Educational Visits Policy (2023)
Educational visits statement
Revised August 2023
Approved by Trust Board 19 October 2023
Co-op Academies Trust acknowledges the immense value of educational visits to young people and fully supports and encourages those that are well planned and managed. Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) has a vital part to play in meeting the demands of the National Curriculum, and in achieving the goal of preparing young people for life beyond school. Effective schools have always used educational visits, residential experiences and activity in the local area of the school and school grounds as an integral part of their whole-school approach.
This policy statement sets out the framework within which our employees must operate and outlines a number of requirements all academies must follow and include in their own policies. This statement applies to all academies which are part of the Co-op Academies Trust. It clarifies which visits must be approved by the Trust as the employer.
Co-op Academies Trust has adopted the “National guidance for the management of outdoor learning, off-site visits and learning outside the classroom” (www.oeapng.info) as its source of guidance and good practice for educational visits and activities. In this document this is referred to as ‘National Guidance’.
Co-op Academies Trust uses the web-based system ‘EVOLVE’ to facilitate the efficient planning, management, approval and evaluation of visits. All staff that lead or accompany visits can access their own EVOLVE account, which is set up by their establishment’s Educational Visits Coordinator (EVC).
Support, training and access to further guidance can be obtained from the Outdoor Education Adviser. Current contact details are listed in Appendix 1.
1. Scope and responsibilities
This policy applies to all off-site educational visits and all outdoor learning and adventurous activities regardless of location involving children and young people and where appropriate, adults*. It applies regardless of whether the activities take place within or outside of normal working hours, including weekends and holiday periods.
It does not apply to work-experience placements, work-related learning or alternative provision. * See Appendix 2
All employees and volunteers involved in the planning, management and leadership of all off-site educational visits and all outdoor learning and adventurous activities must follow this policy.
National Guidance sets out the responsibilities and functions of the following key roles:
6. Visit Leader
Refer to individual National Guidance documents headed as above.
2. Establishment policy and procedures
All establishments offering activities within the scope of this policy:
1. Must have an Educational Visit Coordinator who meets the requirements set out in National Guidance (refer to: 3.4j Educational Visits Coordinator)
2. The EVC must complete training and revalidation as specified in the ‘Educational Visits Coordinator Training and Revalidation’ section below.
3. Establishments must have their own Educational Visit policy which sets out their management and approval procedures including minimum deadlines for submission of visit plans. All establishment Educational Visits Policies must be consistent with OEAP National Guidance and this policy. Refer to Appendix 6 for further details.
A Model Establishment Visit Policy is available in the Resources / Key Documents section of Evolve.
The establishment’s educational visit policy should make clear the system for ensuring that parents and guardians are notified of off-site activities and, where appropriate, ensure ‘informed’ parental consent is in place. Where appropriate, parents / guardians should be notified that in the event of an incident during a visit, the visit leader may decide to temporarily restrict the use of pupils’ mobile phones.
The DfE outlines the legal framework for consent in “Health and safety on educational visits.” This document states that consent is not required for most activities in school time and where required, can be obtained at the point of entry to the school. However, the local system for communicating with parents and obtaining consent for visits within and outside school hours should take account of:
- the extent to which trips are reliant on voluntary contributions from parents
- cultural sensitivities
- the culture of the school and its relationship with parents
- the frequency of educational visits and the balance between local activities (within walking distance) and those requiring transport.
Many schools now find that some form of ‘blanket consent’ reduces the burden on staff and parents. This could be obtained at enrolment or on an annual basis (separate arrangements must be in place for ensuring that contact details, medical and dietary information etc are kept up to date).
Where blanket consent is sought it should make clear the nature and extent of the applicability of this consent.
Examples where specific consent should be obtained include:
• residential visits including camping and in-school sleepovers
• adventurous activities
• overseas visits.
Obtaining blanket consent can help to avoid situations arising where the consent form for a trip has not been returned by the day of departure. This can create practical problems and stress for staff and parents. Whilst ‘verbal consent’ may be a practical way to manage a problem on the morning of departure, it is far from ideal and should be regarded as a last resort. A note should be made of the time and date of the phone call, who made it and who gave consent.
Refer to example blanket consent form (See Resources / Key documents section of Evolve). Refer to National Guidance: 4.3d ‘Parental Consent’
Staff leading, managing or approving off-site educational visits, outdoor learning and adventurous activities must be competent and confident to carry out their role and be approved by their Head of Establishment and where appropriate their Employer. Co-op Academies Trust provides a range of training courses to support staff in carrying out their roles effectively. These are specified below.
Educational Visits Coordinator Training and Revalidation
Every establishment operating under this policy must appoint a trained Educational Visits Coordinator. Newly appointed EVCs must complete Co-op Academies Trust EVC training course and thereafter attend a revalidation session every three years. The courses cover the strategic leadership and management of off-site educational visits, outdoor learning and adventurous activities. (Where EVCs move schools/areas and they have already attended an accredited OEAP EVC training course in the last three years then they should discuss their induction requirements with the Outdoor Education Adviser).
Competence to lead visits
There should be a clear process for approving leaders to lead visits or activities. Leaders must be accountable, confident and competent to lead the specific visits or activities for which they are approved. The Head or EVC (when the responsibility is delegated) must make a judgement about the suitability of that person to lead that group on that visit/activity in that environment.
The single most important factor in ensuring the safety of participants involved in an Educational Visit is the competence of the Visit Leader. The EVC should therefore consider the following when assessing the competence of a member of staff to lead, or accompany a visit:
- What are the leader’s reasons for undertaking the visit?
- Is the leader an employee and if not, is there a clear line of accountability?
- Can the leader/leadership team appropriately manage the teaching and learning in addition to the health, safety and welfare of the young people?
- Do all accompanying adults have a defined role?
- Is the leader organised?
- Are the leader/leadership team competent in managing risk?
- What experience has the leader of the young people they intend to lead?
- What is the leader’s and leadership team’s prior experience of similar visits or activities?
- Has the leader been inducted into the establishment’s procedures?
- What experience has the leader of the environment/geographical area chosen?
- Do the leader/leadership team possess appropriate qualifications?
- If appropriate, what are the leader’s and leadership team’s personal levels of skill in the activity, and fitness level?
- If leading adventurous activity have all the leaders been ‘approved’ by the Employer/Outdoor Education Adviser?
- Has the leader addressed medical, first aid and inclusion issues?
- Is the leader aware of, and able to comply with all relevant guidelines?
The establishment should contact the Trust Outdoor Education Adviser if there is doubt regarding the competence of a member of staff to lead an Educational Visit.
Visit Leader Training
Visit Leader training courses for staff leading and supporting educational visits are available. These courses cover the planning and leadership of off-site educational visits, outdoor learning and adventurous activities. Contact the Outdoor Education Adviser for further details.
Refer to National Guidance: 3.2d Approval of Leaders
3. Planning and approval procedures
When making the decision to lead/plan an off-site activity it is essential to consider the justification for the visit, how it fits into the curriculum and what the pupils/students will gain from the experience i.e. what are the learning outcomes for the activity? The Evolve visit planning system provides an opportunity for visit leaders to clearly articulate the purpose and learning outcomes planned for the visit and these should be assessed by managers as part of the approval process.
Risk management is an inherent part of visit planning. It should be proportionate to the complexity of the visit being undertaken and evidenced. The evidence may include:
- generic risk assessments / operational procedures
- event / visit specific risk assessments
- other visit planning documents.
Risk management is the responsibility of the whole staff team led by the visit leader.
Refer to National Guidance:
Approval before contractual arrangements are made
Visit Leaders must gain approval from the Head of Establishment before any contractual arrangements or financial commitments are made. The Head / Principal should ensure that the Chair of Governors and Regional CEO are given advance notice of plans for residential and overseas visits. Heads of Establishment must ensure that any overriding contractual arrangements are made between the establishment and the provider rather than between parents and provider.
All visits should be thoroughly researched to establish the suitability of the venue and to check that facilities and third-party provision will meet group requirements. Wherever reasonably practicable, it is good practice to carry out a preliminary visit. Establishment policy should clarify the circumstances where a preliminary visit is a requirement.
Self-led adventurous visits
Establishment staff proposing to lead adventurous activities must be approved by their Head and Outdoor Education Adviser prior to embarking on detailed arrangements.
Working with providers
When an establishment is using a provider for teaching and instruction:
- the provider is responsible for the risk management of their provision
- the Visit Leader is responsible for pastoral care (wellbeing, behaviour, medical, SEND) and the risk management of any aspects of the visit which they lead themselves, including all ‘downtime’ and travel.
Refer to National Guidance: 3.2a Underpinning Legal Framework and Duty of Care
Where they are available, Visit Leaders should take advantage of nationally accredited provider assurance schemes to select suitable providers.
Where a provider holds the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge, there is no need to seek further assurances regarding safety. However, Visit Leaders should ensure that a Provider Statement is completed if no LOtC Quality Badge is held. The Provider statement template is available in the Resources / Key documents section of Evolve.
Certain adventurous activities require an Adventurous Activities Licence (AALA/AALS) which will either be captured through a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge or a Provider Statement.
If using a provider, they should normally hold a minimum of £5 Public Liability insurance (this is a requirement of the Trust Insurer providing the policy covering educational visits).
Appropriate checks and/or assurances should be sought. The accommodation at an LOtC Quality Badged provider will have been deemed appropriate for educational visits. The relevant questions on the Provider Statement can be used to help to gather key information. Professional judgment should be used taking into account all the relevant issues.
Ratios and supervision
As part of assessing the risk of educational visits, outdoor learning and adventurous activities, visit leaders should determine the appropriate supervision arrangements by considering factors including ‘SAGED’:
For example: Consider whether the adults have undertaken training, what level of experience they have and whether they know the group. Consider what level of competence is necessary (e.g. skill, knowledge, understanding, fitness) from all of the supervising adults. Ensure that all adults are competent for the roles that are assigned to them.
For example: Consider the nature of the intended activity and whether it requires specialist knowledge and/or equipment. Consider whether the activities might be affected by the location (crowds, remoteness, access etc.).
For example: Consider the characteristics of the group and what prior experience they have of the activity and environment; also consider their ability and maturity. If any of the group has behavioural, medical or learning needs, ensure that these can be managed appropriately.
For example: Consider the impact that the weather may have on the group, activity or travel arrangements. Be aware that environmental conditions can change dramatically and ensure that there is a Plan B where appropriate. Where relevant to the location and activity, the visit leader must have a good understanding of how water levels can change and be able to make appropriate judgements.
For example: Consider how far the activity or visit is from the normal support mechanisms of the school and whether it is close enough to rely on immediate support from the school, or further afield where it cannot. The type of transport being used may impact on the level of supervision required (e.g. a coach journey may require a smaller supervision ratio than a visit using public transport). If the visit involves an overnight stay, a higher level of first aid competence may be necessary, and staff may need to operate a supervision rota for longer residential visits.
EVCs and Headteachers are responsible for ensuring effective supervision is in place on all visits.
Refer to National Guidance:
3.2f AALA Licensing
4.4b First Aid
The National Guidance includes a range of checklists for educational visits and these are updated periodically as required. These checklists are also available via the Co-op Evolve site – in the Resources section:
- Governing Body Checklist
- Headteacher / Principal checklist
- EVC Checklist
- Visit Leader checklist
- Parent / guardian checklist
4. Co-op Academies Trust Procedures
Visit Management system
The online planning and management system (click here) must be used by visit leaders for the planning and approval of all non-routine day visits, residentials, overseas visits and adventurous activities (refer to Appendix 4).
Establishments may choose to identify a ‘local learning area’ and generic operating procedures. The school’s policy should be explicit about which local, routine, low risk visits and activities these arrangements will apply to (for example Forest School activities in a wooded area adjacent to the school, use of a local park for orienteering). Schools that choose to adopt a clearly defined ‘local learning area’ can request access to a simplified visit planning module within the Evolve system – contact the Outdoor Education Adviser for information.
Refer to Appendix 4 for timescales and procedure for approval of residentials, overseas visits and adventurous activities – each school should clarify submission deadlines for other visits in their Educational Visit Policy.
Adventure activities run on the school / establishment site should also be planned and approved through the online system – refer to Appendix 3 for a list of typical activities classed as adventurous for the purposes of this policy.
Overseas Expeditions require enhanced planning and establishments considering this should contact the Outdoor Education Adviser before booking – preferably at least 18 months prior to the planned event.
5. Emergency Procedures/ Incident Management
Heads / managers must ensure that there are appropriate Emergency Procedures in place for off-site visits. These should be under the umbrella of a School Emergency Plan / Critical Incident Plan which allows any type of emergency/incident to be appropriately dealt with. Schools must also ensure they are familiar with their employer’s Emergency Procedures. These are set out in the Co-op Academies Trust Model Business Continuity Plan – this includes a section on Incident Management.
The National Guidance contains useful forms which can be personalised for each establishment and issued to all visit staff. The forms could also be used as part of training sessions in schools to ensure staff are equipped to deal with foreseeable issues. These are also available in the Resources section of Evolve and include:
- Emergency procedures for visit leaders
- Emergency Plan for establishments
- Emergencies – guidance for ‘first contact’ (base / home contact)
The following should be in place for all visits:
1. Carried by Visit Leader & all accompanying staff:
- Group list
- All contact details (these may be held in school for local visits during school hours)
- Visit Leader Emergency Action Card
- Mobile phone
- Group first aid kit(s)
2. Held by Emergency Base Contact (e.g. head teacher/ senior leader back at school):
- Group list
- All contact details
- Emergency Action Cards:
- Visit Leader Emergency Action Card
- Base Contact Emergency Action Card (e.g. head/senior leader back at school)
- 24/7 access to all visit details
Staff should undergo training at an appropriate level to ensure that they understand the procedures. Emergency plans should be tested from time to time at both establishment level and employer level. References and further guidance:
- OEAP National Guidance document: 4.1b Emergencies and Critical Incidents – An Overview
- OEAP National Guidance documents: other emergency documents available in Section 4.
Management of Visit Emergencies
OEAP Management of Visit Emergency (MoVE) courses are available for senior leadership teams in order that they are appropriately prepared for managing and co-ordinating the establishment’s response to critical visit incidents, please contact the Trust Outdoor Education Adviser for further details.
6. Monitoring of visits and procedures
Headteachers and Service Managers should ensure that visits and visit management procedures are monitored to ensure the requirements of this policy are being carried out. This monitoring should be along similar lines to the evaluation of Teaching and Learning in the classroom. It should be clear in the establishment visit policy who is responsible for carrying out this monitoring.
Types of monitoring may include:
- EVC and Head/Manager monitors quality of planning and arrangements of visits submitted via Evolve Discussions with visit leader/staff team
- Feedback from staff, pupils, parents
- Asking pupils about the visit
- Field monitoring (this should take place from time to time to help confirm that practice on the ground meets expectations).
Monitoring can cover safety factors such as:
- Implementation of risk assessments in place for the activity and the plan B activity
- Evidence of staff training and competence
- Personal Protective Equipment and other safety critical equipment
- Transport including driver competence
- Suitability of venue and location
- Weather and time of year
- Emergency procedures including base contact and communication
- First aid provision
- Pastoral supervision.
However, it is also important to consider the importance of quality of provision and factors that can be monitored include:
- Clear aims and objectives
- Does the task/activity match the aims and objectives?
- Proportion of time on task
- Appropriate level of challenge
- Inclusion and special needs provision
- Extension activities
- Assessment for learning
- Relating learning to other contexts
Refer to National Guidance document: 3.2b Monitoring
7. Charges for Off-site Activities and Visits
Charging and remissions
The Education Act 1996, sections 449-462 sets out the law on charging for school activities in England. The Department for Education provides guidance to Heads of Establishments and Governing Bodies as to the requirements of a charging & remissions policy, voluntary contributions and what can or cannot be charged for.
Co-op Academy Trust Heads/Managers, Curriculum Planners, EVCs and Visit/Activity Leaders must take account of the legal framework relating to charging, voluntary contributions and remissions as set out in sections 449 to 462 of the Education Act 1996.
Refer to National Guidance document: 3.2c Charging for School Activities
DfE document: Charging for School Activities
8. Inclusion & SEND
Activities should be available to all, irrespective of special educational or medical needs or protected characteristics (disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation). The Equality Act states that an establishment (e.g. a school) must not discriminate against a young person because of one of the protected characteristics. There is a duty to make reasonable adjustments. Establishments must have due regard to equality considerations whenever significant decisions are being made or policies developed. Consideration must be given to the equality implications from the start of the planning process, not as an afterthought.
Any individual risk assessment, behaviour/care plan should inform the planning process. Appropriate levels of supervision and staff with the necessary competences/training should be in place (e.g. intimate care/ feeding; manual handling; team teach/ restraint; administering rescue meds etc). If a decision is taken to exclude a young person (e.g. if the necessary reasonable adjustment(s) would unduly impinge on the learning outcomes for the rest of the group) then:
- All relevant parties must have been consulted throughout the process
- there must be a clear rationale
- the process should be carefully recorded with a clear evidence / audit trail.
It may be reasonable to exclude a young person on the grounds of behaviour if the behaviour is unmanageable and presents a significant health, safety and/or welfare risk to the young person, the group or the leaders. Where behaviour issues are not associated with a protected characteristic then it is unlikely the Equality Act will apply.
Refer to National Guidance: 3.2e Inclusion, 4.4i Special Educational Needs and Disabilities DfE Equality Act 2010: Advice for Schools
Safeguarding procedures should be considered as part of the planning process with additional consideration for residential visits.
Visit Leaders should:
- Liaise with Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Pastoral Leaders to identify any relevant safeguarding issues
- Ensure appropriate vetting and barred list checks are in place (including enhanced DBS and barred list checks for unsupervised adults engaged in regulated activities)
- Consider issues relating to on-line safety, social media, access to and sharing of inappropriate content
- Know how, when and who to report safeguarding concerns to during a visit and have access to the DSL (or trained deputy) either directly or through the Base Contact
- Be familiar with Safer Working Practice principles.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks
Establishment staff will normally require an enhanced DBS check with barred list check as a result of their day-to-day work. Leaders/helpers (including volunteers) involved in off-site visits will require an enhanced DBS check with barred list check if they meet each of the following criteria:
- they are involved in a regulated activity
- they are unsupervised
- the activities are carried out frequently or intensively.
(For further details see OEAP NG document: 3.2g Vetting and DBS Checks)
Further guidance to consider:
- OEAP NG document 4.3e Safeguarding
- Keeping Children Safe in Education
- Safer Working Practice Guidance
10. Insurance for Off-site Activities and Visits
Co-op Academies Trust holds Public and Employer’s Liability insurance, indemnifying it against all claims for compensation for bodily injury from persons not in its employ, as well as for the accidental loss of, or damage caused to, property. Employees are indemnified against all such claims, as are voluntary helpers acting under the direction of the employer’s staff. The indemnity covers activities such as off-site activities and visits organised by establishments and settings for which the employer is responsible.
The Trust also arranges a policy ‘blanket policy’ to cover educational visits. This policy will cover all activities routinely offered by schools. If staff are considering an unusual or particularly hazardous activity please contact the Outdoor Education Adviser for clarification of insurance cover.
It is not normally necessary (or appropriate) for schools to take up supplementary policies offered by some contractors / tour companies.
Heads and Service Managers should note that insurance cover may be invalidated if they fail to adhere to the requirements of this policy and advice within National Guidance.
Refer to National Guidance document: 4.4c Insurance
Careful thought must be given to planning transport to support off-site activities and visits. Statistics demonstrate that it is more hazardous to travel to an activity than to engage in it and establishments must follow the specialist guidance provided in Co-op Academies Trust transport policy. All national and local regulatory requirements must be followed.
The Headteacher or Service Manager should ensure that coaches and buses are hired from a reputable company.
Transporting young people in private cars requires careful consideration. Where this occurs, there should be recorded procedures and prior approval.
The level of supervision necessary should be considered as part of the risk management process when planning the journey, giving proper consideration to issues of driver-distraction when considering what supervision is required for the specific group of passengers being transported in a minibus. In addition, on longer journeys consideration should be given to factors such as driver fatigue and comfort breaks.
Refer to National Guidance document: 4.5b Transport in Minibuses
Refer to ACPO / DfT/DFE document ‘Driving School Minibuses’
NB Co-op Academies Trust requires all employees driving minibuses to hold current MIDAS training and certification.
In accordance with the requirements of National Guidance the nominated Outdoor Education Adviser for the Co-op Academies Trust is:
David Faulconbridge Email email@example.com
In case of a visit emergency the visit leader should contact their Emergency Base Contact in the first instance (see Section 5 above).
The Base Contact should notify their Chair of Governors and Chief Education Officer, and if required additional CAT officers listed below:
Regional Director (West Yorkshire)
Regional Director (Staffordshire &
Regional Director (Greater Manchester)
Property and Health and Safety Manager
CEO Co-op Academies Trust
This policy is relevant to all off-site or adventurous work undertaken with young people under the age of 18 in the care of Trust staff regardless of who delivers the activity. It may be relevant in additional circumstances where over 18s are involved. If in doubt, contact the Outdoor Education Adviser (see Appendix 1 above). However, it does not apply to work-experience placements, work-related learning, alternative provision or movement between the split sites of the same school. This provision is covered by other policies.
Types of visit
For the purposes of this policy a range of activities are classed as adventurous and require an enhanced level of planning and scrutiny. The list below gives examples of activities and clarifies whether they should be regarded as adventurous. If in doubt over the classification of an activity, class it as adventurous in the first instance. Unusual activities may need to be discussed with the Outdoor Education Adviser to ensure that insurance is in place.
Mountain biking, BMX and Cyclocross
Places of worship
Climbing – rock
Swimming lessons in lifeguarded pools
Ice skating in commercial centres
Climbing – artificial structures
Forest schools (no bladed tools)
Bushcraft (with no bladed tools)
Geography fieldwork (in everyday environments)
Stand-up paddle boarding
Professionally lifeguarded swimming pools
Parkour using gym equipment
Bushcraft with bladed tools
Forest schools (using bladed tools)
Geography fieldwork (in hazardous
Open water swimming
High Ropes course activities
Non-Lifeguarded swimming pools
Karting and motorsports
Inflatable adventure courses (including those on school sites)
* Consult the Outdoor Education Adviser before booking this activity
Appendix 5 Risk assessment and guidance for use of supervised parent / guardian volunteers on educational visits
Risk assessment for supervised parent / guardian volunteers on educational visits - this assessment should be checked and signed off by your Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and then uploaded to the Evolve Visit plan as part of the evidence of planning for the visit.
Name and date of visit:
Names of the volunteers expected on the visit:
Will the volunteers on this visit be supervised at all times by a member of the school staff who has been appropriately trained and DBS checked: YES / NO
Are you certain there will be no opportunity for unsupervised contact with children? YES / NO
Is this a day visit with no residential element? YES / NO
Are you certain that none of these volunteers will be helping frequently (once a week or more) or intensively (i.e. on 4 or more days in a 30-day period)? YES / NO
Are you certain that the volunteers will not be providing Health care or Personal care involving physical assistance with eating, drinking, washing, dressing, bathing and toileting for reasons of age, illness or disability? YES / NO
Visit Leader Name: Date:
If you have answered YES to all the above questions your DSL may confirm you do not need to complete the full individual CAT DBS Disclosure risk assessment form. If you answered NO to any of the questions above, you must complete a CAT DBS Disclosure risk assessment form for each individual.
School Designated Safeguarding lead sign -off:
I confirm that I am not aware of any safeguarding concerns that would make these volunteers unsuitable to work with children and on this occasion it is not necessary to complete individual risk assessments for the volunteers listed above and DBS checking is not required / appropriate.
Information for supervised parent helpers / volunteers on educational visits
Thank you for volunteering to help with the visit: (insert details)_________________
The visit leader will explain your role in more detail but here are some top tips and requests:
Please read through the information about the visit and follow any dress code (for example the ‘kit list’ may specify the need for a waterproof coat or appropriate footwear). This is important in setting a good example to the children on the trip.
Please be aware of / consider the following:
- If you are aware of any reason why you should not volunteer to work with children please notify the visit leader.
- If transport is being used, wear your seatbelt and ensure any children around you have their seatbelt correctly fitted when the vehicle is moving.
- If the visit spans lunchtime, please ensure you are aware of the lunch arrangements and bring a packed lunch if necessary.
- We may ask you to help supervise a small group of children during the trip. If your child is taking part in this visit the visit leader may put them in another group – we have found this often helps both parent and child get the most from the visit.
- If we ask you to help supervise a group of children please ensure they stay within your sight at all times – you should also remain within sight of school staff on the trip in case you require assistance.
- The visit leader may provide you with a copy of the risk assessment for the trip – and / or talk you through the important actions staff and volunteers need to take to ensure the safety of pupils and everyone on the trip. Please ensure you understand and follow the plan.
- Follow the academy’s policy with regards to the confidentiality of pupils, parents and staff.
- Please do not smoke at any time during the trip.
- Please set a good example to the children – for example with your language – and when staff are speaking to the whole group ensure your group are paying attention.
- Please do not take photos or use your mobile phone except in an emergency.
- Avoid situations where you might be alone with a child.
- Follow the instructions of the visit leader and any other school staff helping to lead the trip (please ask questions if you are not sure about your role).
- If a child is misbehaving, please draw this to the attention of the nearest member of school staff to deal with it.
- Please do not consume or be under the influence of alcohol or any substance, including any medication which may affect your ability to care for children.
- Please avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question your motivation and intentions.
The visit plan will include arrangements for first aid. The school will normally have a trained first aider on the visit or in some circumstances first aid cover may be provided by staff at the venue for the visit. The visit leader will explain the plan for first aid in case you or the pupils you are helping to supervise need first aid during the trip. If you have a medical issue, please draw this to the attention of the visit leader in confidence.
If you have a safeguarding concern regarding a child during the visit, please raise this with the Visit Leader as soon as possible. If you feel your concerns have not been addressed during the visit, please contact the Headteacher as soon as possible following the visit. Alternatively, you can contact your local Children's Social Work Service and make a referral.
If you have a concern regarding the conduct of a member of staff whilst on the trip, please raise this as soon as possible with the head teacher. If you feel your concerns have not been addressed, please contact the Chair of Governors as soon as possible following the visit.
Educational Visits Policy – Trust requirements
The National Guidance provides detailed advice on forming an Educational Visit Policy (see 5.3b How to write an establishment visit policy). A model policy is available in the Resources section of Evolve and each school can upload their policy (once it is approved and adopted by the Governing Body) into the ‘Establishment documents’ section on Evolve.
Each academy must publish its policy for educational visits on its own website. Such information is helpful to parents in knowing who has responsibility for any visits that take place and expectations of pupil conduct.
Each academy policy should make clear:
- that the academy's local governing body has an oversight role to play with regard to educational visits;
- the name and role of the Education Visits Co-ordinator (EVC);
- the process of arranging educational visits;
- the role and responsibilities of visit leaders;
- how parents and carers are informed of visits and how their permission is sought;
- that for routine visits, a trained first aider - either from the academy or the host venue - is available;
- that for non-routine type visits, at least one academy member of staff present is first aid trained, unless the visit is organised by a company that provides first aiders;
- that first aid may be administered by a trained first aider;
- examples of support that pupils with particular needs may receive;
- that pupils entitled to free school meals will have a packed lunch provided if the visit spans lunchtime;
- the types of visit the academy is likely to organise;
- how pupils and staff may be transported;
- that it is not permissible for any visit to proceed unless: - the correct procedure has been followed as outlined in the academy’s policy - risk assessments are in place and have been shared by those leading the visit - the details of the visit have been logged accordingly - the Principal and nominated EVC has given express permission for the visit to take place - and the leader takes the appropriate paperwork with them on the visit;
- that under normal circumstances there will be no significant deviation from the plans approved without a further risk assessment taking place and without the authority of the Principal. Where such changes are proposed for non-routine visits, these should be discussed with the regional Chief Education Officer as soon as possible;
- where necessary visit plans will include ‘Plan B’ alternatives which have been risk assessed and approved as part of the routine planning of the visit. Visit leaders will conduct ongoing dynamic risk assessments throughout the visit to take account of, for example, changes in weather conditions and may use their judgement to adopt the Plan B option(s) or respond to incidents or emergencies as necessary. Programme changes will be reported to the EVC or Headteacher as appropriate;
- that all visit information should be kept for a minimum of six years; however, information relating to incidents that take place on a visit, accidents involving staff and/or pupils for example, where there is considered to be a possibility that legal action may follow, should be kept indefinitely;
- where accidents and incidents occur, these must be recorded and reported using the academy’s accident reporting procedures and escalated if applicable to the academy’s Chair of Governors and the Chief Education Officer via the Principal as soon as practicable and certainly within 24 hours as a health and safety requirement;
- male and female staff, wherever possible and practical, should accompany a visit. This is normally essential for residential visits;
- all adults accompanying pupils on a residential visit should be CRB/DBS checked at enhanced level and their details recorded on the academy’s single central record;
- Staff – pupil ratios will be based on risk assessment and conform to National Guidance 4.3 Ratios and supervision;
- individual support must be identified for students with special educational needs and the appropriate risk assessment put in place;
- emergency protocols, including, for example, contact with parents if serious problems occur or staff are taken ill while visits are taking place;
- where appropriate, parents / guardians should be notified that in the event of an incident during a visit, the visit leader may decide to temporarily restrict the use of pupils’ mobile phones.