Playgrounds and breaktimes: risk assessments

Carry out a playground risk assessment to manage risk and keep your school community safe. See examples from a school and a council, and get guidance on assessing hazards.

Last reviewed on 19 December 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 988
  1. Know what's required
  2. Learn how to assess the risks of play areas
  3. See examples from a school and a council

Know what's required

Under health and safety law, you need to:

  • Assess any risks that may arise during school activities
  • Take steps to prevent hazards
  • Record the findings of your assessments, including measures taken to reduce these risks and expected outcomes

This is explained in DfE advice on health and safety in schools.

There are certain statutory risk assessments you must have in place. However, there may also be other areas where you'll need to assess risks, depending on your facilities and activities.

A playground/breaktime risk assessment can help you meet your health and safety responsibilities and reduce risk for your pupils and staff.

Learn how to assess the risks of play areas

A risk assessment must identify:

  • The hazards
  • How people might be harmed
  • What you have done to control the risk

Ask these questions when inspecting your outdoor play