Schools have a statutory duty of care to ensure that all reasonably foreseeable risks to pupils during curriculum and school activities have been assessed and controlled and that there is effective pupil supervision in place. Failure to do this may render the school liable if a pupil is injured.

However, all risk cannot be excluded from activities, especially as many activities are designed to challenge pupils and help them to develop their capabilities. Schools must, therefore, balance helping pupils learn and develop with the moral and legal responsibility to keep them safe.

This topic covers health and safety risks to pupils in areas such as physical education, science experiments, art, design and technology and when using equipment. Information about assessing risk in health and safety management can be found in the Risk Management and Assessment topic.

Additional information about Covid-19 coronavirus safety arrangements have been added to support both school curriculum activities and remote home education during periods of national lockdown.

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