Pupil welfare risk assessment form

Independent schools and academies must have a pupil welfare risk assessment form to show how welfare is safeguarded. Mike Lamb provides a template to adapt and use

Author details

Mike Lamb is director of staff and pupil wellbeing at Hurstierpoint College. A previous head of year and housemaster, Mike has developed and designed whole school wellbeing programmes and believes these should be at the heart of every school.

A risk assessment in the pupil welfare context is a careful examination of what could cause harm to pupil welfare and appropriate control measures, so that you can weigh up whether the school has taken adequate precautions or should do more to prevent harm.

The purpose of a risk assessment is not to create huge amounts of paperwork, but rather to identify sensible measures to control real risks – those that are most likely to occur and/or will cause the most harm if they do.

When thinking about your risk assessment in this context, remember:

  • a welfare issue is anything that may harm a pupil (including online bullying or abuse)
  • the risk is the chance that a pupil could be harmed, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be if they are.

Step 1: Identify the issue

First you need to work out how pupils could be harmed. This will generally be set out in the concern raised about a pupil’s welfare.

Step 2: Decide who might be harmed and how

Identify individual pupils or groups who might be harmed and how they might be harmed by the concern raised.

Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions

Decide what to do about the risks.

Compare what you currently do with what is required by law, DfE guidance or is accepted good practice. If there is a difference, list what needs to be done to protect the pupil’s welfare.

Step 4: Record your findings and implement them

Make a written record of your significant findings – the issue, how pupil(s) might be harmed and what arrangements the school has in place to control those risks.

There is no prescribed format for this record but any record produced should be simple and focused on control measures and the steps the school proposes to take to manage the risk.

Step 5: Review your risk assessment and update if necessary

Review what you are doing for the pupils identified and across the school generally and monitor the efficacy of the measures you have put in place on a regular basis, or as required.

Last Updated: 
30 Oct 2018