CLEAPSS Supporting practical science and technology
CLEAPSS Biology
Biology at CLEAPSS –present fascinating, future exciting!

Biology has been developing very rapidly over the last 40 years, and this is increasingly being reflected in the content of biology lessons.

To support these developments CLEAPSS has been working on a range of practicals, guidance and training courses to enable schools to meet the demands of this new curriculum in safe, engaging and innovative ways. We are also on hand to answer any queries you may have regarding Health Safety aspects of biology practical, whether new or old.

Measuring photosynthesis using a mobile phone
For microbiology resources please see our microbiology page

Latest news from CLEAPSS..
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Schools
Updated : 2nd March 2022

Various minor revisions to align with new DfE and HSE guidance.
Student Safety Sheets - 2022 Update
Are you about to print off a set of Student Safety Sheets?

Then you may want to wait, we are in the process of fully revising them and plan to publish this all new edition in the Autumn term.
HSE inspection of schools holding radioactive sources in science
The Health and Safety Executive’s Field Operations Division has contacted CLEAPSS (and SSERC for Scotland) to explain it is undertaking a programme of inspections across England, Wales and Scotland to see how schools manage the safe use and storage of the radioactive sources used in science teaching. An inspection programme may come as a surprise to some when you consider the relatively low risk of these sources compared to those used in universities and hospitals. But low risk does not mean exemption from inspection.

The HSE has accepted our offer to provide their inspectors with an introduction to the importance of radioactive sources in practical science, and to explain the approach taken in CLEAPSS Guide L93 on how to manage the sources safely and meet all the regulatory requirements.

You can read more about this on the HSE eBulletin page here.

Ahead of the inspection programme, our advice for schools in England and Wales is to go through the checklist 16.1 in the latest edition of L93 and make sure they have the appropriate arrangements in place.

If you have any questions regarding this, if possible please email science@cleapss.org.uk rather than calling the helpline, unless it is urgent, as we are in the middle of moving into our new offices at the moment.
CLEAPSS is moving!
We will be moving to our new offices

The CLEAPSS Helpline number will stay the same and will remain operational during and after the move. 

We will however have reduced capacity to respond during this time.


Thank you for bearing with us.

GL227 - CLEAPSS Fume Cupboard Testing
Now fully revised - GL227

This guidance lists the suppliers/manufacturers of fume cupboards and fume cupboard filters intended for the schools market. 

To support schools buying fume cupboards, we have an updated buying guide GL123.

Please note that CLEAPSS no longer carries out routine fume cupboard testing / approval. Therefore, we have removed all references of fume cupboards which have or haven’t been tested / ‘passed’ by ourselves.

Any such claims cited in any sales or technical specifications should be ignored and referred to CLEAPSS via the Helpline. (N.B. It will take some time for companies to update their websites and sales literature, this updated guide was published in Feb 2022).

We have replaced our CLEAPSS fume cupboard testing scheme with a manufacturer based approval
process. This is where the manufacturer of the fume cupboard, asserts that their fume cupboard(s) meets the requirements as per the CLEAPSS guide G9. 

This process will be totally external to CLEAPSS, although we do intend to carry out random spot checks to ensure this system isn’t being abused. The process is similar to other sectors where a self-approval has proved to be effective. 

If you find a fume cupboard advertised as meeting the requirements in Guide G9 (sections 4 & 5 are the most relevant for this), and you feel that it does not meet parts of Guide G9 then please contact us via the Helpline.
Biology Resources
Search For:
Showing results 1 to 10 of 268
1 234

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This leaflet is intended to give brief details only of the major manufacturers and suppliers of electronic balances suitable for use in science within secondary schools and colleges.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Briefly lists all CLEAPSS documents relevant to school microbiology.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Outlines how to prepare for pouring, pouring and storing agar plates, and making slopes.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Outlines the work that science technicians do, the tasks which they should not, ideally, be given, and provides a pointer to the number of technicians needed in a department and to management issues w.. more

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This includes all the pictograms required by the Globally Harmonised System for chemical hazard labelling. A selection of large (A4) and small sized pictures for printing and use in schools

Members only resource Click to download Document.
A straightforward practical activity investigating how antimicrobial chemicals affect microbial growth on agar plates.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Straightforward advice on how to make sure your practical lessons work as you intend. Includes planning and preparing the activity, managing students, timing and equipment, and clearing away. Also inc.. more

Free resource Click to view on YouTube
This video shows the correct way to sterilise an inoculation loop by flaming.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This is a customisable letter for schools to send to parents to request permission in advance of students taking a small sample of their own blood.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This now inclduies some general information on food calorimetry as well as explaining something of nut allergy and a range of control measures which could be used to enable effective, relevant practic.. more

Showing results 1 to 10 of 268
1 234