Risk Assessment Policy

With special consideration for students under 18

Risk assessments are carried out for all students, staff and visitors at ELC Bristol, part of the Clifton College Education Group. Specific consideration is made for students under 18 and risk assessments are drawn up and/or amended as required.

Risk assessments are carried out for all locations, events and situations that might pose a possible risk for staff, students and visitors. These include:

  • travelling to the UK
  • travelling to and from school
  • risks associated with free time in-school for staff and students
  • social programme evening activities and social programme Saturday excursions
  • class outings led by a teacher
  • student free time outside school
  • student accommodation
  • school residential properties
  • school grounds
  • classrooms
  • other rooms in the school in use by students, staff and visitors
  • our Summer Centre
  • Risk assessments have primarily been written by the Director, John Duncan, and by Ginnie Mallinson and Andrew Varney (Social Programme Managers)
  • All risk assessments are located on Sharepoint and in the Risk Assessment Folders in the Director’s office.
  • The risk assessments are updated when changes occur and reviewed annually.
  • Any action which may be required to remove or control risks is approved by our Health and Safety Lead (Area Custodian), Kate Jackson.
  • The Area Custodian is responsible for checking that the implemented actions have removed or reduced the risks.
  • Risk Assessment for the Social Programme

    • The school Social Programme is designed by the Social Programme Managers and is mostly run by ELC Bristol teachers, Clifton College activity staff, admin staff and the Social Programme Managers, as part of their contractual obligations to the school. Running the programme in-house allows us to maintain a high level of control over any potential risks to our students.
    • Each risk assessment for afternoon and evening activities and weekend excursions has been specially written by the Social Programme Managers for that specific activity well in advance of the activity or excursion taking place. The risk assessment has a simple layout of four columns, which is easy to comprehend, stating the possible hazards and to whom, precautions, level of risks, and a space for comments. The comments column is for the member of staff who is leading the activity to note any additional risks that may have been missed and which should be considered the next time the activity or excursion takes place.
    • Pre-excursion and pre-activity checks are made by the Social Programme Manager to factor into the risk assessments any last-minute potential new risks which might occur due to such factors as the weather, road works, extra crowds, one-off events taking place (demonstrations) etc.
    • Before each activity or excursion, a copy of the risk assessment is given to the member of staff leading the activity to make them aware of any possible risks and the preventative measures they should take. They should read, sign and date it before the activity or excursion takes place, keep it until after the activity in order to write any comments they have including observations of perceived changes to risks, and then return it to the Social Programme Managers, who then update the risk assessment accordingly. The signed copy goes in the risk assessment file in the director’s office and is kept for 6 years.
    • The Social Programme mobile phone is taken on all excursions and activities. All the students have this number, and the school emergency number, on their student cards and excursion handouts. The Social Programme mobile is switched on one hour before an excursion or activity begins and it is on during the activity and for 1 hour after the activity has finished (unless circumstances, eg a lost student, require it to be kept on for longer). At any other time, students can call the school emergency number.
    • When under-18s are participating in the social activity, the member of staff leading the social activity will make sure they know who the under-18s are and will carefully supervise them to check they are ok and behaving in an appropriate manner.
    • Under-18s can attend the Welcome Party. Drink vouchers are given to students, and under-18s are given one specifically for non-alcoholic drinks only. There is also a very high level of supervision during this event with many ELC Bristol staff present.

    Ratio of Staff and Students for Social Programme Activities and Excursions

    Type of ActivitySummer CoursesAcademic Year
    Saturday Excursions2 supervisors per coach (1 supervisor for 25 students maximum)1 supervisor per coach (1 supervisor per 49 students maximum)
    Non-physical Activities
    (Cinema/Theatre/Afternoon Tea/Friday Lunch Club/Bowling/Salsa/American Pool/Watching Cricket, Football & Rugby)
    1 supervisor for up to 40 students maximumMinimum: 1 supervisor for 40 students maximum
    Physical Activities
    (Walking Tours/Playing Golf/Street Art Tours/Paintball)
    Minimum: 1 supervisor for up to 20 students maximumMinimum: 1 supervisor for up to 20 students maximum
    • These ratios are set by ELC having carried out risk assessments on all activities/excursions and can only be varied in specific circumstances with the agreement of the school's Director and/or Principal.
    • Different ratios are in place for the summer courses and the academic year as there are considerably fewer under 18s in the academic year and the number of participants is often lower.
    • Ratios are adjusted if circumstances require it, for example if there are severe weather conditions predicted, a demonstration planned at our destination city, or if we have students with special needs taking part.
    • Students who are under 18 are allowed to attend all activities and excursions, but activities at venues where alcohol is available will have a higher level of supervision. For example, Harbour Cruises and Welcome Evening.
    • Regarding excursions, during the autumn, winter and spring terms, we have a ratio of 1 supervisor per coach. The 1 supervisor per coach ratio is considered acceptable during the academic year because we always have a more experienced member of staff running the excursion, usually the Social Programme Manager, the venues we visit are generally less busy than in the summer, and we have very few under-18s. The capacity of a coach is 49 but the average term-time attendance is currently 35 students. During the summer courses, the ratio is 2 supervisors per coach, which works out at 1 supervisor per 25 students approximately.
    • During the summer courses, the Assistant Social Programme Manager will have responsibility for taking care of all the under-18s during the day. However, if there are more than 12 under-18s on any particular excursion, we will have two supervisors with special responsibility for the under-18s.
    • We always use the same coach companies throughout the year, either Turners or Eagle. All the drivers have been DBS checked and are first-aid qualified, so, when required, they can act as an additional supervisor, for example in case the excursion lead has to remain behind because a student has not returned to the bus by the departure time.

    Specialist Qualifications of Staff for Supervision of Excursions and Evening Activities

    • All staff supervising activities and excursions have level 1 safeguarding training and usually have a basic knowledge of first aid or are trained in first aid. Most activities are low risk and are in or near a town or city where the emergency services are close by.
    • For excursions of higher risk or which are not near a town or city, for example the Gower, at least one member of staff is trained in first aid. Supervisors will always have the address and phone number of the nearest A&E in case of an emergency as this information is always noted in all excursion risk assessments.
    • When teachers sign-up for the Social Programme, they are encouraged to join activities that they have specialist knowledge or interest in. Please see Teacher’s Sign-up Policy for more details.

    Late students on the Social Programme and injuries and unforeseen circumstances resulting in supervisor being unable to return with the coach

    • For legal reasons, coach drivers cannot work for longer than15 hours without an 8-hour break. In London, this means, with our timings, they are unable to wait more than about half an hour for any late student. Brighton and Cambridge have even stricter time restrictions. The students are warned about this in advance. Students are told if they are over 10 minutes late, the coach will leave without them. In practice, we will, of course, wait as long as possible. In the event of an U18 or vulnerable adult being late, the supervisor would stay behind until they were found. (See individual risk assessments for more details).
    • All students have the Social Programme phone number, and they are encouraged to call at least half an hour before departure if they think they might be lost. The supervisor can then advise what to do. If they are nearby, the supervisor can locate them and bring them to the coach. If they are further away, the supervisor will probably advise them to take a taxi as this will be cheaper and simpler than being late. They also have the option to phone and say that they will make their own way home, unless they are aged under 18 when that is not an option (see section below). If we haven’t heard from any missing student after 30 minutes, this is then considered to be an emergency and the school Principal must be informed.

    Special Considerations for Under-18s on Excursions

    • When signing up for an excursion, under-18s are given a flyer with the specific guidelines concerning attendance, lateness, telephones, walking tours and free time:
    • Pre-Departure Checks: The supervisor must check to see if any U18s are attending the excursion. S/he should identify them and make sure they have their correct mobile numbers and phones are fully charged. If an U18 student fails to arrive for the Saturday excursion, the excursion leader phones them to check they are ok. If they are unable to contact them or their homestays, or are concerned, they then contact the emergency number (07969782846).
    • Procedure during excursion: At each venue, the supervisor must check all the U18s are present. U18s must be told to spend their free time in groups of three. Remind students that buying and drinking alcohol is against the law. U18s must also be given the opportunity to stay with the group leader during the free time. If U18s are late or missing during the day, they must be contacted. If there is no answer, the ELC emergency number must be called. The coach cannot depart any destination until all U18s have been accounted for.
    • Return journey checks: If an U18 is late returning to the coach, then the supervisor is unable to leave them behind. They must wait for them and send the coach back with the rest of the students. In this case, our regular coach drivers, who are all DBS checked, will take charge of returning the students to Bristol. ELC emergency number must be called, so that arrangements can be made to meet the coach if necessary. If the supervisor is unable to contact the U18 after 30 minutes, this is then considered to be an emergency and the ELC emergency number must be called. When the missing student has been found, the supervisor, accompanied by the late student, will then return to Bristol using public transport, which the student will be billed for.

    Risk Assessment for Class Outings

    Hard copies of these risk assessments can be found in a folder in the staffroom so teachers can easily access them. Digital copies are also stored on Sharepoint.

    Risk assessments have been written by the Social Programme Managers for the most popular activities, such as visits to the museum, court visits, end-of-term breakfast and coffee in local cafes, and photo trails and surveys, where students interact with members of the public. All teachers wishing to take their class on one of these activities are made aware of the following procedures during their induction, and these instructions are also located in the staffroom folder:

    • Before you go on the class outing, find a risk assessment for your particular activity e.g. ‘Going for coffee’
    • Make a copy of the ‘master’
    • Complete any extra possible hazards and precautions for your specific class or students. For example: Do you have any under-18s? Is your class a very low level so language is an extra barrier? Are there any allergies or other health issues? If you are not walking them to the café, do they know where to go? If you are in any doubt, please consult the Social Programme Manager.
    • Sign and date the risk assessment form before the activity takes place.
    • After the class outing look at the risk assessment again and write any comments in the relevant column for any possible hazards that were not previously foreseen and place it back in the file in the plastic sleeve behind the ‘master’.
    • If there is not a ‘master’ for your activity, take a blank risk assessment form and complete it. Think about all the possible hazards for your students and yourself and what precautions are already in place or can be put in place to prevent them. Again, if you are in any doubt, please consult the Social Programme Managers.
    • The Social Programme Managers will review the risk assessments at the end of each term and make or amend any of the masters as necessary.
    • If a student or member of staff is injured during a school outing, this must be written in the accident report file found in the school office.

    Risk Assessment for staff and students in school, school grounds, classrooms and other rooms in the school frequently in use by students, staff and visitors

    • As with the risk assessments for the social programme, the risk assessments have a simple layout of four columns stating the possible hazards, and for whom, precautions, level of risks, and a space for additional comments that may have been missed.
    • These risk assessments are annually reviewed and updated immediately when changes occur.

    Risk assessment for school residential properties and summer teaching properties

    • Digital copies are stored on Sharepoint. Risk assessments are written for each residential property by the Self-catering Manager and overseen by the Health and Safety Officers. These risk assessments follow the same format as previous ones with four columns; possible hazards, and for whom, precautions, level of risks and comments. The last column is for the member of staff to note any additional risks that may have been missed.
    • Risk assessments for the Summer School and Unite U18 Hall of Residence are carried out by Clifton College and Unite respectively. Every year we obtain a letter of confirmation from the accommodation provider that all Health and Safety measures are being taken. These risk assessments are annually reviewed by the Area Custodian or Principal, and any additions made to allow for ELC’s international students, who will not have the same awareness or knowledge of the buildings that year-round residents have.

    Risk Assessment Policy for Homestay Properties

    • Properties should be located in ‘safe’ areas (for example, not next to pubs or nightclubs)
    • They should have easy access to the school, students should be able to walk there along well-lit pavements and not across the Downs, for example
    • The property should be well maintained and kept secure
    • The kitchen should be kept clean
    • All escape routes should be free from obstructions
    • The Homestay Manager is responsible for obtaining and assessing a risk assessment questionnaire from each homestay family which covers basic health and safety and fire information.
    • Homestay providers are advised of their responsibility to have a fire risk assessment. These should be reviewed by the homestay family on an annual basis, and updated where appropriate.
    • Copies of risk assessments for homestay properties can be found on Sharepoint.

    Risk Assessment Policy for Homestay Placements

    ELC’s policy is not to place under-18s in the same host family as other students if they are of the opposite sex and/or if the other student is over 18 unless there are no alternatives. However, as ELC only has a small percentage of students under 18, this may not always be possible. If this is the case, before making such a placement, the Homestay Manager will carry out a risk assessment taking into consideration such factors as;

    • the experience of the host
    • the layout of the bedrooms – are the rooms near or next to each other or on separate floors for example
    • the bathroom arrangements
    • the other adults in the house
    • whether the homestay has children of their own under 18 living at home
    • the age of the other student – there should not be a big difference
    • the gender and nationality of the other student. Are they culturally similar or different?

    Risk Assessment for under 18s travelling to the UK

    Risks include:

    •  If under 18s arrive at either Heathrow or Gatwick airport, they might not know how to get to the immigration hall.
    • The Immigration officer might hold them if he/she is not sure that someone is meeting them at the airport.
    • They do not have the correct visa
    • There is nobody there to meet them at the airport (for example the transfer driver is held up in traffic).
    • There is nobody at home when they arrive at their homestay family

      Measures taken to reduce risks:

    • Make sure under-18s always carry the ELC emergency phone number with them and that they have a phone which is charged and will operate in the UK and that they know they should phone the ELC emergency number if they have any problems or concerns when they are at the airport.
    • Make sure the school has the under-18s mobile number before they arrive in the UK and also the under-18s emergency contact number.
    • If the under-18s need a visa, the Registrar will double check with the agent before the student arrives that the student has the correct visa if it is to be issued in advance or they are absolutely sure of what documents they must show the immigration officer.
    • When confirming the transfer arrangements for under-18s, ELC staff will also double check that the agent is fully informed about procedures on arrival and in particular the arrangements at Bristol airport.
    • Make sure students under 18 always carry their ‘Parental consent form to travel to the UK for students under 18’.
    • Make sure the transfer companies never leave a student at the homestay address without checking there is someone at home to greet them and if there is a problem, they know they have to call the ELC emergency number.

    Risk Assessment for under 18s travelling to and from School

    Risks include:

    Getting lost, road accidents, bicycle accidents, stranger danger, rogue taxis.

      Measures taken to reduce risk:

    • The danger of them getting lost is greatest when they have just arrived, so when they arrive, at the weekend, the homestay should show them how to get to school. Probably the student will use online maps on their phones, but if they don’t have this, the homestay should give them a map. If possible, the homestay or another student should escort them to school on their first day or if that is not possible, the homestay should advise the school if they have concerns about the student finding their own way.
    • Make sure they are aware of road safety in the UK and are familiar with the advice – ‘look right, look left, look right again and if the road is clear, cross the road while looking both ways’. Make sure they know to use zebra crossings whenever possible.
    • Make sure they are given the ELC student card as soon as possible and that thereafter they always carry it with them.
    • Make sure they know to always carry a mobile and that it should be fully charged every morning and that the number is known to their homestay family and also to the school (it must be on the school database).
    • Let them know which other students in the school live near their homestay so they can walk home with them in the evenings.
    • Make sure they know which taxis they should take and how to call a taxi if they are out.
    • If they decide to ride a bicycle in Bristol then they must wear a helmet and they must be fully informed and follow the guidance available on our website for safe cycling in Bristol

    Risk Assessment for under 18s during free time

    Possible dangers include:

    Getting lost, unable to contact the school or their homestay, stranger danger, alcohol, other students being drunk, inappropriate relationships with older students, assault or robbery.

    Measures taken to reduce risk:

    All those measures mentioned above +

    • Make sure they know who the members of ELC’s Safeguarding team are and how they can contact them. Make sure they also know the number 999 is for the emergency services.
    • Make sure they are fully aware of what time they have to be back home for their dinner in the evenings and what time they have to be back in at night.
    • Make sure they know which are the least safe areas of Bristol to visit – the city Centre and Park Street late at night, Stokes Croft, St Paul's, and the Downs after dark
    • Make sure they know it is illegal to go into pubs and to drink alcohol anywhere and that they cannot buy cigarettes. Tell them if a student is caught shoplifting, they will be prosecuted and sent home.
    • Make sure they know they are not allowed in any of the school residences at any time.
    • Make sure that when they go on excursions and they have some free time, they always stick with at least 2 other friends and their 2 friends have mobiles and their number is known to the excursion leader