Key Areas for Risk Assessment in Schools

Key Areas for Risk Assessment in Schools

Safety Management Self Audit Questionnaire – PART 2

Key Y=Yes N=No NA=Not Applicable (please think carefully before deciding that a question is NA)

Occupational Safety Team

Self Audit Tool - School Safety Management Systems – PART 2

Key Areas for Risk Assessment

School Name
Name & Job Titles of Person(s) Completing audit
Name of Head Teacher
Signature of Head Teacher
Date of Completion


Ensuring good standards of Health and Safety at Work is a legal duty and an important part of the management of all schools in Bradford. Failure to manage health and safety effectively can result in; serious or fatal accidents; ill health amongst staff and pupils; criminal prosecution with unlimited fine and up to 2 years in prison; civil liability claims; an ‘unsatisfactory’ OFSTED inspection.

Members of the Occupational Safety Team are there to help and do carry out programmed routine visits to schools. However, they can only visit schools as often as resources allow. So, to sit alongside the help that they can offer, this self audit tool can be used as a ‘health check.’ It should be completed by head teachers or by a member of the school management team who has delegated responsibilities. They will need to talk to various members of staff to get all the answers they need. Once this self audit is completed a clear action plan should be written. This should have unambiguous and defined responsibilities and timescales.

The Occupational Safety Team advises that a fresh self audit should be undertaken every two to three years. The audit report and resultant action plan should be kept for review by ourselves, the HSE and/or schools insurers as necessary. Part 2can be used as an indicator of what areas in school should be covered by a risk assessment. However, to complete the self audit, part 1, which covers many general health and safety issues, should also be completed.

Further information on safety issues, the Council’s policies, procedures and guidance (and part 1 of this self audit), are available from the Occupational Safety website: you have any queries about completing this audit or how to implement improvements please contact the Occupational Safety Team on 01274 431007.

Please see below a list of key areas for risk assessment in schools. This is not a comprehensive list – you may identify other risk areas in your school. Conversely, there may be suggested headings that are not applicable to your setting.

Please note – if the school is not directly responsible for school maintenance, you must still check with the contractor that deals with the management of the buildings to ensure that the appropriate risks have been assessed.

Premises external including: -
Maintenance, steps/paths, lighting, fencing and gates
Grounds Maintenance
Fire Safety*
Hazardous Substances (COSHH)
Note –a suppliers safety data sheet is not the same as a COSHH assessment
Working at Heights
Including access to roofs and unboarded loft spaces and sports equipment such as large climbing frames and climbing walls.
  • By authorised persons
  • By unauthorised persons

Catering / Kitchens
Playground Supervision
Slips and Trips
First Aid
Office Safety
DSE (computer) work – teaching and non teaching staff?
Manual Handling of Objects
Manual Handling of Pupils
Curriculum areas with specific risks e.g.: -
Physical Education/Sports
Lone Working
Pregnant Workers/New Mothers
Violence to Staff at Work
School Visits/Trips/Outdoor Activities
Work Experience/Extended Placements

*NB. Some assessments may require higher levels of competence depending on the complexity and extent of the risk. Subject areas such as Legionella, Asbestos and Fire Safety could require extra advice which can be obtained from the appropriate teams within the Council (or from third party consultants).

Occupational SafetyPage 1 of 3Revised September 2017