Westward School

Risk Assessment Policy for Pupil Welfare

The aim of this Policy is to set out the systematic approach for suitable and sufficient risk management throughout Westward School, ensuring the welfare of pupils at the school is safeguarded and promoted at all times and appropriate action is taken to reduce risks and potential risks that are identified. 

Responsibilities 

The Proprietor has overall responsibility for safeguarding and promoting welfare and well-being at school.

At an operational level, the Headteacher will; 

  • Ensure that all staff are aware of, and adhere to, the school’s policies and procedures on pupil health, safety and welfare;
  • Ensure that key staff have clearly described roles and responsibilities;
  • Ensure that staff are appropriately trained to deal with pupil welfare issues;
  • Ensure that where concerns about a pupil’s welfare are identified, the risks are appropriately managed;
  • Ensure that staff, pupils and parents and others are consulted, where appropriate, to find practical solutions to welfare issues;
  • Ensure that standards of pupil welfare at Westward are regularly monitored both at an individual level and globally to identify trends and issues of concerns and to improve systems to manage these.

Staff members named in the table below are responsible for carrying out risk assessments in relation to the specific matters of pupil health, safety and welfare covered in the named policies. 

Policy

Responsibility for risk assessments

Safeguarding and Child Protection

Designated Safeguarding Lead and/or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

Whistleblowing

Designated Safeguarding Lead and/or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

Recruitment/Supervision

School Office and Headteacher

Behaviour

Behaviour Officers and/or Headteacher

Head of Lower School - N to Year 2

Deputy Head - Year 3 to Year 6

Anti-bullying

Behaviour Officers and/or Headteacher

Head of Lower School - N to Year 2

Deputy Head - Year 3 to Year 6

Exclusions

Behaviour Officers and Headteacher

Social Media

E-Safety Officer and/or Headteacher

Health and Safety including First Aid

School Office

Medical Conditions

School Office

Fire Policy

School Office

Attendance

School Office and/or Headteacher

Visitors and Visiting Speakers

Deputy Head and/or School Office

Educational Visits

Deputy Head and/or School Office

Pupil Welfare

The school recognises its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils in its care. This responsibility encompasses the following principles:

  • To support pupils’ physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing (as well as their social and economic wellbeing);
  • To protect pupils from harm and neglect;
  • To recognise that corporal punishment can never be justified;
  • To provide pupils with appropriate education, training and recreation;
  • To encourage pupils to contribute to society;
  • To ensure that pupils are provided with a safe and healthy environment (and to improve the physical environment of the school in order to improve its provision for disabled pupils);
  • To manage welfare concerns effectively.

The school addresses its commitment to these principles through: 

Prevention

Ensuring that all reasonable measures are taken to minimise the risk of harm to pupils and their welfare by:

  1. i) Ensuring through training that all staff are aware of and committed to this policy and the values set out;
  2. ii) Establishing a positive, supportive and secure environment in which pupils can learn and develop;

iii) Including in the curriculum, activities and opportunities for PSHE which equip pupils with skills to enable them to protect their own welfare and that of others;

  1. iv) Providing medical and pastoral support that is accessible and available to all pupils.

Protection

Ensuring all appropriate actions are taken to address concerns about the welfare of a pupil, whether of a safeguarding nature or otherwise. This includes:

  1. i) Sharing information about concerns to agencies who need to know and involving pupils and their parents appropriately;
  2. ii) Monitoring pupils known or thought to be at risk of harm and formulating and/or contributing to support packages for those pupils.

The school recognises that pupil welfare and well-being can be adversely affected by many matters whether in or away from school, including abuse, bullying, behavioural and health issues.

Risk Assessment

Where a concern about a pupil’s welfare is identified, the risk to that pupil’s welfare will be assessed, appropriate action will be taken to reduce the risks identified, this will be recorded and then regularly monitored and reviewed.

Risk assessments do not have to be complicated. The level of detail contained in them should be relevant to the level of risks involved. In many cases risk assessment will lead to clarification and documenting of protocols and procedures that are already in place, following best practice and relevant industry standards where applicable.

The format of risk assessment as to pupil welfare may vary and may be included as part of the school’s overall response to a welfare issue or using a risk assessment form. Regardless of the form used, the school’s approach will be systematic.

The information obtained through this process and the action agreed will then be shared, as appropriate, with other staff, parents and third parties in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of a particular child or of pupils generally.

Risk assessments will be stored appropriately according to the policy they refer to; i.e. Assessments relating to individual pupils will be held on their pupil records.

See Appendix 1 for Guidance on risk assessment

Safeguarding/Child Protection

With regards to safeguarding risks, and in accordance with current statutory guidance, including Keeping Children Safe in Education and Working Together to Safeguard Children, the school has systems in place to identify pupils who may need extra help, or those who are likely to suffer harm, and will take appropriate action to address and mitigate those risks by working in conjunction with social care, the Police, health services and other services, where necessary.

Full details of the school’s safeguarding procedures are set out in the Safeguarding and Child Protection policy.

Anti-Bullying

The school has a written Anti-Bullying policy which covers the school’s approach to the management of bullying and cyber bullying.

Behaviour

The school has a written Behaviour policy which sets out how it promotes good behaviour amongst pupils and the sanctions to be adopted in the event of pupil’s misbehaviour.

The policy contains further information about the school’s performance of its duties under the Equality Act 2010 (and reasonable adjustments made for pupils with educational needs/disabilities), support systems for pupils and liaison between parents and other agencies.

Health and Safety

In accordance with its obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the School has a duty to ensure the health and safety of pupils and others affected by the School’s operations, so far as is practicable.

The school will do so by taking a sensible, proportionate and holistic approach to management of health and safety issues in accordance with the school’s obligations and its health and safety policies.

Appendix 1 :Guidance on risk assessment

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, to include cyber-bullying or abuse;  
  • the risk is the chance that a pupil could be harmed either physically or emotionally, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.

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. The extent of the risk will depend on the likelihood of the harm occurring and the severity of the harm.

The effectiveness of controls should be considered and the extent of risk remaining assessed. When deciding if precautions are acceptable, the assessor should take into account the legal requirement to do all that is “reasonably practicable” to protect people from harm. 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.

If the remaining risk is unacceptable then further controls must be identified to further reduce the risk. Where further action is necessary then an action plan should be included in the risk assessment, this should include:  

  • name of employee responsible for completing the action  
  • target date for completion  
  • any interim measures to reduce risk in the short term  
  • confirmation that the action has been completed
  • reassessment of the level of risk following completion of the action.

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 efficiency of the measures you have put in place on a regular basis, or as required.

 

Last updated: August 2017