Publication Date



The chapter presents an analysis of the challenges that arise when children’s movements and activities in school grounds become limited or overcontrolled as a result of the requirements set out in safety and security policies. The discussion focuses on policies at both national and local levels that aim to respond to a particular risk (or perceived risk) of potential harm to people or property in schools. This includes an examination of safety in the playground and the tensions teachers often face between duty of care obligations and the pedagogical imperative to provide challenging and creative activities. The implications of security policy in schools, as implemented via mechanisms such as secured fences and surveillance technologies, are also examined to better understand how these might impact on both student and teacher experience with school spaces. In this discussion, the significance of implementing school safety and security policy within an educational context is explored. A number of strategies and areas for future research emerge on how school spaces may be made sufficiently safe for children and at the same time provide them with opportunities to take risks, to build authentic encounters with the world around them, and to foster skills for lifelong learning in a changing and uncertain world.


School of Education

Document Type

Book Chapter

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.