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  • Writer's pictureRob Connor

Safeguarding the footpaths and the myth of absolute risk removal

Updated: Apr 2

While we understand the concerns raised regarding footpath-related safeguarding incidents on school grounds, it's crucial to address these concerns with a balanced perspective, taking into account all available information and potential solutions.

Firstly, it's important to note that the footpath in question has not witnessed a single reported issue of crime in the past ten years. This fact indicates that while there may be theoretical risks associated with the current paths, they have not materialized into tangible safety concerns over the past decade. This suggests that the absolute risk management being proposed may not be necessary or proportionate given the historical context.

Furthermore, it's worth considering the limitations of attempting to achieve absolute risk management in any environment. Absolute risk management is often an elusive goal, as it involves mitigating every conceivable risk to zero, which is practically impossible. Instead, a more pragmatic approach involves implementing measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level while considering the broader impact and feasibility of proposed solutions.

In light of this, rather than redirecting the paths altogether, there are alternative measures that can be explored to enhance pupil protection and safeguarding. For instance, additional security measures such as increased surveillance, improved lighting, or the presence of security personnel could effectively deter potential safety concerns without disrupting existing pathways. Additionally, installing fences or physical barriers along vulnerable areas can provide an added layer of protection without completely altering established routes.

It's essential to recognize the value of maintaining existing links while addressing safety concerns. Disrupting established pathways could inconvenience students, staff, and members of the community who rely on these routes for their daily commute. By exploring alternative solutions that prioritize both safety and continuity, we can achieve a balance that meets the objectives of enhancing pupil protection while preserving the accessibility and functionality of the pathways.

While the desire to proactively address safeguarding issues is commendable, it's important to approach the situation with a comprehensive understanding of the risks involved and consider alternative measures beyond redirecting paths. By implementing targeted interventions and maintaining a balanced perspective, we can effectively enhance pupil protection while minimizing disruptions to the school community.

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