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Risk assessment for schools

The information here will help you write a risk assessment for your visit.

Supervision and behaviour

The National Railway Museum is a public building and is open to all. We ask adult group leaders to remain with their students at all times, to ensure wellbeing and safety and to supervise behaviour.

We operate a zonal evacuation policy. This means that if you and your colleagues are not in the same part of the building as your students when an evacuation begins, you could become separated from them. Your students might have to leave the museum while you remain inside an unaffected part of the building; or, if you are in the evacuation zone, you would not be able to re-enter the building to find students who are still inside until the all clear is given. More information about evacuations is given below.

Please make sure you have the correct adult-to-student ratio—1:10 for KS3 and above, 1:8 for KS2 or 1:4 for Early Years—as specified at the time of booking.

Before the visit, discuss appropriate conduct with your students. If the behaviour of anyone in your group adversely affects the safety or enjoyment of other visitors or staff, or risks damage to exhibits, we may ask this person to leave. We recommend you have contingency measures in place, just in case.

First aid

We have trained staff to provide first-aid treatment. Please ask if you require assistance or call 01904 686210.

There is a fully equipped, fully accessible first-aid room in the museum. This can be made available if you need it.

The nearest accident and emergency department is at York District Hospital, tel. 01904 631313.

All first-aid incidents are recorded, and you can request a copy of our report if anyone in your group is involved.

Changing facilities for students with disabilities can be made available on request. Please contact us for further information.

Evacuation

We operate a zonal evacuation procedure, whereby we only ask visitors to leave the affected area. When one area is cleared, visitors in other parts of the museum can continue with their visit.

Where possible we will direct you into an open section of the museum. However, you may be required to leave the building and go to the Assembly Point.

Always follow the instruction of our staff and lead your group out of the evacuating area as quickly as possible. Please do not stop to take the register until you are in a safe zone or at the Assembly Point outside the museum.

Dependant on the area being evacuated, and the requirement for an access route for the emergency services, you may be unable to access belongings stored at Schools Meet and Greet for a period of time,

An audible alarm over the public-address system will signal an evacuation. Fire exits are clearly signposted, and doors should unlock automatically; if necessary, break the glass on the emergency door release unit next to the door. Lifts must not be used. Our staff will assist wheelchair users and visitors who may have mobility concerns.

The Assembly Point is in the main visitor car park on Leeman Road next to the pedestrian entrance. Occasionally it is necessary to evacuate to the secondary assembly point behind Great Hall.

Take the register at the Assembly Point and report anyone missing to museum staff wearing high-visibility jackets. Bear in mind that, if other groups in your party were in a different zone when the alarm sounded, they may still be in the museum. Rest assured they will be safe and our staff will be happy to help if they have any concerns.

Allergens

Allergens such as eggs and balloons are used in some of our demonstrations.

Please contact us for advice if you have any concerns, or ask a member of staff when you arrive for your pre-booked visit.

Museum staff

All our staff have undergone a standard police check. Staff working directly with students have undergone a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Staff delivering educational events have relevant experience and training.

Insurance cover

As part of the Science Museum Group,  we have public and product liability insurance. Download our insurance confirmation letter (PDF).

Health and safety policies

As part of the Science Museum Group we have written health and safety policy statements.

All staff attend mandatory health and safety training courses.

The museum is subject to an annual independent audit to ensure that Health and Safety standards are maintained.

The museum’s public areas have been designed, and are maintained, as safe spaces for all our visitors.

Our exhibitions and activities are designed with full consideration of risk control measures. Assessments are completed for all new works and activities.

Daily safety checks are carried out on all galleries. Hazards are isolated or rectified immediately.

Risk assessments

We strongly recommend a preliminary visit to familiarise yourself with the museum and identify any risks. We can't complete risk assessments for your visit, but you may find the following resources useful:

Hazard Identification Sheet

Health and safety advice for schools

School trips: Tackling health and safety myths

Council for Learning Outside the Classroom: Managing risk

CCTV

The museum is covered by a comprehensive network of CCTV cameras. Images are monitored and recorded to help ensure the safety of visitors and exhibits.

Advice

We are happy to advise group leaders about planning or booking a visit, or making changes to a visit itinerary. Contact our Learning Support Team via email: school.bookings@sciencemuseum.ac.uk.

Part of the Science Museum Group