What is a School Risk Assessment?
A school risk assessment is a systematic inspection that identifies and controls hazards within school premises. Beyond complying with legislative requirements, school risk assessments are conducted by school management teams to ensure a healthy and safe environment for students, teachers, administrators, and other staff.
What are the 5 Steps of Conducting the Assessment?
School risk assessments are conducted regularly to identify the likelihood of injury to a person after being exposed to a hazard and examine whether existing control measures are sufficient. A basic school risk assessment generally asks key questions and follows these 5 main steps on how to conduct a school risk assessment:
- What are the hazards identified?
- Who might be harmed?
- How they might be harmed?
- What are the existing precautions? Is it enough to control the hazard?
- What further actions are needed to eliminate the hazard?
These questions make it easier for the school management team to evaluate the hazard associated with school activities and identify needed control measures.
What is a School Risk Assessment Template?
A school risk assessment template is a tool used by school administrators to identify and evaluate potential risks and hazards in the school environment that could impact the safety of students, teachers, and other staff members. It also provides a framework for analyzing their likelihood and potential impact, along with implementing measures to mitigate or eliminate them.
Why Use One
By using a school risk assessment template, schools can do the following to enhance their overall safety management system:
- Ensuring Compliance – It can help them identify areas where they may need to improve their policies and procedures and comply with relevant health and safety standards.
- Improving Safety – Using a template can allow them to prevent accidents, injuries, and other incidents that could harm individuals and damage the schools’ reputations.
- Promoting Accountability – It lets schools identify who’s responsible for managing specific risks and ensure that these individuals are held accountable for taking appropriate actions.
- Facilitating Communication – Using a school risk assessment template can facilitate communication among stakeholders about potential risks and the steps being taken to address them to help build trust and confidence among parents, students, and staff.
What to Include in a Template for School Risk Assessments
To help make your template straightforward and detailed, make sure to allot sections and pages for the following elements:
- Introduction or Title Page – includes basic information about the assessment being conducted, such as its date and location, the school name, and who prepared it
- Assessment – this is where you describe and identify the hazards, people who might be harmed by them and in what way, their risk ratings, the existing control measures, and necessary further actions
- Sign-off and Completion – name and signature of the person in charge
How to Create and Use It (with Example)
Follow these steps to create and use a school risk assessment checklist:
- Identify potential hazards within the school environment. These may include physical hazards, such as unsafe equipment or materials, as well as hazards related to policies and procedures, such as inadequate emergency response plans or security protocols.
- Analyze the likelihood and potential impact of each hazard. This can help you prioritize risks and determine which ones require the most attention.
- Ensure school staff and admin go through each key question for better risk analysis and recordkeeping.
- Develop strategies to mitigate or eliminate identified risks.
- Implement them by communicating with staff and stakeholders, providing training and resources, or making physical changes to facilities or equipment.
- Regularly monitor and review the effectiveness of the risk management strategies.
- Use the information gathered from monitoring and review to update the school risk assessment template as needed to ensure it remains current and effective.
To guide you better, here’s a school risk assessment example:
FAQs About School Risk Assessment
It is a type of risk assessment performed specifically in schools, especially for primary and secondary academies. During this process, potential hazards and risks in the surrounding environment are identified and evaluated to determine the likelihood of harm to students, staff, visitors, and anyone else who uses the facilities.
Some common examples of situations that require a risk assessment in schools include field trips or off-site activities, science experiments, physical education, and sports activities. However, performing school risk assessments regularly can help ensure the safety of all occupants, not just during these activities.
Risk assessments in schools can be performed by health and safety officers, teachers and other school staff, as well as external consultants or experts. The exact individuals responsible for conducting the assessment, however, should be determined based on the school’s existing guidelines and the specific situation at hand.