Support children and young people’s health and safety
2.4 – Explain how health and safety risk assessments are monitored and reviewed;
Health and safety and risk assessments are a major part of the primary school. A major risk assessment is carried out at the start of each new school year to make sure all risks are being covered and new ones identified so they can be closely monitored through out the whole school year.
The health and safety policy is also reviewed at the start of the school year, checking all school equipment (computers, doors, gates, classrooms, kitchens) to make sure it is all safe for the pupils and staff to use, and if any problem is identified it is addressed and fixed accordingly. All staff are aware of health and safety and are constantly assessing the area that they are working in or the activity they are carrying out. All staff work alongside the EYFS framework which considers all aspects of children’s welfare including safeguarding, suitable persons, suitable premises and equipment.
One of the major health and safety polices which is addressed and very closely reviewed is the allergies of all current and new pupils. Each classroom is given a pupil list with pictures and allergies of all the pupils in the school and all staff and pupils are reminded of who they are and what foods to bring into the school or give to the children.
The risk/health and safety assessment is reviewed during the school year if a new piece of equipment is brought into the school in or a new pupil arrives. Other issues may need an action plan which sets out what needs to be actioned, how long this may take and by whom it should be carried out. The action plans are then reviewed within a manageable time frame to ensure the action has been completed. Some hazards can be dealt with straight away as they arise such as removing a trip hazard or cleaning up a spillage.
A risk assessment is only valid at the time it is carried out.
3.1 – Explain why it is important to take a balanced approach to risk management
Any activity a child does involves some risk – even something as simple as painting. If the activity is well planned and organised, with thought given to possible risks, the likelihood of an accident or injury should be minimal.
The secret is to balance the risk of an activity against the benefit to and safety of the child. Risk and challenge are important to a child or young person’s development.
Avoiding all risks and challenge would result in a very timid adult lacking in many everyday skills and abilities. It would be very easy to respond to all risks to which children are exposed by not allowing them to explore or experiment.
Children need to explore their environment – it is one of the ways in which they learn – but it needs to be a ‘safe’ environment where risk is controlled by adults. It is important that children are given the freedom to develop their skills, with adult support but not too much intervention.
Understanding the stage of development a child is at and their individual needs can help you to provide the right amount of risk in activities, for example children under the age of 8 cannot safely judge the speed or distance of a car on the road, so a child under the age of 8 should never be allowed to cross the road alone. Compare this to a 10 or 11 year old, the risk assessment would be different for this age group because at this stage of their development they would know more things through the life experiences they have been through compared to a younger child.
Adults in care of children have policies and procedures in place to ensure everything runs smoothly and that everyone is safe - but we must have a balanced approach to risk management not a neurotic or lackadaisical approach.
3.2 – Explain the dilemma between the rights and choices of children and young people and health and safety requirements
All children have clear rights to learn and...
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