Every school faces risks that present threats to successful
delivery of expected services. School risk management helps
identify and address those risks as well as increases the
likelihood of achieving school objectives.
Strong school risk management can also lead
improved decision-making, planning and prioritisation;
more efficient allocation of scarce capital and limited
greater anticipation by the leadership team of what may go
wrong, minimising crisis management, or preventing a disaster or
serious financial and/or reputational loss.
As a central part of every school's strategic
management function, risk management involves:
identifying the risks surrounding your school's
assessing the likelihood of an event occurring;
putting systems in place to deal with the likelihood and
setting an appropriate school risk appetite, cognisant of
disparate stakeholders, and
monitoring the effectiveness of the school's risk
management approaches and controls.
Four Pillars of school risk management success include training
staff and stakeholders, understanding current maturity levels,
conducting necessary workshops, and implementing software where
necessary to better communicate risks and streamline established
For school risk management to be effective, all staff need to
understand what is expected of them within the school risk
management process and be properly prepared. Tailored risk
management training programmes for all levels of staff within a
school, can deliver an increased appreciation of the fundamentals
of good risk management, demonstrate robust approaches through
examples of good risk management practice; and provide a clearer
understanding of how risk management operates.
Once trained, to benefit fully from risk management
understanding, schools need risk management processes to be
embedded in day-to-day operations. Having a clear assessment of
your school's risk maturity, benchmarked against peers, is
important as it tells you where you are and how to improve,
focusing effort on areas of most need.
Risk management workshops are a highly effective approach to
the identification of school risks. Interactive brainstorming
encourages the consideration of school risks from different
perspectives, ensuring a thorough and well thought-out school risk
identification and assessment. Attended by Board members and senior
management teams, workshops deliver a robust basis for the
structured management of school risks, and support in the
evaluation and prioritisation of risks.
The communication of school risks and their mitigating actions
is an important aspect of the process of embedding risk management
into day-to-day school activities. A risk management software
solution can help schools address this because it collates risks in
a central repository and allows individuals to communicate risks as
and when they are identified. Select a fully scalable and adaptable
solution specific to your school's needs. Make sure the tool
you select allows:
a comprehensive, single repository for all your school's
highlighting of outstanding actions to support effective
clear robust reporting for management and the Board; and
support for monitoring and testing of individual risks and
For many schools the prospect of delivering better practice risk
management processes into a school context is a daunting task. By
focusing initial efforts on a Four Pillars approach, the task is
made manageable and is more easily implemented. Strong school risk
management helps increase the likelihood of achieving school
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