Educational School Visits Policy
Policy for Educational School Visits Bute House Preparatory School
The policy applies equally to the Foundation Stage (Reception Class), Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 as taught at
The policy must be read in conjunction with the policy relating to the procedure of when a child goes missing.
(The policy has been written taking into account the DfEE guidance “Health and Safety of pupils on Educational visits”)
Experiences gained by pupils from off site educational opportunities should not be seen as isolated opportunities but as a vital part of the progression of a pupil’s education within a broad and balanced curriculum. The experience can be determined within a number of categories
- Personal and social education: these skills are developed through such activities as problem solving, decision making and team work.
- Residential experiences: Working and playing together in a residential setting affords plenty of opportunities for development of social skills through living and working together.
- Environmental awareness: the cross curricular theme of environmental educational is catered for specifically when pursuing off-site activities as a rich variety of sites both natural and man made can be explored.
- Aesthetic and creative development: project and topic work, theatre, concert, gallery and museum visits give rise to a multiplicity of opportunities.
- Health and physical activity
The range of activities at
- Residential trips during school time using licensed providers
- Overseas adventurous activities out of school time using licensed providers
- Day or part day visits using transport
- Day or part day visits on foot or using public transport
- After school sporting visits
- Field studies
Approval from the Governors for this policy and for specified residential visits has been sought. They have delegated the day to day responsibility of ensuring that all procedures are followed to the Head and the Educational School Visits Coordinator.
Insurance All approved school trips are covered by the school’s insurers.
The duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 extends to pupils and employees participating in off-site visits. Private use of cars: extreme caution should be exercised before staff use their own cars and they should ensure that their insurance covers them for carrying pupils.
The leader has full responsibility for the safe running of the trip, pupils’ safety and behaviour and for following this guidance. They must also ensure that all adult participants understand their role and are clear about rules, responsibilities and expectations. (See policy for parents accompanying school trips.)He or she must also ensure clear liaison with the EVC.
Planning for a visit
All off-site activities must firstly have the approval of the Educational Visits Co-ordinator (who will also liaise with the Head if necessary) who must be satisfied with the purpose, planning, risk assessments, first aid arrangements and staffing for the proposed off-site activity. Any concerns about the ethnic or religious impact of a proposed visit should be raised before such a visit is arranged. Staff should fill in the necessary forms in order to gain this approval and check against the master sheet. Information is also contained in the Staff Information Guide
Communication with parents
A detailed letter to parents must be sent well ahead of the planned trip, including curriculum aim of visit, accompanying adults, transport arrangements, address and contact details of the venue, costing, details of meeting/ collection times and places, pocket money, arrangements for meals and asking for written permission, including for residential trips a signed consent for emergency treatment. . (Parents give permission each year for their child to go off site on brief excursions to very local venues on foot). The leader must ensure that completed permission slips are returned.
Residential and visits abroad
Additionally, for residential trips, paperwork must be sent as follows: clothing and equipment lists, medical questionnaire and emergency medical treatment consent, dietary information, emergency contact details and passport, E111forms, visa details etc if needed for overseas trips. For ski strips a copy of the ski company insurance form is sent to the parents. An information meeting must be held when details such as the clothing list, activities schedule and other specific information regarding the residential trip can be given and sought.
Supervision-Ratios of adults to pupils
(All adults included in the ratio will have been CRB checked.) Any “extra” adults not counted in the ratio but joining the trip will not have unsupervised access to children)
Supervision-Ratios of adults to pupils
(All adults included in the ratio will have been CRB checked.) Any “extra” adults without a CRB check, not counted in the ratio but joining the trip will not have unsupervised access to children).Non CRB adults cannot accompany overnight trips. Parents never accompany over night trips thisis undertaken only by
Supervision ratios will be dependant on the age of pupils, the activity being undertaken, the sex of accompanying adults, the length of the trip, the experience of the adults, whether the group will be split during the visit. The DfEE guidance for a trip that does not involve hazardous activities is:
One adult for every 4 pupils for under 5s
One adult for every 6 pupils in years 1 and 2
One adult for every 6 – 10 pupils in year 3
One for every 10-15 pupils in years 4-6
For all residential trips the ratio for Years 4-6 is always a minimum 1-10
Parents of pupils can only be included in the above ratio if their child is not part of the above group. Leaders should consult the list of CRB checked parents held in the school office.
Bute House requires that there are at least 2 paid members of the school staff on each trip.
EYFS outings will always be accompanied by suitably qualified staff and a paediatric First Aider.
The supervising adults must be briefed with full instructions. Children should also be briefed before leaving and should be wearing proper clothing for the visit. If wearing school uniform, they must be wearing regulation items. Name badges must not be worn but wrist bands must be worn.
On each trip the following should be taken:
- Parents are given guidelines and clear instructions for visit (attached)
- A first aid kit plus a residential first aid kit if necessary
- Mobile phones
- List of children and staff going on trip
- Emergency contact details, crisis plan and clarion call details
- Medical consent forms for residential trips
- Details of any children with medical or specific learning difficulties that could have an impact on the trip
- Any medication needed by individual children eg epipens, inhalers
Preparing Children for the trip
Children must be:
Reminded of the purpose of the trip
Reminded of behaviour on transport
Given clear safety information before departure and at the venue
Reminded about behaviour and consideration for other users of the venue
Checks made that specific medical and dietary requirements (eg inhalers) are being carried by individual children
Children must be given the green wrist bands with the school’s name, number and the extension to use printed on it. This extension is only to be used in an EMERGENCY and school staff know that the emergency phone must be answered immediately. The children must WEAR these bands at all times (unless they are participating in a match/competition/gala when they may be removed for the duration of the event and then put back on). All the wristbands must be collected on the return to school.
Children on the ski trip carry an insurance card from Equity Ski and a card with the leaders mobile number.
Children are given Bute House bibs to wear skiing on days with poor visibility due to weather conditions.
Venue and Accommodation
If any trip is to a venue that has not been used before or not for some time, a pre-visit must be arranged and fire drills and procedures checked. Additionally general accommodation should be viewed and for residential the sleeping accommodation, bathrooms, drying facilities, evening relaxation areas, dining and kitchen areas should be checked and hygiene certificates seen. Risk assessments MUST be completed and also requested where appropriate from the licensed provider. Records must be kept of “near miss” situations and these should be taken into account if a similar visit is planned. The 5 major elements of a risk assessment are
- Identification of hazards
- Who might be affected
- How can risks be reduced to an acceptable level
- Can these measures be implemented
- Contingency plans if all else fails
These variables should be taken into account when undertaking risk assessments
- Age of pupils
- Number of pupils
- Previous experience of pupils and adults
- Time of year and day
- Travel arrangements
- Hazards on the journey and site
- Nature of activity
Toilet and First Aid facilities on site should be identified and the location of hospital facilities ascertained. Ensure that on each visit the course provider has been met and that all staff who will be in contact with the children are suitably qualified and have CRB checks. Ensure total confidence in the tutor/course leader at site otherwise the group leader should take over the teaching him/herself.
On return, confirm any verbal arrangements in writing and inform the EVC or Head how the preliminary visit went and what impressions and knowledge you have gained.
The school usually uses the same coach company. All transport arrangements are made by the Bursar’s Department. If the visit leader is not happy with a driver or the condition of the vehicle, she/he must stop the coach and contact the school or coach company and insist on another driver/vehicle.
Seat belts should always be used.
Children should behave and not leave litter on the vehicle
On public transport close supervision is essential
On residential trips or trips abroad checks will be made of the safety record of the transport providers confirming that all vehicles have seat belts
Private use of cars: extreme caution should be exercised before staff use their cars and they should ensure that their insurance covers them for carrying pupils. Parents must be informed if it is intended that pupils travel in a private car. Where parental cars are used, a specific permission slip should be obtained and the name and sex of the driver given to parents Seat belts must be used and children should not travel in the front.
On Arrival at the Site
An easily identifiable place should be given to children for meeting in case they are separated from the main group.
Children should be reminded of any particular safety or general behavioural rules specific to the site and nature of the visit.
Boundaries should be clearly pointed out
The school’s behaviour and discipline policies apply at all times
Clear standards should be identified and adhered to.
The duty of care is of the utmost importance
Regular head counts are essential
On farm visits extra precautions are necessary as farms can be particularly dangerous to pupils.
Before the visit it is important to check that the farm is well managed and has good safety and animal welfare standards.
It must have good and easily accessible washing facilities.
It is important to ensure that the children do not:
- Put their faces against animals or put their fingers in their mouths after handling animals
- Eat until they have washed their hands
- Sample animal foodstuffs
- Drink from taps other than from designated water fountains
- Ride on tractors or play on machinery
- Play in the farm area
The pre-school briefing should contain the above instructions and the children should be told again on arrival at the farm.
It is essential to be fully aware of the crisis management policy guidelines in the event of a serious incident on a trip.
POLICY FOR RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL TRIPS AND TRIPS ABROAD
The member of staff who is the organizer of the trip is the official trip leader and should ensure that there is an appropriate staff/pupil ratio and that all should know and understand their designated duties. A copy of all letters concerning the trip should be kept in the school office. If abroad, the group leader should know the whereabouts and telephone number of the nearest British Embassy. A risk assessment must be obtained from the tour operator.
The residential first aid kit should be checked and carried by the adult designated for medical duties. No child should keep her own medicines except in the case of inhalers or similar. A notebook or medicine form should be filled in for all
medicines given (name, date, time, dose, name of medicine). This includes travel sickness pills. This information should be given to a doctor in case of emergency. Each parent must have signed consent for emergency treatment as part of their daughter’s medical information form. An accident book should also be completed for all first aid (even plasters). In the event of a serious incident, the Centre or activity provider should have all relevant forms. School should be informed immediately. Do not speak to the press or allow the children to do so; take advice from the school first.
Before bedtime on the first evening children should ‘walk’ the fire exit routes and be reminded to leave slippers and a jumper by their beds for emergencies. Members of staff should be allocated rooms to check in the event of a fire alarm.
Two members of staff should be assigned to duty during the evening and night, and the children should be told whom those people are and whom to wake up in the night. If a child comes for help during the night, she should not be taken into a staff bedroom. If a child needs comfort for more than a few minutes of time, the second member of staff on duty should be woken up. Please be careful of physical contact with children if you are alone. Staff on duty in the evenings should not drink any alcohol and other staff should not drink alcohol when children are present and only in strict moderation. Staff will be given duty breaks during the day for rest and recuperation.
Leaders should ensure that emergency contact numbers are with each group and with copies at school, with the Head, and any other school contact.
- Children should shower or bath every day.
- Staff should sit with children at meals and be observant as to the amount they are eating and drinking. Please ensure that they drink enough fluids.
- Pocket money should be locked away safely and children allowed to draw a daily amount. They should write the withdrawal on their envelopes and indicate the sum remaining.
- Children should send a postcard or a letter home at least once during the trip.
- Ensure that any bed wetters have a cover on their mattress and (quietly!) check their beds every morning.
- Bedrooms should be kept tidy. Prizes for dorm tidiness and good behaviour also help!
- Staff should take hairdryers with them on trips but children should not use these without supervision.
Children should know the name, address and telephone number of their Centre and what to do in an emergency, eg losing their group. Children will be given wrist bands with the school’s name, number and the extension to use printed on it.
In a medical emergency contact emergency services immediately or arrange for medical attention and attend a hospital or doctor as soon as possible. Two members of staff should accompany the injured or sick child. Take all the medical details and inform school and parents as soon as possible.
Procedure if a child is missing whilst off the school premises
Staff leading trips must take a school or personal mobile and inform the school office of this contact number
1. On trips away from the school, children should be divided into appropriate sized groups according to age and activity. Planning for the groupings will be part of the planning for the trip.
2. Each adult will have details of the children for whom they are responsible. If not in uniform children should wear at least a school sweatshirt if possible or if not a note should be made of at least one identifiable item of clothing the child is wearing. Other children will often remember these details and could be asked in pairs to remember a friend’s clothing before leaving on the trip.
Trip consent forms and contact details will be taken on the trip so that parents/carers can be contacted in an emergency.
3. Children must know who is responsible for them, that they do not wander off and that if they want to go anywhere e.g. to a shop or to the toilet they must ask.
4. Children must be given the green wrist bands with the school’s name, number and the extension to use printed on it. This extension is only to be used in an EMERGENCY and school staff know that the emergency phone must be answered immediately. The children must WEAR these bands at all times (unless they are participating in a match/competition/gala when they may be removed for the duration of the event and then put back on). All the wristbands must be collected on the return to school.
5. Children will be told on every outing what to do if they become separated from the group:
• Stay where you are - we will come back to look for you, (or for older children pre arrange a central meeting point)
• Look around you - can you see your group or one of the other groups?
• If it seems a long time before we find you, whom can you talk to?
a. Someone in uniform from the venue you are visiting or a uniformed person at an airport or station
c. A uniformed policeman or woman
d. A person with other children
If a child goes missing a similar procedure will take place to that at school. Senior staff at the venue will be immediately told and their emergency and search procedures will be activated. Keep school informed at all times.
In case of major crisis or emergency the leader should follow the Crisis Management procedure.
Guidelines for parents accompanying children on educational school trips
To be given and explained to accompanying adults
We very much appreciate parental assistance on these trips and would like to thank you for giving up your time to accompany us. In order to make the trip run smoothly these guidelines may be helpful to you.
If you are on a trip in which your daughter is involved you will not count as a supervising adult and will not be responsible for any group. The teacher in charge will indicate which group you should follow.
The teacher will give you a list of children in your group and instructions as to the aims of the trip, specific activities to be carried out by the children, details as to timing, visits to shops, items which are to be bought (and avoided!), the refreshment programme, etc. Please follow these instructions carefully as it is important that all groups have the same programme and experiences.
Please make sure that you complete the educational aspect of the trip, any work sheets, etc as far as possible, and if there is a problem find the teacher in charge. Do not make decisions about the relevance or difficulty of the task yourself. Stay with your group at all times and help them with their task as appropriate.
Always return to the meeting point with your group for the specified time.
Please do not give your group special treats such as ice creams, visits to the cafeteria/shop which other groups will not have had.
Please do not buy sweets etc to give to the whole class or year group without checking with the teacher in charge first. They take appropriate refreshments with them if necessary.
On each trip the adult/pupil ratio has been carefully calculated according to guidelines and therefore it is essential that you stay with your group at all times. However, if you feel desperately in need of a break please ensure that another adult takes over responsibility for your group until you return.
If there is a visit to a shop included as part of the trip please keep an eye on the type of items the children buy. These should usually be something which will add to their knowledge or go into their folder, eg a postcard or poster but should not be sweets or novelty items. Check first with the teacher if you are unsure.
Thank you again for your help. I hope that these guidelines will help make the trip pleasant and productive for you and the girls.
SIMPLE PROCEDURE GUIDELINES
EDUCATIONAL SCHOOL VISITS
- Preliminary visit for all new off site activities
- Verbal approval required from EVC for new visits
- EVC to liaise with Head if necessary
- Booking form, ratios and risk assessment to be completed by trip leader and approved by EVC then given to Bursar’s Assistant before trip in order that transport and catering requirements are booked.
- All paperwork INCLUDING MEDICAL INFORMATION AND PERMISSION SLIP to be completed by parent
Reviewed September 2004, reviewed June 2008, revised November 2008, October 2009