INSET: Risk Assessments for Schools

risk assessments

“Most useful with a number of areas that will improve practice across our Multi Academy Trust. The course provided a good grounding to raising awareness of responsibilities at all levels, legal implications of poor H&S management together with recommendations for good practice in risk assessment”.

Maxine Adams, Operations Director, Apollo Partnership Multi -Academy Trust

Why are H&S & risk assessments so important in a school setting??

The education environment presents a variety of special hazards and risks, and with the duty to protect children and young adults from harm, it is one of the most difficult environments in which to manage Health & Safety. This is particularly true in the current climate of the Covid19 pandemic, where special safe working and protective measures guidelines must be adhered to and inspected by the HSE.

Risk Assessments for Covid 19 in Schools

A HSE statement in a recent bulletin says: “HSE will be phoning schools to check their risk assessments and the arrangements they have in place to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus.

“To assist schools with any calls from HSE, we would suggest staff are made aware of the checks and designated individuals are familiar with the school’s risk assessment.

HSE 2021

Who is responsible for H&S and Risk Assessments in schools?

Ultimately the employer or, in the case of independent schools, the proprietor, is accountable for the health and safety of school staff and pupils.

Schools must have a health and safety policy in place, and the key elements of the policy should:

  • set out the roles and responsibilities within risk management processes
  • the mechanisms to control risk
  • specific control measures that need to be implemented

Schools are obliged to record any significant findings of their risk assessments. They must identify any group of employees identified by it as being especially at risk.

Do schools need risk assessments?

Health and safety law requires the school to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures. The law also requires it to record details of risk assessments, the measures taken to reduce these risks and expected outcomes.

Schools need to record the significant findings of their risk assessments by identifying:

  • the hazards
  • how people might be harmed by them
  • what they have in place to control risk

Risk assessments consider what you need to protect the health and safety of all:

  • staff
  • pupils
  • visitors
  • contractors

Schools will need to think about the risks that may arise in the course of the school day. This could include anything related to the school premises or delivery of its curriculum, whether on or off site.

What health and Safety laws apply to schools?

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 determines British health and safety law. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with local authorities, enforce this Act.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 supports the Act.

Schools should make sure they are familiar with both documents.

Who is this INSET course for?

This course is suitable for all teaching and support staff with supervisory duties and who are in direct contact with students. It is particularly relevant to teaching staff employed in primary, secondary, and special schools as well as FE colleges and universities.


The aim of this course is to provide those given the responsibility, the knowledge and confidence to complete suitable and sufficient risk assessments for activities completed within the school.

You may also be interested in our online course: Risk Awareness

IIRSM & CPD approved and only £25! Click here for more details

INSET Course Outline

Managing Health and safety – Laws, Duties & Responsibilities

  • Health and Safety Legal Framework
  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • Responsibilities in Schools

Managing Typical Hazards in Schools

  • Slips and Trips – in education
  • Lighting Rigs and Laptop Charging Trolleys
  • Vehicle movements – in schools

Assessing and Managing Risk

  • Risk Assessment – Schools and the Law
  • The 5 Steps of Risk Assessment
  • The Hierarchy of Control

Incident management & Measuring Performance

  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Health and Safety Management System
  • RIDDOR – What must be reported?

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