Risk assessment for: All employees What are you risk assessing? Stress

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Review and tailor the contents of this generic risk assessment to meet your school’s individual circumstances, actions determined as required but not yet in place

should be moved from the ‘What are you already doing’? column to the “What further action is necessary?’ column. Record any other significant findings and actions required to reduce risk further where existing controls are insufficient, assigning these actions to an appropriate manager or member of staff.


All employees

What are you risk assessing?


The potential for stress to staff whilst carrying out their day to day role or following a period of intensive or potentially distressing activity or change within the school

NB – if an individual advises that they are suffering from stress or has a period of ill health absence due to stress a separate assessment must be carried out.


Assessment by:


Risk assessment number/ref:

Manager Approval:


What are the hazards?

Who might be harmed and how?

What are you already doing?

What further action is necessary?

Action by who?

Action by when?


Are there excessive job demands

Workload, work patterns and work environment
Dealing with bad behaviour
Ofsted inspections

Ill health (depression, anxiety) leading to absence from work.

  • Performance management process in place

  • Regular meetings with staff, both team meetings and one to one/ performance management which would discuss and anticipate workload.

  • Ensure that skills and abilities are correctly matched to job (person spec and job description)

  • Head / Managers monitor sickness absence data and staff turnover rates.

  • Work environment concerns, e.g. temperature, ventilation, noise, are taken seriously and investigated.

  • Times and lengths of meetings agreed and adhered to. A limit to after-school meetings as far as reasonable.

  • Staff have an opportunity to take a genuine break at lunch time.

  • Ensure teachers and middle leaders in particular maintain a reasonable work life balance.

  • Governing bodies have considered how they can support the headteacher in terms of work-life balance, new models of leadership, leadership time, career coaching and professional development opportunities.

Control – how much say a person has in the way they do their work

Ill health (depression, anxiety) leading to absence from work.

  • Staff encouraged to use their skills and initiative to do their work.

  • Staff encouraged to develop new skills to help them. undertaken new and challenging pieces of work.

  • Staff consulted over their work patterns or changes to their work patterns.

  • Consideration of the workload impact of each new initiative before it is introduced.

  • PPA time in operation, reliable and can be completed offsite

  • Scope for flexible working arrangements considered

Support – includes the encouragement and resources provided

Ill health (depression, anxiety) leading to absence from work.

  • Employees are supported through school policies and procedures.

  • Regular team meetings / one-to-ones to discuss emergent issues.

  • Staff are aware of the support that is available to them

  • Staff receive regular constructive feedback as part of their performance management

  • Identification of any training needs conducted through performance management

  • Staff can access CPD on a fair and equitable basis

  • Mentoring and coaching available where necessary

  • Schools have the option of buying into the Employee Assistance Programme provided by PPC Worldwide (Positive People Company). It offers online, telephone and face to face counselling on a range of personal and professional themes.

  • Headteacher support service – confidential support service provided for headteachers.


Role – whether people understand their role and the school ensures there are not conflicting roles

Ill health (depression, anxiety) leading to absence from work.

  • Staff understand their role and are suitably trained

  • Performance management used to help individuals clarify their role and priorities

  • Standards of performance agreed

  • New employees receive adequate induction into their role and objectives

  • Recruitment process in place with Job Descriptions and Person Specifications

  • Effective system of induction for new and supply staff

Change – how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated

Ill health (depression, anxiety) leading to absence from work.

  • Staff made aware of why change is happening and key steps for change

  • Realistic timetable set out for change

  • Individuals directly affected are involved in the change process

  • Regular communication and consultation with all those affected

  • ‘open door’ policy to help individuals who have concerns

  • Training provided for new / changed roles

Relationships – promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour

Ill health (depression, anxiety) leading to absence from work.

  • The school promotes positive behaviours: School behaviour policy robust and adhered to

  • Discipline, grievance and bullying/harassment procedures in place and accessible to staff

  • Managers are encouraged to deal with and staff encouraged to report unacceptable behaviour

  • Training provided to help staff deal with difficult situations

  • Identify ways to celebrate success

  • Explore team building exercises

  • Whole school / departmental activities / events held

Undetected / poorly managed stress
Failure to recognise signs leading to more serious ill health
Repeated ill health through poor management

Ill health (depression, anxiety) leading to absence from work.

  • All incidents of potential / actual work related stress reviewed

  • Advice from HR and/or Occupational Health sought

  • Sickness absence policy in place and adhered to, return to work interviews held remedial action taken as appropriate.

  • All staff encouraged to pro-actively raise issues / concerns with their manager / head.

  • Staff awareness of available support improved e.g. counseling, occupational health, GP, employee assistance programmes etc.

  • School has participated in the wellbeing programme for schools or undertaken HSE survey tool

  • Exit interviews held

Assessment review date: dd/mm/20yy (usually within one year, or earlier in the event of an incident, a change in conditions or if more frequent review is warranted)

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