Staffing ratios for supervising breaks and lunchtimes

It’s up to you to decide how many members of staff you have supervising breaks and lunchtimes, unless you're an early years provider where there are set requirements. Get advice on deciding the right staffing ratio.

Last reviewed on 6 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 1384
  1. Requirements in the EYFS
  2. No set requirements after the EYFS
  3. Complete a risk assessment

Requirements in the EYFS

If you're an early years provider, read our article on staffing ratio requirements in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). These requirements apply to breaks and lunchtimes.

The article contains a downloadable summary of staffing ratios for maintained schools and academies. 

No set requirements after the EYFS

It's up to your school to decide pupil supervision arrangements during breaks and lunchtimes after the EYFS, because there's no staffing ratio requirement. 

This includes reception classes in which the majority of pupils will reach the age of 5, 6 or 7 during the course of the school year.

The DfE told us this. 

Complete a risk assessment

To decide the right ratios for your school, conduct a risk assessment. Take into account the: 

  • Age and context of your pupils - e.g. consider any pupils with special educational needs
  • Nature of the activities that pupils will be doing during the break
  • Qualifications of your staff - although there's no specific qualification requirements here