How does your school approach risk management?

Calling all school leaders and school business managers / leaders – it’s never a bad time to assess the risks that your school might face in the future – the Easter school closure period is as good a time as any to carry out this assessment. This is because in the event that any risks are identified you will have the remainder of the summer term and the summer school closure period to treat the risk effectively.

Risk is inherent in everything schools do to deliver high quality services. Risk management should therefore be an essential part of governance and leadership and an integral part of planning and decision-making processes. Ask yourself – does our school have a risk management policy, are risks identified, measured, evaluated and ranked? What management controls do we have in place, do we monitor risk, report on it and are we avoiding the pitfalls? Whether you have a policy or not [academies have to have a policy in place], you might want to put a sensible policy in place and consider the Risk Protection Arrangement as part of your school’s overall risk management arrangements.

The DfE introduced the ‘Risk Protection Arrangement’ [aka, the RPA] on 1st September 2014 following a report that showed that it would be cheaper for academy trusts if the UK government covered risks instead of commercial insurers. From 1st April 2020, local authority maintained schools were also able to join the RPA.

The Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) is an alternative to commercial insurance and aims to protect schools against losses due to any unforeseen and unexpected event/s. Under the RPA, the UK government covers the losses instead of commercial insurance providers. As you’d imagine, RPA cover in comprehensive and covers the likelihood of material damage; business interruption; employers’ liability; third party liability; governors’ liability; professional indemnity; employee and third party dishonesty; money; personal accident; UK travel; overseas travel [inc. winter sports]; legal expenses; cultural assets; and cyber cover.

These membership rules set out the full cover and provision of the RPA:

Voluntary controlled schools: RPA membership rules

About NAHT

NAHT is the leading union for school leaders’ and as a member you get access to legal support and advice, discounts and deals on your daily purchases, access to a mentoring scheme and savings on our highly-rated CPD courses and conferences. To join us, visit out membership page.