children in the playground

Playground duty


What is playground duty?

“Playground duty. A set period of time when a teacher or non-teacher is assigned to supervise students outside class time. 'Playground duty' may include supervision of students in eating areas, in the library, in the playground. This is seen in both Primary and Secondary schools.”
Playground supervision in UK schools is of paramount importance and is taken seriously by senior leadership teams. This is due to the largest number of accidents at school happening during morning or lunch time breaks. Most schools will have a rota for break supervision including support staff and teachers so this may be added to your teaching timetable. 

The role is to support children during their free time and is a healthy and safety requirement of schools, fitting within the safeguarding and wellbeing element of their provision; and sets a ‘tone’ for the ethos of the school. You may not be asked to run break or lunch time supervision, but teachers are often expected to volunteer to run clubs or academic intervention sessions during some lunchtimes, providing an extra-curricular calendar to support enrichment opportunities.

Here are some tips for a successful break or lunchtime duty: 

1. Ensure all areas of the playground are visible and covered by a member of staff 
2. Ensure pupils are monitored entering in and out of the building 
3. Encourage sharing and playing together across the playground 
4. Deal with any incidences on the playground fairly
5. Learn your schools procedures when it comes to First Aid and accident reports

You may also be asked on occasion to manage the lunchroom to ensure pupils are behaving appropriately and respectfully toward one another and members of school staff. 
Students in some schools, both primary and secondary, are sometimes asked to support with duties – they may have a prefect system or a community scheme where the older children support and work with the mid-day supervisors in the dining hall. 

If you have any questions around break time supervision then please email or call 020 7105 3499.

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