The present paper summarizes a research project into integral safety in schools. The aims of this particular research are, firstly, to evaluate the degree of integral safety in schools, secondly, to propose means for improving prevention and integral safety systems and thirdly, to identify the characteristics of safety culture. The field work was undertaken in 20 schools in the Barcelona metropolitan area. Two instruments were applied: questionnaires and the focus group, with a methodological orientation of a qualitative nature. Results show that safety issues involve a high degree of responsibility on which management personnel spend a considerable amount of time, stating that they were less aware of the importance of the issue until they had been involved in school management for several years. Schools address safety issues in a reactive and anything but preventive way, for the most part designing involvement protocols in those schools that have already experienced accidents previously. The results obtained open up new possibilities for examination and should shape perceptions in schools by relating and incorporating the management of integral safety procedures, interpersonal relationships and the training of school managers. © 2011 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.