Educational Visits Policy
Well planned and executed educational visits provide our pupils with valuable experiences which enhance their learning at school. Providing a variety of ‘real-life’ opportunities for our children enables them to achieve a fuller understanding of the world around them through direct experience. Educational visits are an essential element of good educational practice.
Educational Visits can provide stimulus and support to work being covered as part of the school curriculum. It may be that a visit provides an effective stimulus at the start of a unit of work; alternatively teachers may decide to use an educational visit at any time during a project to enhance and support the curriculum.
Wherever or whatever the venue, teachers should ensure that the educational benefits to the children are maximised.
The organisation of an educational visit is crucial to its success and safety. With rigorous organisation and control, a visit should provide a rich, learning experience for the pupils.
The following guidelines support the planning and implementation of educational visits organised at Newman School.
EDUCATIONAL VISITS COORDINATOR:
• will endeavour to ensure that:
• there is a suitable group leader;
• all necessary actions have been completed before the visit begins.
• Preliminary visit is made
• the risk assessment is complete and that it is safe to make the visit;
• training needs have been met;
• the group leader has experience in supervising and controlling the age groups going on the visit and will organise the group effectively;
• the group leader has relevant skills, qualifications needed to carry out a successful visit
• Appropriate staffing ratios are in place for the group
• the governing body has approved the visit if necessary;
• parents have signed consent forms;
• arrangements have been made for all the medical needs and special educational needs of all the children. Care risk assessments are in place and taken on the visit
• all medication is kept safe and secure by the person named on the risk assessment and administered following school policy
• the mode of travel is appropriate to the needs of the group and meets the appropriate legal requirements;
• Appropriate risk assessment is carried out logged on EVOLVE and approved either by the EVC or by the LA when more significant risk is involved
One teacher, the group leader, is responsible overall for the supervision and conduct of the visit, and should have been appointed by the Head Teacher. The Group Leader should:
• appoint a deputy;
• be able to control and lead pupils of the relevant age range;
• be suitable qualified if instructing an activity and be conversant in the good practice for that activity if not;
• undertake and complete the planning and preparation of the visit including the briefing of group members;
• undertake and complete a comprehensive risk assessment;
• have regard to the health and safety of the group at all times;
• know all the pupils proposed for the visit to assess their suitability;
• observe the guidance set out for teachers and other adults below;
• ensure that pupils understand their responsibilities (see responsibilities of pupils below).
Other teachers and adults involved in a visit
Teachers on school-led visits act as employees of the LA or of the Governing Body. They will therefore be acting in the course of their normal employment during their normal hours. They will be acting under an agreement with their Head Teacher and Governors if some of their time on the visit falls outside normal hours.
Teacher and other adults on the visit must:
• do their best to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the group;
• care for each individual pupil as any reasonable parent would;
• follow the instructions of the leader and help with control and discipline.
• consider stopping the visit or the activity if they think the risk to the health or safety of the pupils in their charge is unacceptable.
Responsibilities of pupils
The group leader should make it clear to pupils that they must:
• not take unnecessary risks;
• follow the instructions of the leader and other adults;
• dress and behave sensibly and responsibly;
• look out for anything that might hurt or threaten anyone in the group and tell the group leader about it;
• should not undertake any task that they fear or that they think will be dangerous.
Planning off-site visits
Whether the visit is to a local park, museum, swimming pool, or includes a residential stay, it is essential that careful planning takes place. This involves considering the dangers and difficulties which may arise and making plans to avoid them.
Preliminary visits should be carried out for all outings.
A risk assessment should always be carried out before setting off on a visit, using the online version of the Newman School Format.. The risk assessment will decide the adult: child ratio for each visit. (See Guidance under ‘Supervision’). The risk assessment should include the following considerations:
• what are the risks?
• who is affected by them?
• what safety measures need to be in place to reduce risks to an acceptable level?
• can the group leader guarantee that these safety measures will be provided?
• what steps will be taken in an emergency?
• what is the acceptable ratio of adults to children for this visit? (See section on Supervision.)
The group leader and other supervisors should continually reassess the risks throughout the visit and take appropriate action if pupils are in danger.
The group leader should take the following factors into consideration when assessing the risks:
• the type of activity and the level at which it is being undertaken;
• the location;
• the competence, experience and qualifications of supervisory staff;
• the group members’ age, competence, fitness and temperament;
• pupils with special educational or medical needs;
• the quality and suitability of available equipment;
• seasonal conditions, weather and timing.
Wherever possible the group leader should undertake an exploratory visit to:
• ensure that the venue is suitable to meet the aims and objectives of the school visit;
• assess potential areas and levels of risk;
• ensure that the venue can cater for the needs of the staff and pupils in the group;
• ensure that the group leader is familiar with the area before taking a party of young people.
First Aid provision should be considered when assessing the risks of the visit. For adventurous activities, visits which involve overnight stays, or visits abroad it is sensible to have at least one trained first-aider in the group. All school staff should have at least an emergency aid qualification.
The minimum first-aid provision is:
• a suitably stocked first-aid box;
• a person appointed to be in charge of first-aid arrangements.
• An emergency aider
First-aid should be available and accessible at all times. If a first-aider is attending to one member of the group, there should be adequate first-aid cover for the other pupils. .
It is important to have a sufficient ratio of adult supervisors to pupils for any off-site visit. The factors to take into consideration include:
• sex, age and ability of group;
• specific needs of the pupils;
• nature of activities;
• experience of adults in off site supervision;
• duration and nature of the journey;
• type of any accommodation;
• competence of staff, both general and on specific activities.
There should always be enough supervisors to cope effectively with an emergency. When visits are to remote areas or involved hazardous activities, the risks may be greater and supervision levels should be set accordingly.
As general guidelines, the following ratio of adults to children should be used:
Nursery and Early Years, visits off-site may be as low as: 1:2
Key Stage One, visits off-site on foot: 1:2
Key Stage One, visits off site involving public transport: 1:2
Key Stage Two, visits off-site on foot: 1:4
Key Stage Two, visits off-site involving public transport: 1:4
Key Stage Three and Four, Post 16, determined solely on the needs of the Individual Group taking part in the visit
Regardless of these suggested ratios, each visit will be assessed individually through the school’s risk assessment procedure for educational visits.
These ratios do not include residential visits.
Where there is more than one adult supervisor a group leader, who has authority over the whole party, should be appointed.
Where a high adult:pupil ratio is required, it is not always feasible to use school staff alone. Parents with appropriate clearance may be used to supplement the supervision ratio. They should be carefully selected and ideally they should be well known to the school and the pupil group.
All adult supervisors, including school staff and parent helpers must understand their roles and responsibilities at all times. Teachers retain responsibility for the group at all times.
For the protection of both adults and pupils, all adult supervisors should ensure that they are not alone in a one to one situation with a pupil.
Whatever the length and nature of the visit, regular head counting of pupils should take place. The group leader should establish rendezvous points and tell pupils what to do if they become separated from the party.
Providing information and guidance to pupils is an important part of preparing for a school visit. Pupils should have a clear understanding about what is expected of them and what the visit will entail. Pupils must understand what standard of behaviour is expected of them and why rules must be followed. The lack of control and discipline can be a major contributory factor when accidents occur. Pupils should also be told about any potential dangers and how they should act to ensure their own and other’s safety.
Pupils should be involved in planning, implementing and evaluating their own curricular work and have opportunities to take different roles within an activity. This could include considering any health and safety issues.
Communicating with Parents / Guardians
Parents need to be aware that the teachers on the visit will be acting in their place – ‘in loco parentis’ – and will be exercising the same care that a prudent parent would. The following information on matters that might affect pupils health and safety is useful to parents, and will in included in letter to parents / guardians prior to a visit:
• dates of the visit;
• times of departure and return;
• mode(s) of travel including the name of any travel company;
• details of accommodation with security and supervisory arrangements on site;
• names of leader, or other staff and of other accompanying adults;
• insurance taken out for the group as a whole in respect of luggage, accident, cancellation and medical cover. Any cover to be arranged by the parents, if appropriate, will be requested;
• clothing and equipment to be taken;
• money to be taken;
• the information to be given by parents and what they will be asked to consent to.
Global consent to be gained on a yearly basis for outings with in the Rotherham area.
Newman School will seek additional consent for:
• adventure activities;
• visits abroad;
• other residential visits.
PARENTS MAY BE ASKED FOR A MONETARY CONTRIBUTION TO SCHOOL OUTINGS, HOWEVER INABILITY TO PAY WILL NOT PRECLUDE A PUPIL FROM TAKING PART
Hostels and Hotels
The school will bear in mind the following:
• the STAFF should ideally have adjoining rooms, with two members off staff in each apartment.
• the immediate accommodation area should be exclusively for the use of the group;
• access by staff to student rooms must be available at all times;
• separate male and female sleeping areas for pupils and adults;
• ensure that the whole party are aware of the lay-out of the accommodation, its fire precautions / exits, its regulations and routing, and that everyone can identify key personnel;
• security arrangements – where the reception is not staffed 24 hours a day, security arrangements should be in force to stop unauthorised visitors;
• ensure that locks / shutters etc. work on all the rooms used by the group;
• storage of clothes, luggage, equipment etc., particularly safekeeping of valuables;
• adequate lighting – it is advisable to bring a torch;
• provision for sick, disabled pupils or those with special needs;
• safety in rooms (electrical connections, secure balconies);
• recreational accommodation / facilities for the group.
Medicines and Off Site Activities
• All pupils requiring medication or having a significant health condition which may require emergency treatment should have a Care Plan, draw up by the Nurse Practitioner
• In an emergency follow the agreed procedure.
• All medicines should be carried by the Group Leader or the Senior Member of staff accompanying the group. The medicines should be clearly labelled, check correct:
o Time to be given
• Drugs to be administered in a calm environment with two members of staff present:
o Check label on drug bottle/package
o Record time and amount given
o Both staff to counter sign on appropriate drug record
To Be Reviewed