Posted by nigel_rice, on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 7:31 pm.
Policy for Welfare, Health & Safety on School Trips
The school places a high value on fieldwork, excursions, visits and organised holidays. Such trips are of enormous benefit. It is a central part of the ethos of the school to provide the opportunity for educational visits and school excursions.
Pupils’ physical and moral safety is of paramount concern. The School accepts that trips, visits and outdoor activities cannot be completely without risk but it requires that those staff in charge take all reasonable precautions to protect the health, safety and welfare of pupils and staff, and minimise the risk of untoward or dangerous situations. (in accordance with DCFS Guidance Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits)
Every effort will be made to ensure that School journeys, visits and activities are available and accessible to all who wish to participate, irrespective of special or medical needs, ethnic origin, gender, religion etc.
Pupils with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities, Special Educational and Medical Needs
Wherever it is feasible, pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities should be included, whilst maintaining the safety of everyone in the group. Any problems/limitations should be considered at the planning stage and when carrying out the risk assessment. Special attention is made to supervision ratios. Each leader, for information, should hold summary sheets containing details of the pupil/pupil’s special needs. The group leader should discuss the visit with parents of those children with special needs to ensure sufficient support is in place for each child and the teacher.
In order to assess whether a trip should be allowed the following criteria will be applied :
Criteria for Departmental Trips
These should have a genuine educational value and/or academic relevance and benefit. Obvious examples would include Geography and Biology Field Trips, Modern Languages trips and Work Experience, History trips to the World War 1 Battlefields etc. They can be day or residential trips.
Criteria for Recreational Holidays
There are a number of purely recreational trips that take place during the year. A variety of weekend activities and excursions are provided for boarders. There are also some trips abroad. These include visits to Germany in the autumn and Ski-ing in the winter. New recreational trips would be considered.
Communication with Parents
It is imperative that parents are given full and complete written details regarding the organisation of all visits off the School campus. For all visits, including residential, a letter specific to that visit will be sent to parents and their consent obtained. Copies of all such letters should be given to the School office for storage. Residential visits will involve a parent’s meeting, where all pertinent information to that visit is outlined and emergency procedures explained. A Parental Consent Form should be completed for each pupil; a medical consent form is also required for all residential visits. This form obtains permission for the staff member in charge of the trip to make medical decisions on behalf of the parents if they cannot be contacted for any reason in an emergency.
Parents are required to give permission in advance for emergency medical treatment. Full contact details for parents must be obtained.
In order to assist with future planning and budgeting, each year a sheet goes out to parents with details and approximate costs of all trips during the next academic year. Any proposed trip or tour for the next academic year must have been approved by the end of the Lent Term of the previous year.
The Number of Subsidised Staff on Trips
There needs to be some standard arrangements for this so that the school is confident that:
- Legal requirements regarding supervision and safety are fully met
- Pupils are well cared for
- Staff are able to enjoy the experience as it is undertaken in their free time
- Parents are not unduly subsidising unnecessary staff.
In most cases the travel company gives a standard number of free or subsidised places. (This normally varies from 1:12 to 1:8). This figure should be made clear in writing on the Trip Proposal form. If the member of staff organising the trip believes that there is a particular reason for having additional staff this MUST be cleared with the Headmaster during the planning stage of the trip.
Financing of Trips
All trips should be self-financing. If there are any unexpected losses they should be explained in writing to the Bursar.
Detailed accounts of all school trips must be given to the Bursar within one month after the return to school.
Parents will be charged for any trips either by direct payment to the school or by instalments on the termly disbursement account.
No money held on behalf of the pupils should be paid into a private bank account.
Planning the Trip
- At the earliest possible opportunity gain the permission of the Headmaster for the trip by filling in a Trip Proposal form. This should be done before the trip is mentioned to pupils.
- Prior written consent should be obtained from parents to the trip or tour programme, to the exact cost of the trip, to any activities (or possible activities) undertaken on the trip, to the accommodation to be used and to the arrangements for dealing with medical emergencies. A trip Medical Consent Form must be completed for each pupil.
- The parents of any pupil with special needs should be consulted regarding all arrangements for the proposed trip and activities they will be involved in.
- Adequate travel insurance must be arranged. This will be covered by the tour companies arrangements for insurance cover or by the school insurance. Parents should be provided with copies of insurance cover.
- If the trip is residential there must be a nominated person who acts as the home based contact. There should also be an emergency back-up. These will be the staff accompanying the children on the trip.
- For residential trips a phone pyramid with parents must be organised to facilitate communications in case of delay, accident or change of plans.
- If BOARDERS are going on day or residential trip Mrs Fisher MUST be fully informed about departure and arrival times. The Kitchen staff must also be informed if meals will be missed or extra meals needed.
The following should be lodged with the school office before you leave.
For all Trips
- Copies of all letters concerning the trip sent to parents, these must be approved by the school office before they are sent out.
- The School Trip Proposal Form which will contain: a list of names of all pupils and staff; addresses and contact name of place to be visited, the trip organiser’s contact number and the contact number for the emergency back-up.
- A Risk Assessment
For Residential Trips
Both the above and :
- Name of home based contact
- List of contact phone numbers for the pupils and staff (remember that parents may not be at their usual address during the holidays)
- Phone number and address of your place of accommodation
- Details of itinerary
For Trips abroad
All the above and:
- Flight /ferry times and details
- Passport details
Safety and Welfare
It is essential that the trip leader should make a careful and written risk assessment of all aspects of the trip. This MUST be handed into Mrs Fisher at least 7 days prior to departure.
Good practice would include :
- Making a preliminary visit to the site of the trip (If this is not feasible you must discuss with Mrs Fisher)
- Looking into the qualifications of any outside instructors or guides to ensure they meet nationally required standards.
- Ensuring that there will be acceptable provision of sufficient and appropriate food and drink.
- Ensuring that as far as possible pupils should not be exposed to smoke from cigarettes when travelling.
- Adequate emergency care should be available and arrangements made for caring for any pupil who is ill.
- First Aid kits must be carried. Consult the school office well in advance of departure.
- In the case of pupils who need medication check with parents whether they wish you to keep and administer it (always get this permission in writing) or whether the pupils are competent to administer it themselves. In either case note down details of the drug and dosage.
- In hot countries care should be taken to ensure that pupils are protected from the harmful rays of the sun and from the effects of dehydration.
- The exact circumstances of any accidents, injuries or illnesses must be carefully recorded.
- For residential trips always check all allocated rooms on arrival at your accommodation and make sure that there is nothing unsafe and that you have noted anything that is broken, missing or in any way inadequate. Inform the hotel management at once.
- Pupils MUST be shown Fire Escape routes in hotels and guest houses on arrival.
- Make sure that the pupils know where to find a member of staff in the night in the case of any emergency.
- Members of Staff must check that all pupils are in their rooms at the appropriate bed-time. The security of their rooms should also be checked and where there are locks these should be used. If pupils are sleeping in downstairs rooms windows should be shut.
- Host Families : Where pupils are staying with host families parents should be quite clear that these families may be totally unknown to school staff. Social services guidelines suggest that it is wise for all accommodation to be personally checked in advance by staff. Of even greater significance is the expectation that all adults, who, during the visit may have unsupervised access to pupils should be checked through the procedures laid out in the School Safeguarding (Child Protection) Policy. Any host families must be supplied with clear, written guidelines covering such things as provision of meals, standard of accommodation, bedtimes, levels of supervision necessary, a contact number of the person in charge of the party and any special instructions regarding medical conditions, allergies etc.
- Mixed parties must contain at least one male and one female member of Staff. If all pupils are over 16, there may be circumstances in which this rule need not apply on a day trip. (Seek advice from the school office as far in advance as possible). On all overnight trips involving a mixed group there must be at least one male and one female member of staff.
- Volunteers accompanying residential trips should be CRB checked.
- Ten pupils per member of Staff on non-hazardous trips abroad or on residential trips in this country is the guideline.
- For day trips in this country the number of pupils may be higher, but there should never be a ratio of less than one teacher per 20 students.
- Visits that involve pupils from Nursery and Reception should have supervision ratios of 1:4, and be accompanied by a qualified pediatric first aider.
- Visits that involve pupils in Years 1 to 3 should have a supervision ratio of 1:6 adults to pupils.
- Visits that involve Years 4 to 6 should have a supervision ratio of 1:10 pupils.
- Residential visits should be at a supervision ratio of 1:10 adults to pupils
- Residential visits abroad should be at a supervision ratio of 1:8 adults to pupils.
Always take a mobile phone on every outing. There is a school mobile phone available. This can be booked out from the school office. Please always ring into school if you are delayed.
Supervision of Swimming in Swimming Pools
Staff must ensure that the Swimming Pool is safe. This would include :
- Are there accurate signs displaying the depth of the pool ?
- Are there lifeguards present
- Is there a poolside telephone and an alarm
- Is the water clear and regularly tested for cleanliness
- Is the water less than 1.5 metres deep ? If so diving must not be permitted.
A member of staff must always remain on the side of the pool. There should be a supervision level of at least 1 teacher to 20 pupils.
Supervision of Swimming in the Sea or other natural waters
THIS IS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS. IT SHOULD ONLY BE UNDERTAKEN IF THE PARTY LEADER GIVES PERMISSION AND IF A TEACHER PRESENT ON THE TRIP HOLDS A RELEVANT LIFE GUARDING QUALIFICATION.
Pupils Left Unsupervised
- If it is intended that pupils are to be left unsupervised by a member of staff at any stage (e.g. allowed to go shopping or even out in the evening), parents must be informed in writing and in detail prior to the trip that this will be occurring.
- Pupils should never be allowed to go off in groups of less than three and should always have a report back time.
- Pupils should never be allowed to swim or take part in any activity which may cause harm unsupervised.
Behaviour on the Trip
All pupils should observe the highest standards of politeness, courtesy and conduct at all times. Particular care needs to be taken when on public transport or in residential accommodation. Even out of school time pupils are representing the school and should do everything in a way that reflects positively on them as well as on their school. The expectations of good behaviour must be explained to pupils before any trip and reiterated as appropriate.
The normal procedure is that pupils should not be allowed to drink alcohol when on School trips. There may however be exceptions to this :
- If the pupils are of a legal drinking age in the relevant country.
- If the Headmaster has been consulted.
- parents have signed a consent form which makes it clear under what circumstances the pupils are allowed to drink (eg with meals, when a member of staff is present or in other reasonable circumstances)
Smoking is not be permitted on School trips.
Pupils Sent Home
It should be made clear to parents in advance that if a pupil is sent home for misbehaviour then parents will be expected to pay for all costs incurred.
Minibuses are booked via the school office. All drivers must be over 25 (except with special permission) and have passed the appropriate test before transporting pupils.
Although the School Driver is responsible for the maintenance of minibuses, the law directs that the driver is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is fit for use. Therefore before departure basic checks on the vehicle ought to be carried out :
- Lights (including hazard warning lights)
- Tyre pressures and wear
- Fluid levels: oil, brakes, radiator, windscreen washer
- Wipers and horn
The driver should check that all passengers have correctly adjusted and fastened their seatbelts.
The driver should check that all doors are properly closed before departure.
Ensure that any loose items (bags etc) are safely stowed at floor level and are not blocking the way out of the minibus.
If the minibus has a roof rack, check that it is secure. It is the driver’s duty to make sure that anything stowed on the roof rack is secured safely at all times.
Length of Driving
For all but short journeys, it is strongly recommended that there should be two drivers
After three hours of driving, drivers MUST take a break of at least 20 minutes (except where a relief driver is available)
Speed limits must be adhered to at all times.
Accidents / Incidents / Vehicle Faults
Any of the above must be reported to the school office on returning to school.
Taking a Minibus Abroad
(YOU MUST CONSULT THE school office BEFORE PLANNING THIS)
Anyone considering taking a minibus abroad should acquaint themselves with the Department of Transport Regulations. In addition the following must be borne in mind :
The vehicle should have a tachograph which must be used.
There is a continuous driving limit of four and a half hours (with a minimum break of 45 minutes between sessions).
You may not drive for more than nine hours a day.
When driving in the EU the following documents are required:
(a) The Insurance Certificate
(b) A Green Card from the insurance company,
(c) Vehicle accident/recovery insurance,
(d) The registration document for the mini-bus,
(e) A letter of permission from the registered mini-bus owner,
(f) An Own Accounts Certificate for EU travel.
It is essential to take with you:
(a) Spare bulbs,
(b) 2 red triangles,
(c) Headlight deflectors.
After the journey:
(a) The driver should complete an appropriate entry in the bus logbook for every trip.
(b) The driver is responsible for ensuring that the bus is left in a clean and tidy state.
If in doubt about any aspect of a school trip you should consult the school office.
Evaluation and Reporting
Whilst verbal feedback of a trip may be given to the Head on the day, a written evaluation of each visit should be made (in note form) on the end of the risk assessment form. This should be carried out within a week of the visit and submitted to SMT. After consultation any arising issues should be noted, addressed and / or resolved. Children may also be involved in this process. Any appropriate letter of thanks should be written and sent.
Management and Development
The Health and Safety officer is Mrs Fisher. It is the Health and Safety Officer’s responsibility to:
- Update, communicate and discuss School policy in relation to trips/visits.
- Provide support for staff planning and organising trips.
- Advise and liaise on current Department for Education and Skills‛ guidelines, especially Health and Safety issues.
This policy was updated in August 2011 and will be reviewed in August 2012.