disruption to you.
Recently a teacher friend of mine told me about how her school had the PAT testers in from the local council, charging them £2.50 per item! She’d got into work early to set up for an important day – she had all her windows open on her PC, set up on her interactive whiteboard ready for the kids to come in.
The PAT tester appeared in her classroom, said he was there to PAT test and walked straight over to her desk and pulled out all the plugs before she had a chance to say “hey don’t unplug them!”. Then he said “tough, I need to test them”; all her hard work preparing for the day ahead was ruined.
I know how annoying this is, which is why we do not ever do this. No matter where we are working we always ask the user to shut down their PC.
Electrical equipment in a school presents a relatively high risk due to it being used by many people regularly, and as we all know, not all children look after things, so there is a high chance of damage occurring. With that in mind equipment used by students should be tested on an annual basis.
Equipment in the offices could be tested less frequently.
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What Ofsted needs for PAT testing
For Ofsted inspections you ned to have up to date PAT testing certificates; we provide every client with a certificate and fully itemised report, within a few days of the job completing, so you are always compliant. More information is available on the Caretakers Guide for Ofsted.
Secondary Schools and Colleges
Secondary sized schools and colleges can have thousands of appliances, so getting around them during the school day is difficult for us and disruptive for you, so we don’t recommend it.
We recommend that such schools have their PAT testing done on weekends, or ideally during school holidays.
During the holidays there is little chance of disruption being caused and we can cover all areas and rooms, so it is unlikely anything will be missed.
Infants, Juniors and Primary Schools
In smaller schools PAT testing during a school day can be disruptive so what we prefer to do is come in early, before the school day starts. We can come in with the caretakers at 5, 6 or 7am, whatever suits. We aim to get all the classrooms done before the teachers come in, never mind the pupils. We communicate with the school and ask in advance, that an email be sent around the day before, asking staff to log off their computers the night before, and to leave any chargers they usually take home, on their desks; or when they come in, to put chargers on the staff room table.
When we have done the classrooms we’ll do other areas; we do this working around you and the pupils, minimising disruption.
We have used this method for years and find it works very very well.
Nursery schools PAT testing is a bit easier to manage; there isn’t going to be any disruption to education so equipment can be tested during the normal working day.