Health and safety guidance
One of the great benefits to children of learning in the living environment is that it gives them far more physical freedom than classroom learning, and offers them a much wider range of experiences. It can also introduce a range of potential hazards in a controlled way, so that risks are minimised but nevertheless understood. Concern about health and safety issues should not act as a deterrent to more adventurous learning; on the contrary, adventurous learning gives the ideal opportunity to explore these issues with pupils, thus making a valuable contribution to their developing life skills.
Teachers intending to work with children outside the classroom need to follow the guidance issued by their LEA, and should be able to get help from the LEA’s Outdoor Education Adviser, and the school’s Educational Visits Coordinator. In addition, there is extensive and authoritative guidance on Teachernet’s Health and Safety pages.
Farms and gardens
For specific information about health and safety in relation to farming and gardening you may find the following useful:
Guidance on Farm Visits - This guidance has been produced by Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) and Growing Schools to help teachers plan and organise visits to farms.
Avoiding ill health at open farms – Advice to farmers with teachers’ supplement (HSE)
Dig for victory:Create an allotment has a useful section on involving pupils in safety awareness and assessing risk
RHS Campaign for School Gardening provides registered schools with a factsheet on health and safety in the school garden, a generic risk assessment, and a downloadable poster on garden safety.