Skip to main content

What is the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA)?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Services

Many umbrellas are open and photographed from underneath.

1. What is RPA?

The Risk Protection Arrangement is an alternative to commercial insurance for schools and academies, provided by the Department for Education (DfE).

2. What’s the difference between RPA and commercial insurance?

RPA looks at the core classes of risks to the school sector. Under RPA, where losses arise they are covered by the UK government.

3. Why did DfE set it up?

We introduced RPA following independent analysis which showed that it would be cheaper for academy trusts if the UK government covered risks instead of commercial insurers.

4. What does it cost?

Currently it costs £19 per pupil, per year.

5. How many schools are now members?

We currently have over 8,500 schools who are members of RPA.

6. What’s coming up next for RPA?

We ask schools what they want us to cover. Cyber crime is something that many schools tell us concerns them, so we are currently running a pilot with 500 schools to see how we can help them with that. We are also doing some proactive work with schools around reducing the risks of crime and flooding.

7. What do schools say?

In a recent member survey 99.5% of respondents said they were satisfied/very satisfied with the service they receive.

Here are a couple of recent quotes from schools:

"They deal with claims very efficiently. I am also very impressed with the advice line/email address - they respond promptly and helpfully. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, I have been so grateful to be a member of the RPA. I am aware that colleagues in other schools have really struggled with their insurers and am pleased that we haven't had those added struggle during what is already is a difficult time."

"We feel secure knowing we have this alternative to a commercial policy in place which is by far a cheaper solution which means a great deal when budgets are very tight."

8. How do you join?

It’s simple, just sign up.

9. What if I need to make a claim?

There is a 24/365 dedicated telephone helpline, and you’ll be given all the details in the welcome pack when you join.

10. What if I need more info?

Come along to one of our Wednesday information sessions - you can book for free or you can email us for an invitation.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Ann Brown posted on


    Can you tell me if RPA insurance covers for making swings with respect to Forest Schools when on the school site.

    Thank you.

    • Replies to Ann Brown>

      Comment by Marie Lewis - Engagement and Information Lead, Department for Education posted on

      Hello Ann and thank you for your question.

      Our FAQs state that:

      The RPA will provide cover for forest school activities. The Employers Liability section will provide an indemnity to the school if the school is legally liable to pay damages or compensation to a school employee if they are injured in the course of this activity. The public liability section of the RPA will provide an indemnity to the school if the school is legally liable to pay damages or compensation to a third party, if the third party is injured or third party property is damaged in the course of this activity. Pupils and non-school pupils etc. would be deemed third parties. The RPA will only provide an indemnity to the school, if the school for example is using another organisation in the provision of this activity that organisation will need to have in place third party public liability insurance and you would need to obtain permission, if you’ve not done so already, to use non-school areas to carry out the forest school activities.
      Risk Assessments will need to be undertaken, recorded and adhered to.

      If you have any further queries please contact


Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.