What is high quality practical safety education?


High quality practical safety education (HQPSE) seeks to go beyond the delivery of knowledge, understanding and skills to help children to develop risk competence, appropriate for the age (or developmental stage) of the child. HQPSE should be empowering for the child and help to develop resilience as part of their overall wellbeing. It should be relevant to the child but also based on evidence of need and for effectiveness in the approach adopted.

Teaching and learning strategies:

Teaching methods for HQPSE should be active, interactive and, where appropriate, experiential. Learning opportunities should provide children with an opportunity to experience challenge, in a controlled environment.

Strategic issues:

High quality practical safety education should be part of a wider strategy to prevent unintended injury, and its effectiveness should be evaluated.

On 10th February 2010 the CSEC team examined the working definition of HQPSE. There was considerable overlap between the description in the original CSEC Statement of Purpose and the summary of the CSEC/AdRisk workshop discussions. It was reassuring to recognise that the view of HQPSE adopted at the outset of the CSEC accords with views held by senior practitioners across Europe, as well as European and UK-based academics and opinion formers.

The following summary brings together both views and now constitutes the LASER Alliance’s definition of HQPSE, to be used as a tool for developing policy, strategy and resources and services.

Definition of ‘High Quality Practical Safety Education’:

High quality practical safety education can be recognised because it has clear aims and objectives which:

Jenny McWhirter and John Vallender, on behalf of CSEC (March 2010)