A Guide to Safe Practice in Art & Design

3.2   Special Educational Needs

In following the advice given in this publication, account should be taken of:

  • the pupil's ability to understand instructions, follow them and understand any dangers involved;
  • the pupils ability to communicate any difficulty or discomfort;
  • any physical disability which might affect the pupil's ability to perform a task safely;
  • any medical conditions which may be adversely affected by exposure to equipment or materials.

It follows that particular care must be taken to ensure safe practice when tasks are undertaken by pupils with special educational needs. Attaining the right level of supervision is an important consideration. Children should be encouraged to achieve as much independence as is compatible with their disability. They should not be asked to perform tasks that are likely to be beyond their capabilities.

There are many disabilities that cannot be detected in the course of normal working, and some medical conditions that react adversely only in particular circumstances. It is important for teachers to know about the medical conditions of any pupils that may give rise to risk in certain activities. Care should be taken to ensure that children are not put at risk because they have a limited understanding of safe practice.