Risk Assessment

Manchester Cathedral Education Department Risk Assessment Guidance

Please note that this is only a guide to help you with your risk assessments and we strongly advise that if in doubt you pre-visit.

Manchester Cathedral is a working medieval church open to the public. Health and Safety, Security and Safeguarding policies and procedures are in place and are regularly reviewed. It is considered that visiting Manchester Cathedral is a low risk activity.

  • Schools who visit the Cathedral must ensure that they have the statutory ratio of adults to children. Please do not include Cathedral Staff or Volunteers in your calculation. Children remain the responsibility of school staff throughout the duration of the visit and all accompanying adults should always remain with their pupils. Please bring an up to date register with pupil names. It is helpful if staff and pupils are easily identifiable to Cathedral staff. The Education Officer and other Cathedral staff have undergone DBS checks.
  • There is a low risk of tripping outside the Cathedral on uneven flagstones. Flagstones and other trip hazards are regularly monitored by the Vergers Department and maintenance work is carried out where there is a problem. Inside the Cathedral the stone flooring is sound and there are no atypical trip hazards. Access steps are all in sound condition. There is no public access to restricted high-level areas of the building. School staff should ensure that pupils walk sensibly and do not run to prevent accidents.
  • School parties are asked to meet inside the South Porch (opposite the Visitor Centre and Crown & Anchor). This is also where the disabled access ramp to the Cathedral is situated.
  • There is ramp access to areas of the church beyond the nave. A temporary ramp is available for access to the Jesus Chapel (and through to the toilet). Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access to the Regiment Chapel, Lady Chapel and Chapter House at present. Please inform us if a member of your party has special access requirements.
  • If pre-planned maintenance work is being carried out all hazardous areas are isolated and warning signs displayed. Please be aware that as a medieval building, repairs and upgrading of the site are an ongoing process.
  • Some pre-booked visits include the opportunity to light candles. The Education Officer or a Cathedral Education Volunteer will supervise this. Tapers are used to assist children to light candles safely. Foam extinguishers are available near to where candles are lit. Children should be encouraged by school staff to stand away from the candles (unless they are lighting one) and to secure loose clothing / long hair.
  • A fire alarm test regularly takes place on Wednesdays at 1045. In the unlikely event of an emergency, Cathedral Staff will supervise evacuation.
  • A number of Cathedral staff are First Aid qualified and are contactable via a Cathedral Verger or by using a Cathedral radio. The Cathedral’s First Aid equipment, which includes a defibrillator, can be located in the cupboard opposite the Cathedral Kitchen.
  • For pre-booked visits there is a special code for the door in the Jesus Chapel that leads to the Office area (where the Toilets, Refectory and Library are situated). The code is the same for access from the Chapter House into the Office corridor. An Education team member will tell you the number. It is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that their staff are aware of this, and that the door is shut to prevent members of the public from entering this private area.
  • If a member of your group wishes to use the toilet facilities, please ensure that they are supervised by a member of your staff. There is an accessible toilet, accessible by a temporary ramp. The Visitor Centre also has toilets and there is a lift for wheelchair users.
  • If you are using a pre-booked lunch space, personal items are left at your own risk. Groups are asked to keep their valuables with them at all times.
  • Photographs of pupils are only taken with the permission of the school, following consultation with parents. CCTV recording is in operations for security and safety purposes.