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General teaching requirement for health and safety

This statutory statement applies to science, design and technology, information and communication technology, art and design, and physical education.

When working with tools, equipment and materials, in practical activities and in different environments, including those that are unfamiliar, pupils should be taught:

In addition to this general teaching requirement for the five subjects, the programmes of study for each subject contain specific teaching requirements on health and safety.


1. This new health and safety requirement was drawn up by the QCA after consultation with the Health and Safety Executive. The review of the national curriculum provided an opportunity to reconsider how the concept of risk is taught.

2. This guidance aims to familiarise teachers with some of the terms used in the statement and indicate how this statement can be used to teach the concept of risk and develop pupils' ability to assess and control risks.

3. Some terms explained:

4. Teachers will have already introduced the concept of risk to their pupils. Consistent messages on risk awareness, delivered at the appropriate developmental level throughout a pupil's time in school, will result in them being better equipped to deal with situations of uncertainty and change, both in and out of school.

5. Pupils will need to be taught about the hazards, risks and risk control within the context of their work in these subjects so that risk awareness forms an integral part of their learning and development. The health and safety statement provides a framework for pupils to gain an understanding of - and skills in - recognising hazards, risks and uncertainty in a range of contexts. Other subjects will also provide opportunities to develop risk awareness.

6. Teaching about the concept of risk will help pupils make their own decisions about risk so that they can:

7. In the future, pupils' ability to assess and control risks will be increasingly important. An ability to manage risk has application in leisure activities and in the home as well as at work.