Risk Management and Risk Assessment Policy


This guidance is applicable to all those with responsibility for developing / implementing risk management strategy and undertaking risk assessments for activities which are under their control. This includes the requirements of the Independent Schools Standards Regulations and the National Minimum Standards for Boarding 2022.


  • To ensure that major risks are identified and managed as part of an overarching policy with a view to promoting children’s welfare.
  • To meet the ISSR requirement for a written risk assessment policy to be in place and to meet the requirement for leadership in and management of schools.
  • To ensure that suitable and sufficient risk assessments are undertaken for activities where there is likely to be significant risk, including school trips.
  • That identified control measures are implemented to control risk so far as reasonably practicable.
  • That those affected by school activities have received suitable information on what to do.
  • That the risk management strategy and risk assessments are recorded and reviewed when appropriate.
  • To identify those in the school responsible for conducting risk assessment and monitoring its implementation.



The Headmaster will be responsible for the overarching Risk Management Policy of the school, with the day to day management delegated to the Bursar.

Key risk areas are:

  • Pupil supervision (including safeguarding and welfare requirements). This will include implementation of the school Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), but will also cover a range of responsibilities outside safeguarding.
  • School trips
  • Management of visitors on school premises
  • Fire and emergencies
  • Traffic and pedestrian interaction on site
  • Management of hazardous substances
  • Use of hazardous equipment e.g. in DT, Art, etc.
  • The suitability of staff to undertake designated roles and checks to ensure that they are suitable including staff not employed by the school who work with pupils on another site
  • Risk areas which are not directly related to health and safety, including but not limited to:
  • Financial
  • Recruitment procedures
  • Reputational
  • Terrorism, including the prevention of fundamentalism and extremism
  • Security, specifically in boarding

The Risk Management Strategy will include the assignment of roles to competent persons (either internal or external) and associated training will be provided.

The Bursar will be responsible for the implementation of the Risk Assessment Policy. 

This guidance is applicable to General Risk Assessment. Where specialist skills are required, e.g. asbestos, fire, water quality and hazardous substances, there is separate policy guidance in place.

A template risk assessment form is included at Appendix 1 to this guidance.

Risk Assessments will take into account:

  • Hazard – something with the potential to cause harm
  • Risk – an evaluation of the likelihood of the hazard causing harm
  • Risk rating – assessment of the severity of the outcome of an event
  • Control measures – physical measures and procedures put in place to mitigate the risk

The risk assessment process will consist of the following 6 steps:

  • What could go wrong?
  • Who might be harmed?
  • How likely is it to go wrong?
  • How serious would it be if it did?
  • What are you going to do to stop it?
  • How are you going to check that your plans are working?

The Bursar will be responsible for the maintenance of risk assessment records.  

Risk assessments will be reviewed:

  • When there are changes to the activity
  • After a near miss or accident
  • When there are changes to the type of people involved in the activity
  • When there are changes in good practice
  • When there are legislative changes
  • Annually, if for no other reason

A list of areas (non-exhaustive) which may require risk assessment is included at Appendix 2. 

Appendix 1

Risk Assessment Template

 Woodcote House School

General Risk Assessment Form


Activity or Trip





Assessment prepared by





Date and departure/return times




Boys involved, attach a list if required.






Risks identified and risk level for each risk (see table below)





Action taken






Contact numbers to be added.



Prior to completing risk assessments, each work activity should be prioritised to establish levels of risk.  This will enable staff to establish the work activities which may result in serious harm and concentrate on producing adequate measures to control the risks.


Look at the room and define the activities that take place there.  Establish what level of risk there is for the particular activity to cause harm, ie high/medium/low, and note the reasons for this decision.  Concentrate first on those activities that are considered to be high risk and carry out risk assessments for these, following which medium and low risk activities should be assessed.




Risk Level

Unlikely – 1

Likely – 2

Very likely – 3

Minor injury – 1

Major injury – 2

Fatal injury – 3

1 – 2 = Low            ____

3 – 4 = Medium      ____

6 – 9 = High            ____

Multiply the likelihood by the severity and circle the total score.  The higher the risk score the higher the priority for action.


An additional checklist, to help identify the questions that need answering: 

What are the hazards?

Who might be harmed and how?

What are you already doing?

Do you need to do anything else to manage this risk?

Action by whom?

Action by when?


Arrangements for monitoring by senior staff

You should review your risk assessment if you think it might no longer be valid, e.g. following an accident in the workplace, or if there are any significant changes to the hazards in your workplace, such as new equipment or work activities.


Appendix 2: Areas requiring risk assessment (non-exhaustive)


  • Science experiments
  • Sport and PE activity
  • Art
  • Music
  • Drama & dance
  • General classroom
  • School trips


  • Catering and cleaning
  • Caretaking and security
  • Maintenance
  • Grounds / traffic management
  • Office
  • Site visitors
  • Fire & emergencies


Legal Requirements & Education Standards


A:  Handbook for the Inspection of Schools – The Regulatory Requirements, Part 3 (http://www.isi.net/)

B: Health & Safety Executive, Five steps to risk assessment (http://www.hse.gov.uk//risk/fivesteps.htm)

C: Health and Safety Advice on Legal Duties and Powers for Local Authorities, Head Teachers, Staff and Governing Bodies (February 2014), DfE website.

D: Health and Safety at Work” Section H of the ISBA Model Staff Handbook,

E: “Health and Safety and Welfare at Work” Chapter N of the ISBA Bursar’s Guide

F: “Insurance” Chapter K of the Bursar’s Guide by HSBC Insurance Brokers Ltd

G: Early Years Foundation Stage: Statutory Framework

H: Charities and Risk Management, The Charities Commission (www.charity-commission.gov.uk)

I: Risk Management framework: A Ten Point plan and What is Risk Management by the NCVO (www.ncvo-vol.org.uk)

J: Home Office guidance on duties under the Counter Terrorism Act 2015 (www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance)

K: National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools September 2022


Reviewed by the Bursar
February 2023