- Will adopt a policy of good practice for educational trips and visits.
- Will adopt a system of effective safety management for educational trips and visits and
- Must hold the Director of Children’s Services accountable for the implementation and maintenance of the Educational Trips and Visits Policy and Procedures.
- Provide schools, with access to a document giving guidance on educational trips and visits.
- This document will include a good understanding and knowledge of the legal responsibilities and the practical difficulties facing school groups in all venues or environments including the lower risk ones.
- Review policies and procedures in the light of lessons learned and sharing good practice more widely.
- Monitor the work of educational visit co-ordinators in establishments to help identify training needs and appropriate levels of obligation.
- Determine which visits will require LEA approval and which may be approved by the establishment.
- Approve (or allow) visits where task of approval is at CYPS level.
- Notify establishments of the minimum adult child ratios required and when schools may use competent adults other than competent establishment staff.
- Ensure the School’s Educational Visit Co-ordinators, Group Leaders and other establishment staff are assessed as competent in their specific tasks.
- Ensure that training is available for those who need that competence.
- Make sure that arrangements are in place to obtain necessary Criminal Records Bureau disclosures and
- Make sure that arrangements are in place for informed parental consent.
CYPS might seek and obtain the advice of other people, in whatever sector, who are competent in assessing the risks of a particular activity or type of visit.
The above duties will be undertaken without charge to schools. More detailed technical, legal advice and training in respect of specific visits can be made available on a fee paying basis.
School Governing Bodies have a responsibility for the general direction of the conduct and curriculum in their establishment. This extends to visits and journeys. Accordingly they must approve and keep under review a local policy for educational trips and visits.
The school policy must provide for:
- Adequate assessment and control of risks and a procedure for authorising visits which includes verifying the competence of leaders and helpers.
- A review of safeguards used on educational visits to be undertaken each year and salient features presented to the Governing Body, whether separately or as part of the Headteacher’s annual report on health and safety. This review will help to ensure that the highest levels of care and safety are maintained, and
- Checks to ensure that links with other policies are consistent. This is particularly important in respect of Critical Incident and Charging Policy.
The Headteacher/Manager must develop and maintain the policy for educational visits on behalf of the Governing Body. The policy must require that all educational visits have a clear and appropriate educational purpose, and are properly authorised. It must also specify those categories of visit which will need to be reported at the planning stage to the Governing Body and/or the CYPS (view Categories of Trips and Visits).
Authorisation for visits must be conditional upon adequate attention having been given to:
- Planning, organisation and event timetabling.
- Competence, experience and suitability of leader and supervisors.
- Capabilities and suitability of accompanying staff and other helpers.
- Leaders’ knowledge of local circumstances to be experienced during the visit.
- Party size, age, aptitude and experience of pupils.
- Child protection issues.
- Medical needs of members of the party and first aid provision.
- Supervisory ratios.
- Assessment of health and safety risks inherent in the project.
- Foreseeable emergency action and contingency plans which may be necessary.
- Insurance, Financial and travel arrangements
- Informing parents of risks and safeguards and obtaining their approval, and
- Effective communication arrangements with establishment base, especially in the event of a critical incident.
- The Headteacher/Manager must review operating arrangements at least annually with staff who directly implement the policy or undertake visits. This review can provide the basis for a report to the Governing Body.
- Ensure educational visits meet the employers’ and school’s requirements.
- Support the Head and Governors with approval and other decisions.
- Assess competence of prospective leaders and staff.
- Ensure risk assessments meet requirements.
- Organise training and induction.
- Ensure parents are informed and give their consent.
- Organise emergency arrangements.
- Keep records of visits, accidents or incident reports, and
- Review systems and monitor practice.
The Group Leader has overall responsibility for the supervision and conduct of the visit or activity, including direct responsibility for the pupils’ health, safety and welfare and must be approved by the Head. In particular the Group Leader must:
- Be approved to carry out the visit, suitably competent and knowledgeable about the school and LEAs policy and procedures.
- Plan and prepare for the visit and assess the risks, and
- Define the roles and responsibilities of other staff and pupils and ensure effective supervision of what they do.
Members of staff including registered volunteers act as employees of the Council whilst on work related visits and off-site activities (also refer to Guidance - CRB Disclosures). Members of staff, volunteers and parent helpers will:
- Assist the Group Leader to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all young people on the visit, and
- Be clear about their roles and responsibilities whilst taking part in a visit or activity.
Whilst taking part in off-site activities young people have responsibilities of which they must be made aware, by the Group Leader or other members of staff, for their own health and safety and that of the group. Young people will:
- Confirm that they understand what standard of behaviour is expected of them.
- Follow instructions from the Group Leader and other members of staff.
- Behave sensibly, keeping to any agreed code of conduct, and
- Be informed of any potential dangers and how they must act to ensure both their own safety and that of others.
A sample Code of Conduct (.pdf, 44kb) outlining some personal responsibilities of pupils on an educational trip or visit is available for use.
Parents have an important role in deciding whether any visit or off-site activity is suitable for their child. An appropriate level of personal responsibility must be agreed with parents and participants, prior to the commencement of the trip.
Subject to their agreements, parents will:
- Inform the Group Leader in writing, about any medical, psychological, physical or other condition relevant to the visit in writing.
- Provide an emergency contact number.
- Sign the appropriate consent form.
- Consent to category of visit, and
- If provided, parents must attend a briefing meeting where details of proposed visit will be provided or make prior arrangements to receive this information.