Health and Safety in Forest School

Health and Safety Policies

Newchurch Primary Health and Safety Policy sets out clear statements of intent regarding the whole school’s approach to the health and safety of its children, staff and visitors to the school and the school site.

Provided below is a list of additional points and measures which relate directly to our forest school sessions.

  • The trained and named forest school leader is always the person in charge of forest school sessions.
  • The forest school leader has overall duty of care for the children in their charge.  However all adults involved in the forest school sessions are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that children are safe.
  • All adult helpers MUST sign and date a form to show that they have read and understood this handbook and the risk assessments appropriate to the session in which they are helping.  They must sign and date the form stating that they comply with the general operating procedures for the forest school (code of conduct)
  • The forest school leader or assistant will always carry and take a first aid kit into the forest at every session.
  • The forest school leader or assistant will always carry an emergency bag into the forest for every session.

The forest school leader will ensure that the emergency bag contains:
  • Essential survival equipment
  • A contact list for each child undertaking the activities and
  • The schools telephone number ( and location details for the emergency services)
  • The forest school leader will always carry a mobile phone and will ensure that there is easy access to a land line if the group is out of range.
In the event of an emergency, the forest school leader will ensure that the school contacts the emergency services.  If contact with the school is lost the leader will contact the emergency services.
The forest school leader will review the risk assessments before every trip into the schools forest site. 
When tools are used the adult child ratio will be 1:1
There is an exception to this – when using peelers for whittling the ratio can be 1:2
The forest school leader is responsible for the maintenance and checking of all the tools and equipment to be used at the forest school, prior to their use.
The forest leader is responsible in training the children in how to use the tolls and equipment safely and appropriately.
The forest leader will be responsible for the pre visit check of the forest school site prior to each forest school session.