Please note that new guidelines on Risk Assessment are about to be published by the Government and that the information on this page reflects current advice which may change.
Schools and museums have to take great care that the health and safety of children has been taken into account. Before undertaking any school trip teachers are legally required to carry out a written risk assessment.
Schools have a duty of care towards pupils and in an activity where there is an amount of risk, they will need to show that they have considered, and as a result, taken all reasonable precautions.
- The biggest issue facing a teacher on school trips concerns potential hazards at the venue.
- If a teacher knows about a hazard they can educate the pupils and take appropriate measures to ensure that it does not become a problem.
Museums will need to carry out their own risk assessments of their site and the sessions which they offer.
It is essential that teachers make these assessments themselves but you may be able to help by:
- letting them see your own risk assessments of sessions, and any other hazards you have identified on your site such as the car park, which may help to inform theirs
- providing information such as details of the nearest hospital.
Whatever you provide ensure that it is easily accessible either on your website, electronically preferably, or by post on request.
You will also need to ensure that you have policies and procedures in place to ensure the Safeguarding of children. Look at the Museums Libraries and Archives (MLA) web pages or the page on the ABC re Safeguarding for more information.
- The NSPCC give advice on writing a Safeguarding policies.
- Health and Safety Executive for publication Five Steps to Risk Assessment (PDF, 134Kb).
- Arts Council England for a comprehensive publication Keeping Arts Safe.
- The Group for Education in Museums (GEM) has guidance notes on Risk Assessment.
- Also recommended ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’ from Every Child Matters.
- Example: Information about completing risk assessments at Milestones Museum (Hampshire County Council Museums).