A risk statement involves three elements: a condition, an uncertain outcome and the likely consequences if it is not managed. It should also have a level of detail that enables it to be assigned to a single owner, who can manage and report on it.

Examples of good risk descriptions

  1. As a result of a Senior leader leaving the school [condition], the Governing Body may be unable to attract a suitable replacement [uncertainty] which could lead to the leadership in, and management of, the academy falling below acceptable Ofsted standards [negative consequences].
  2. An insurance claim by the Academy [condition] does not cover the sums needed to repair damaged buildings, replace lost assets or meet third party claims [uncertainty] resulting in the need to cut budgets to make up the shortfall [negative consequences].

Examples of poor risk descriptions

  1. Inadequate safeguarding training is provided to staff.
  2. The academy premises are unavailable for occupation for a significant period of time

Commentary on poor risk descriptions

Training is a control to mitigate risk. Describing what could happen as a result of the ‘inadequate training’ provides a better starting point for identifying and managing the underlying risk. For example:

Due to inadequate safeguarding training [condition] Academy staff are unsure on how to recognise signs of possible abuse and how to respond appropriately to it [uncertainty], which leads to the Academy being rated as inadequate by Ofsted [negative consequences].

Not having access to buildings is a consequence of another event such as a flood, fire or gas leak etc. For example:

The academy suffers a serious event such as fire, explosions, flood, gas leak or chemical spillage [condition] and alternative classroom accommodation needs to be found [uncertainty] which leads to teaching being disrupted [negative consequences].