Risk assessments (RAs) are often seen as a barrier to be able to ‘just get on’ with school activities or day-to-day working life. They’re not! They are a legal requirement, and, if viewed in a positive light, can be an ‘enabler’ rather than an obstruction.
If carried out properly, consulted upon, and communicated appropriately, risk assessments demonstrate that you as a school body are carrying out your duty of care for all pupils, staff and anybody else affected by your undertakings.
Risk assessment templates and guidance:
A list of advised topics for schools to have risk assessments on. The list is not exhausting, though it’s a good starting point.
We have two models of risk matrixes to help you judge the likelihood and severity of hazards, so you can grade the risk appropriately. Please use whichever model that suits you best.
A blank Risk Assessment template for everyday activities, this can be used for any of the topics in the list above.
A document acknowledgment sheet for when you communicate your risk assessments – all staff can sign this to say they have received and understood the document.
The Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on writing a risk assessment – including the ‘Five Steps’.
Here are some template risk assessments for specific topics:
- DSE self-assessment form – for staff using computer workstations regularly to complete at least yearly.
- Risk assessment template for pupil behavioural issues (compile one assessment for the pupil’s safety, and one for staff and other pupils’ safety).
- Risk assessment template for pupil behavioural issues with an Individual Support Plan (ISP) attached.
- Risk assessment template for expectant and new mothers.
- A pupil led / directed risk assessment template – this can help empower the pupil to see the risks they may be taking which could pose a danger to themselves or others.
- A risk elimination sheet (Excel), specifically about PE / PESSPA – this gives the school a chance to minimise paperwork but at the same time show exactly how they control risk in PE lessons by pointing to other procedures or protocols both in-house and from national organisations.
- A PEEP template and guidance can be found on the Fire Safety Information page.
- The guidance call ‘Safety for Staff directing vehicles on school sites‘ can be used to inform your risk assessment for this activity.
Where relevant, guidance notes are contained in each template and they all contain an action plan for further controls to reduce the risks.
You do not have to use these templates, you can use another type or alternatively. Or you can tailor them to your own needs. What these do give you though is the complete ‘Five Steps’ as advised by the HSE.
Risk Assessment training:
“Risk assessment for managers” workshops are available (for Heads, Bursars, Business Managers etc) – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to book. Schools can also request specific Risk assessment training workshops for their own establishment, perhaps as part of a PD day or as a twilight session from Nina – these can be tailored to your school, as you may have a specific subject you want to go through, or train a specific group of people at once.