Playground Policy

Playground Policy




Document Control

Author / Contact / Liz Davies
Document Path and Filename /
Document Reference / PG Policy
Version / 01
Publication Date / 12 07 2016
Related Documents / Academy’s Health and Safety Policy
Guidance / Equipment manufacturers installation and maintenance information
Playground handbook for inspectors
Review Date / 12 07 2016
Approved / Ratified by / Date:
Staff Handbook
Learning Gateway
Version / Date / Comments / Author
01 / 12 07 2016 / Updated from last year / Liz Davies/Neil Johnston
02 / 23 08 16 / Inclusion of checklist for maintenance schedule / Liz Davies

Review Process Prior to Ratification

Name of Group / Department / Committee / Comments / Date
Review and Check
Submission to DfE pending Governor Approval
Governor Approval


At Bradford Academy we value the contribution that outdoor playcan have to our learners. It widens the learning experience and promotes greater independence. It improves the learner’s affiliation to the Academy and generates more positive relationships with other learners and adults. It is the responsibility of all members of staff to secure the affirmation, formation and achievement of every learner in a safe environment.

The use of the Academy’s primary play equipment will require good supervision and attention to detail around safety in order to ensure playtimes are fun and safe for those taking part. This policy will outline the policy and procedures to enable playtime on the equipment to take place safely.

The primary play equipment can be used by all the appropriate learners in the Primary Academy depending on location and supervision. Through learning to use the play equipment they learn to risk assess danger for themselves and each other. This builds up their confidence as they begin to take responsibility for the safety for themselves and other learners; in turn this then leads to an increase in self-esteem. They develop trust and empathy for each other and learn to encourage others to succeed as they help each other to overcome obstacles. It also enables them to solve problems – which way to go and how. They develop their oral skills through instructing each other and giving help and advice. Physically they learn how their body works on a variety of different physical challenges; they learn that girls can succeed just as well as boys as strength is not always the key element of success on different play equipment. They learn different movement techniques which promote development of their gross motor skills.


This policy is part of Bradford Academy’s overall Health and Safety Policy. It applies to all involved in supervision of a play session from governors to volunteer staff.

This policy is written within the context of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1992 and the National Guidance from the Outdoor Education Advisory Panel (OEAP): “Guidance for the Management of Outdoor Learning, Off-Site Visits and Learning outside the Classroom”. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on employers that they must supply their employees with the information necessary to carry out their duties safely.

The systems, guidelines and responsibilities featured in this document are designed to help the Principal, Governors and staff ensure that learners stay safe and enjoy sessionson the play equipment and also aim to give clarity and assuage concerns that may be expressed by parents and carers.

Staff involved in leading play sessions should demonstrate high levels of safety awareness. The Academy recognises that those leading/supervising the activity must be aware there is a higher duty of care on them when running sessions for young learners as they are not mature enough to understand fully those risks or be responsible for their own involvement. However the awareness of the dangers of the activity must be made clear to all participants (of all ages) in an age appropriate manner to enable them to be able to develop their own awareness of risk and develop their responsibility in managing risks themselves and with each other.


  1. To ensure all primary play sessions are safe, purposeful and appropriate to meet educational needs of learners taking part.
  2. To ensure that learners have the opportunity to benefit from learning opportunities on Primary playequipment.


A designated person (DP) should be nominated with overall responsibility for the play equipment. This person should have the experience to understand the risks involved, safety procedures required and the development necessary to enable it to be used safely and successfully. They should

  • Set up the procedures necessary to maintain the safety of the play equipment
  • Ensure staff are trained and have the necessary level of competence to lead groups.
  • Ensure the equipment is safe and secure and used appropriately

Overall responsibility for the Play Equipment for 2016-17 is Neil Johnston

Lead and supervising staff for primary play equipment

  • must be accountable, competent and confident to lead and supervisethe play session
  • have responsibility for supervision and safe conduct of the activity
  • must ensure that all activities involved with leading and supervision learners on play sessions comply with the procedures and risk assessment outlined in this document.
  • must ensure learners are actively supervised at all times during a session.
  • must ensure a first aid kit is easily accessible and have the basic knowledge of how to deal with potential injuries.

Other staff and Volunteers

All Academy staff and adult volunteers assisting with supervision on any session should be briefed with the key details of this policyas it applies to them. The leader should ensure that the requirements of the risk assessment, risk control procedures and safe systems are followed. They will ensure that during the session, where any previously unforeseen hazards or risks are identified they are brought to the attention of the class teacher. Staff should also feedback information to the class teacher to enable a review of the session to be completed.


The play leader should advise the learners of their responsibility to themselves and others. It is good practice to involve the learners in the planning, assessing and managing risk and evaluating the activity.

Learners must be briefed appropriately and understand that they must:

•not take unnecessary risks

•follow the instructions of the play leader and other supervisors

•dress and behave sensibly and safely

A learner whose behaviour may put him/herself or others at risk may be stopped from playing on the equipment.


For a serious casualty, summon help immediately via the office/ pastoral system and seek/administer first aid.

The Academy’s accident reporting procedure complies with the requirements of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseaseand Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. Whenever a serious accident occurs to any person during a play session, an Incident Report Form should be completed as soon as possible,giving all relevant detail and given to the designated person who will undertake an investigation and report back to the All-Through Principal.The objective of the investigation will be to establish the circumstances of the accident, not to apportion blame. Thismay include seeking statements from witnesses to the accident and preparing reports


A dangerous occurrence can be defined as a "near miss" or more correctly a "near hit" where the incident has the potentialto cause serious personal injury, has caused property damage or has the potential to cause property damage. It is importantthat equipment or objects relating to the incident must be left in situ at the time of the incident unless it would be unsafe todo so. The investigative and reporting procedure is exactly the same as for accidents.


An inspection and maintenance system is in place that follows the guidance in the safety manualsreceived from the companies installing the equipment.

When any equipment checks are done, it must be written in the appropriate check book as a record on that piece ofequipment. Damaged or unsatisfactory items should be removed for further inspection and/ or made unusable and bedisposed of appropriately when considered unsafe.

Maintenance inspections


  • By supervising staff - a check for any issues that arise during the session
  • By facilities staff - to ensure that the playground surface is free from debris etc. Empty bins and sweep clean.

Weekly and recorded

  • A visual check done by facilities staff for faults or hazards
  • Items are secure and free from obstruction
  • Checking all fixings – none missing or loose
  • Checking surfaces and ropes for abrasions, damage, sharp edges etc.
  • Repairing or arranging to repair any items that are damaged or report to the Designated Person to put item out of use.

Annual – to be done by an independent inspector

The last inspection was done by Richard Goodson from The Play Inspection Company on 29 January 2016. The overall judgement was that it was low risk. Areas identified as requiring work were attended to.


This risk assessment applies to all who supervise sessions on the Primary play equipment. All learners using the equipment should be encouraged to assess the risks while playing to enable them to develop their own sense of safety awareness. However they are too young to take complete responsibility and the onus is on staff to ensure that all activities on play equipment take place safely.
?Slips/trips/falls/strains arising from use of equipment, running around etc.
?Cuts/scrapes from damaged equipment
?Equipment failure
?Objects falling from height
?Cold related conditions (exposure to inclement conditions)
?Heat related conditions (sunburn, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke)
?Other adverse weather related conditions e.g. lightening strong/gusting winds, snow/ice etc.
?Unplanned/inappropriate entry into water/drowning
?Manual handling issues
?Contact with animal waste, glass and other hazards on the ground
Supervising staff should:
provide appropriate and approved leadership, briefing and supervision
visually check equipment when it is being used
ensure nothing is in pockets when using climbing equipment
check that there are no items of clothing (e.g. scarves) that could get trapped/caught when learners are using the slide or other items of equipment which involve jumping down.
adjust the length of play activity appropriately in accordance with the impact of weather on it e.g. strong winds, icy conditions.
Provide warm up activities as appropriate
ensure suitable arrangements for learners with special needs, medical conditions or requiring particular attention
ensure that appropriate first aid is available
apply strategies to prevent cold/hot/sun related conditions
ensure that there is direct supervision of all activities involving the pond
visually check that there are no faeces, glass and other hazards, if found request facilities to remove and ensure children are kept away until that has been done
The Academy should:
ensure that any issues around manual handling are identified in advance and any appropriate training to take place.
ensure a regular maintenance schedule is adhered to and damages dealt with appropriately
ensure a regular check of the play area is done.
ensure that the sand pit is covered each night to avoid being used by animals.

Playground Equipment Weekly Checklist

Tick if the item is undamaged. If it is damaged then note the problem and arrange for repair. Report problem to NJN

Area / item / Date & initials / Issues / Date & initials / Issues
Note that although the equipment should all be inspected weekly this can be spread over the course of the week.
2 year old provision / Play tower
EYFS / Post by gate
EYFS / Balance Beam
EYFS / Story telling chair and stools
EYFS / Tunnel – Green
EYFS / Tunnel - Buried
EYFS / Mini-challenge net
EYFS / Rope traverse Zag
EYFS / Play Rock
EYFS / Music Station
EYFS / Wigwam
EYFS / Sand pit
EYFS / Loose items
KS1 / Challenge Net
KS1 / Group Challenge
KS1 / Slide
KS2 / Scramble Net
KS2 / Ball Catcher
KS2 / Balancing Posts - low
KS2 / Rope Traverse
KS2 / Zig-Zag Balancing Beam
KS2 / Trapeze Monkey Bars
KS2 / Triple Basketball Net
KS2 / Traverse Wall
KS2 / Stilt Weaving Posts
Hard-standing (secondary) / Triple Basketball Net
Hard-standing (secondary) / Goal Posts