Pupils with SEND: do we need a risk assessment?

Not all pupils with SEND will need an individual risk assessment – it will depend on the needs of the pupil. Find out how to make this decision using our set of questions.

Last reviewed on 13 October 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 10288
  1. Make the decision on a case-by-case basis
  2. Start by identifying the pupil's needs
  3. Use these questions to help you decide
  4. Remember to keep your staff safe too

Make the decision on a case-by-case basis

Most pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) won't need any additional health and safety considerations. This is explained by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Instead, you should make 'reasonable adjustments' to minimise disadvantages to pupils with SEN and/or disabilities, as required by the Equality Act 2010. If you effectively manage health and safety considerations for pupils with SEND, this should help to provide them with the same opportunities as other pupils. 

You might need an individual risk assessment if...

A pupil's specific need puts them at a higher risk than the rest of the class. However, always base this decision on the individual's needs.

Make sure you don't implement ‘blanket policies’ that place restrictions on all pupils with SEND, or automatically assume that these pupils are a greater risk.

Read more about the HSE's guiding principles.

To decide if a pupil