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On 30 January 2018, the State Claims Agency (SCA) held an In-Service Seminar for Community & Comprehensive Schools, in conjunction with the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools (ACCS).

The event was attended by over 80 representatives from Community & Comprehensive Schools across Ireland. The purpose of the event was to generate discussion about risk management in schools and to provide a forum for principals, deputy principals, teachers and safety representatives to engage on key issues related to incident and risk management in a school setting.

The seminar looked at:

  • the role of the SCA, its services, and how it supports schools from a risk management and incident management perspective
  • recent developments in schools health and safety risk management
  • the step-by-step process of managing an incident, and how the National Incident Management System is used by the SCA and its clients to facilitate timely incident reporting
  • how to plan and risk assess for a non-routine school event
  • frequently asked questions the SCA received from schools in 2017 – for example: issues relating to school trips, students with chronic conditions, work experience, school property damage, third party uses of school premises and school indemnity statement


  • Pat Kirwan, Deputy Director of the SCA, introduced participants to the SCA, its risk services and objectives, and its role in supporting incident and risk management in post-primary schools.
  • Gemma D’Arcy, Senior Enterprise Risk Manager, examined the key findings and recommendations of the SCA’s Schools and Health and Safety Risk Management Review 2017 and in the afternoon delivered an interactive, scenario-based workshop which looked at how schools should deal with some of the issues, challenges and situations that typically arise in a post-primary school setting. Participants had an opportunity to discuss their approach to managing these typical situations and to hear from the SCA on best practice.
  • Katie Nugent, Enterprise Risk Manager, spoke of the practicalities of incident management and the associated reporting requirements. Katie also looked at the SCA’s key findings from its recent analysis of closed claims and the key learnings for schools.

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