This policy should be read with reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention states what countries must do to ensure ALL children grow as healthy as possible, can learn at school, are protected, have their views listened to and are fairly treated. Article 1, 2 and 3 apply to all of our policies. 

This policy has particular reference to: 

  • Article 15: Every child has the right to meet with other children and to join groups and organisations, as long at this does not stop other people form enjoying their rights
  • Article 24: Every child has the right to the best possible health. Governments must work to provide good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment so that children can stay healthy
  • Article 31: Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.   

At Bignold Primary School and Nursery we pride ourselves in having excellent Midday Supervisory Assistants (MSAs) who are part of the whole school vision and practices. This was recognised by Oftsed in March 2016 who stated that ‘In lessons and across the school and in the playground at break- and lunchtimes, pupils’ behaviour is nothing short of exemplary. Their impeccable conduct reflects the school’s effective strategies to promote high standards of behaviour’

The school has responsibility for the provision of school meals and the supervision of the pupils at lunchtime. At Bignold Primary School nutritious school meals are cooked on site and served to our children in the school dining hall during lunch break (12.00pm-1.15pm). Those having a packed lunch eat their lunch in the junior hall and in the infant hall unless the weather is warm, when they may use the picnic tables in the playground.

The Head Teacher, or Deputy Head Teacher in her absence, is obliged to ensure there are satisfactory levels of supervision throughout the lunch break. To assist with the supervision Bignold Primary School has appointed a Senior Midday Supervisor (Senior MSA) and a number of Midday Supervisors (MSAs). We believe MSAs have a very important role within the school and the contribution they make to the management of the school, and the care and welfare of the children, is valued very highly. Children who are happy and well cared for at lunch time start the afternoons refreshed and ready to learn.

Bignold Primary School aims for a ratio of 1-26 of MSAs to children.

The Head Teacher and Senior MSA are responsible for the management, training and welfare of the MSAs in school.

The Role of the Senior MSA

The Senior MSA organises the MSA team. The main aspects of this role are:

  • Oversee the care, welfare and supervision of the children during the lunch break, in the playground and dining areas during midday break
  • Manage the MSAs
  • Arrange the timetable and tasks for each MSA (which may change from day today)
  • Review and monitor performance of the MSAs
  • Be aware of, and inform the MSAs of, the emergency procedures
  • Deal with minor accidents and incidents
  • Report directly to the Head Teacher on issues, concerns and procedures
  • Ensure MSA’s keep records of incidents and accidents
  • Undertake training as required
  • To be aware of the school’s responsibility to safeguard children and to be familiar with the Safeguarding policy
  • Be aware of equality issues including gender, race and sexual orientation and know what the correct procedures are for dealing with such issues

The main aspects of the MSA role are:

  • Supervising pupils on the school site as required by the Head Teacher/Senior MSA
  • Dealing with minor incidents and accidents
  • A first aid trained MSA to run the first aid station 
  • Organising activities for the pupils during breaks (both during good weather and ‘wet breaks’)
  • Overseeing pupils’ care and welfare during the lunch break, in the playground and elsewhere on the school site
  • Undertaking training as required

General organisation

Each member of the Lunchtime MSA Team has a specific role to play within the general organisation and is given a schedule to follow; this should be kept to, so that all aspects of the children’s care are provided for. The lunch break is divided into two, with staff supervising children while they are eating their lunch and afterwards when they are in the playground, but there is some overlap between these sections due to the staggered serving of lunches. The senior MSA deploys staff to ensure children are well cared for and there is always someone available in each area where children are present.

General duties

Each member of the Lunchtime MSA Team is responsible for:

  • Supervising children eating their lunch: encouraging children to eat their food, behave politely and respect others within the dining hall; assisting younger children with their meals where necessary.
  • Managing the children’s behaviour, including orderly queuing, where necessary.
  • Ensuring children do not run into the hall for their meal.
  • Monitoring the playground, cloakrooms and classrooms to make sure pupils are not in unsupervised areas they should not be.
  • Monitoring the use of the toilets to ensure they are being used appropriately.
  • Making sure all children respect themselves and each other, and dealing with any misdemeanours in accordance with the school’s. 

Discipline and Behaviour Policy

  • Administering first aid for minor accidents
  • Ensuring classrooms and the dining room are cleared up after use
  • Organising and assisting with games and other activities 
  • Supervising the use of the wooden play equipment, if the weather is appropriate
  • Undertaking any reasonable duties assigned to them by the Senior MSA to facilitate a calm and positive atmosphere within school.

General Advice for Supervisors

  • Try to move regularly from place to place
  • Make sure you visit all areas of the school building/site for which you are responsible to check children are safe
  • Do not stand talking to other supervisors or spend a long time with one group of children – try to talk to and engage with as many children as possible so that they get to know you and you are aware of anything untoward
  • Expect children to be polite and responsive – we work by the code of treating others as we would expect to be treated ourselves.
  • Avoid confrontation – always treat children with respect and have the expectation of being respected. 
  • Follow the School Disciplinary Procedures. When dealing with misbehaviour, follow the Behaviour Policy. If it is a minor issue, just remind the children how they should behave.
  • Aggressive play, bullying or rudeness should be reported to the Senior MSA who will in turn report to the Head Teacher/report the incident on the online system, if necessary.
  • Record all accidents in the Accident Book at the first aid station and seek help if the accident is a cause for concern
  • If a child accidentally bumps his/her head, the class teacher must be told. The child should be observed and must take a ‘Head Bump’ letter home.
  • Read the Health and Safety Manual for advice.
  • Always wear your high viz jacket when out on the playground or field to enable everyone to see you.
  • Those MSAs given a walkie talkie to use them when necessary and as directed by the Senior MSA 
  • If a child confides in you that they have been abused, or you see what you consider to be non-accidental injuries, you must inform the child that you have a duty to report it to one of the Designated safeguarding leads (DSL’s). You must discuss the concern with NO ONE ELSE. Never tell a child you can keep secrets.

Relationship to Children

  • Children respond well to adults who smile a lot and are friendly.
  • Watch the games the children are playing, but do not get too absorbed, as it might distract you from what is going on elsewhere.
  • Encourage children not to spend all their time with you, as it can prevent them from mixing with other children and making friends. Encourage them to join in with other children, or ask the Playground Buddies to help.
  • Avoid questions to pupils that could be interpreted as ‘prying’ in to family matters.
  • Make sure all children are treated fairly and equally, no matter who they are, or what you know about their previous behaviour.
  • Try to avoid invading a child’s space so that they feel intimidated, as this can lead to confrontation
  • Hugs (of the type taught through Norfolk Steps) may be given for comfort and reward.


Be aware that, as a member of staff, you will be expected to keep all matters relating to the school and the pupils within it confidential. Please pass on all lunchtime issues to appropriate staff – not directly to parents. This will usually be the senior MSA.

Support for MSA’s

In order for MSAs to fulfil their vital role at Bignold Primary School, we believe it is crucial that they are valued, respected and well managed, and that their professional development needs catered for. The children are taught that MSAs have the same authority as the teachers and should be shown the same respect.

To enable the MSA to make a significant contribution to the school, the following procedures are in place:

  • All MSAs are monitored by the Senior MSA, who is their Line Manager.
  • All the lunchtime supervisors meet the Senior Supervisor regualrly to discuss important issues, share information and concerns. This occurs before the duty begins.
  • Support is always available from the Head Teacher/Deputy and class teacher(s), who determine the appropriate action after a serious misdemeanour. Help is also given if there is a serious accident.
  • The Deputy Headteacher meets with the midday supervisory team at least once every term to discuss matters of concern and new initiatives.
  • Training – such as from the Healthy Schools initiative, Child Protection / safeguarding or First Aid will be made available to MSAs. Payment for time taken for training and meetings can be claimed at the usual hourly rate.
  • MSAs will receive updated Safeguarding training every three years.

Important Documentation

Midday Supervisors should have read the following policies and document and be familiar with Lunchtime Procedures.

  • Aspects of the Health and Safety Policy
  • Lunchtime Supervision Policy
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
  • Intimate Care Policy
  • Critical Incident Policy

A folder with the relevant documents is available for all MSAs as a reference tool.

When first in post, MSAs will be supported by more experienced colleagues and by the Senior MSA. They will be given a copy of this policy for their own personal use.

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