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EDUCATIONAL VISITS POLICY



 

Britannia Education Trust

 

   
   

 

Policy for

Educational Visits

 

The Educational Visits Co-ordinator at Britannia Education Trust is Olaf Moorhouse


Adopted: June 2017

Reviewed: May 2019

Next review: Summer 2021

 
  1. INTRODUCTION

At Britannia Education Trust, educational visits are seen as an integral part of school life. As part of our aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, educational visits should:

 
  • Have a stated educational purpose

  • Provide children with first hand experiences

  • Enhance learning opportunities

  • Develop personal and social skills

  • Provide meaningful links between curriculum areas

  • Enhance children’s learning in a range of curriculum areas

  • Be planned and prepared for thoroughly.

 

Visits include:

  • Local visits

  • Half or full day visits which need transport

  • Residential visits up to 5 days in length

 

2. EMPLOYERS POLICY AND NATIONAL GUIDANCE

Britannia Education Trust follows the health and safety standard procedure document (SP54) for all educational visits. These take into account the advice and guidelines that are included within this document and other aspects of NPW guidelines, such as those included within the London Borough of Newham health and safety management system. Britannia Education Trust also adopts National Guidance www.oeapng.info  

 

3. CLARIFICATION OF ROLES

The EVC at Britannia Education Trust is Olaf Moorhouse (Deputy Headteacher)

 

4. PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS

Please find information below with regards to visits (all visits - including sporting/specialist events). Teachers plan fantastic learning experiences for our children but it is important to make sure that all are consistent with preparation and organisation. Visits are planned as part of curriculum planning.

 

   a) Consent Forms

Annual consent forms should be completed by all children at the beginning of each academic year.  New admissions will be asked to complete the form during the admissions interview. (It is a good idea to ask parents to complete them in the parent consultation meetings in September). This consent covers educational visits which take place during a normal school day. Parents will be made aware of the visits but need not complete a separate consent form.

 

  b) General Visits procedure

1) Discussed

The visit is discussed as a year group and availability checked.

 

2) Requested

Visit must be  provisionally requested in the internal diary ‘®’ (they are then added to the website Calendar) having checked that there are no clashes such as PPA, intervention days,  multiple year groups have already requested visits. Teachers then email the Educational Visits Co-ordinator (EVC) about the visit. What? Where? Why? Cost? The visit is not solidly booked until email confirmation from the EVC (and the SENCO cc’d in) is received.

 

3) Letters

A letter must be sent to the office and then onto parentmail. Parent volunteers are requested at this stage. It may not always be possible to allocate the number of spaces on a visit to meet the demand from parents and so on some occasions parents are chosen randomly (particularly on extremely limited place visits). Teachers will aim to ensure that, across the year, they have given parents equal opportunities to take part on visits. The more notice teachers provide, the greater the chance of availability of parents. Parents and adult helpers are not charged for accompanying a class.  Their admission fee, if applicable should be budgeted for in the cost of the children’s visit.

Letters to parents will include the following details:

  • Venue

  • Date

  • Departure and arrival times

  • What the children should wear (school uniform should be worn unless the children are taking part in a particular activity which requires them to dress up e.g. as Victorian children, or if they were going to a farm and were expected to get very muddy).  It is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure parents/carers are aware of the clothing requirements for the visit.

  • What to take

  • Packed lunches

 

It is not necessary to ask for permission as parents will have completed a general consent form on admission. For visits which exceed the end of the normal school day, further written consent from parents should be sought in order to confirm that the parent is aware of a late return.

 

4) Lunches

Lunches requested within the letter above are then added to a lunch request form with the correct trip name, date and numbers on. This needs to be given to the caterer two weeks before the visit in order to make the catering team aware.

 

5) Transport

Transport must be organised in advance - teachers to book using  TfL. A coach needs to be approved by the EVC and at this point the relevant admin staff (those responsible for securing coach bookings) will need to know - final times, numbers, toilet or tv needs (coaches with toilets and tv’s should only be necessary for long journeys).

www.tfl.gov.uk/schoolparty Username: Britannia7E16

 

6) Assessment

Teachers complete the risk assessment at least 1 week before the visit. Previous risk assessments may be amended here in terms of transport requirements, access and indeed onsite risks. The risk assessment must also be shared with the SENCO in order to ensure that the health, medical and dietary risks of individual children have been considered.

 

7) Approval

At this point the trip is finally approved and an ‘A’ will be added to the internal diary by the EVC.

 

c) Communication

For visits which extend beyond the school day, the school office and parents will be updated with arrival times should the pupils be returning to school later than originally intended. On residential visits or visits where the distance is significant (such as Birmingham), school parties will inform the office and parents that pupils have arrived safely and when they are setting off with an estimated time of arrival. Parental consent is required for visits which intentionally extend and begin beyond the end of the normal school day.

 

d) Adults on the Visit

The number of adults will depend on the nature of the visit and the amount of supervision needed. The needs of the class and individuals should also be taken into account.

 

How many school employees should attend the visit?

 

Y2 Upwards

Ratios will be agreed prior to the visit with EVC.

 

Nursery, Reception, Year 1:

All school employees in the year group plus parent volunteers in order to achieve a suitable ratio.

 

This number can decrease for local visits, around the ‘village’. We always aim to invite as many parents as the visit allows.

 

First Aiders

It is not necessary to have a trained first aider accompany a visit.  With the exception of children aged below five when a paediatric first aider should go.  

 

Supply Teachers will not act as leaders in charge of visits. Newly Qualified Teachers must be supported in working towards leading visits and this should feature as part of their induction.

 

5. INCLUSION

All pupils must be considered when planning an educational visit.  Children with SEN or behavioural difficulties should not be excluded from a visit unless every effort has been made to include them and meet their needs.  It will be necessary to discuss each individual case with the EVC.

An educational visit is part of the curriculum and as such exclusion from a visit should not be used as a strategy to punish or negotiate with a child.  In cases where a pupil’s behaviour may endanger the safety of the group and/or cause disruption to the visit it will be necessary to consider all options before excluding a child from taking part.  Parents may be asked to accompany their child and take responsibility for them. If this is not possible the child must attend school as normal.

 

6. RISK MANAGEMENT

 

     a) Risk Assessments

The Risk Assessment is a requirement for all activities involving pupils which take place off the school site. Children who need 1:1 supervision and adults accompanying them must be mentioned on the risk assessment and children that have any medical needs should be identified and risk assessed. Staff must consider health, medical and dietary requirements when planning visits.

The Risk Assessment form must be submitted for final authorisation in order for a visit to take place.  A copy should be shared with all staff taking part in the visit.

 

Leaders should check if venues have their own risk assessments for reference.

 

Frequent visits to local venues such as swimming pools will not need risk assessments every time.  A generic assessment of the risks of such visits should be made at regular intervals, and careful monitoring should take place.  Staff taking children swimming should be aware of the risks and make recommendations to the EVC where they feel changes should be made.

 

   b) Risk considerations

When taking a coach it is important to consider:

Route of the  journey and if this will be affected by London traffic on route or on the return journey.

Having a list of parent contact details in case of delays and no one in school (due to time of visit)

Duration of time on the coach and if toilet breaks need to be considered.

Procedure if the coach breaks down

Positioning of the staff and other adults on the coach.

 

When using public transport it is important to consider:

 

Buses

  • Where children will sit

  • What teachers will do if the bus is full

  • How long the journey will take

 

Trains

  • The  route – at this point teachers consider the shortest route, the least number of escalators, transfer between stations

  • When moving down escalators, one adult should remain at the top/bottom while another adult travels to the top/bottom of the escalator with the pupils.

  • Children should be reminded to stand on the right with their hand on the handrail.  Other adults will accompany the children at regular intervals.

  • When getting on a train the leader of the visit will organise one adult to go onto the train and one to stay on the platform until the children are safely on the train.  All children should be in one carriage.

  • When leaving the train one adult must stay on the train until all of the children are safely on the platform before getting off themselves

 

Road Safety

  • When walking to a destination; children should walk on the pavement and use crossings.  Adults should walk on the side of the children nearest the road. Nominated adults should stand in the road while the children are crossing to ensure that the children cross promptly and that traffic is made to stop.  It is best to take all of the children across the road at once - however if this is not possible then your risk assessment should clearly identify which groups will wait for lights to change before crossing.

 

Headcounts

  • Regular Headcounts of pupils should take place before leaving any venue

  • All adults should carry a list of pupils and adults involved in the visit if there is the chance that they will be split up.

  • Pupils should be easily identifiable; school uniform should be worn except in special circumstances. Children should wear high-visibility jackets.

  • Pupils should not wear name badges but can wear a badge with the name of the school

  • Rendezvous points should be established by the group leader and all adults an children should be aware of what to do if they become separated from the group

 

Remote Supervision

This is not appropriate for children unless it is in the same room.  For supervision of

Yr. 6 children during residential visits see Residential Visit Section

 

Conduct of Children and Adults

Children must be reminded of behaviour expectations prior to the visit and must be told:

  • How they are expected to walk along pavements

  • How they should wait at bus stops or on station platforms

  • That they must sit down on coaches and other means of transport, if this is not possible they should stand near a school adult and hold on to handrails

  • How they are to board buses and trains

  • How they will cross the roads

  • How they will conduct themselves at the place they are visiting

  • When they will be eating

  • What they should do if they get lost

 

Note - to avoid dehydration during warmer parts of the year, pupils should bring water bottles for longer journeys.

 

6. SUPERVISING ADULTS

Adults must be provided with a copy of the volunteer guidance and the group leader should go through it with them.  The guidance is attached to the policy.

Parent/adult volunteers

  • Parents accompanying classes must sign a volunteers form stating that they are under the supervision of the trip leader

  • Volunteers will be made up only of parents and student teachers/HE students. These will all be above the age of 18.

  • Parent volunteers need to be made aware that they may not be asked to look after their own child

  • Volunteers may not bring siblings/pushchairs on visits and parents who are not volunteers should not accompany classes at all. (This includes parents who ask to follow the class with siblings).

  • Staff should only use mobile phones on Educational Visits to maintain contact with the school. Parent volunteers must not use mobile phones in the presence of children.

 

All accompanying adults should be briefed by the visit leader and everyone should be clear who the leader is.  A meeting should be arranged before the visit takes place and all adults made aware of travel arrangements, groupings, emergency arrangements, and activities.


7. SAFETY and EMERGENCIES

 

Safety

  • Children must be supervised by an adult at all times, including lunch times

  • A suitable place for lunch and toilet facilities needs to be considered

  • Staff must make an assessment of any potential hazardous situations before the visit takes place, e.g. children’s playgrounds

  • All adults need to be comprehensively briefed so that they know the itinerary, which group of children are in their charge, the aims of the visit, and exactly what their duties are.

 

Emergencies

If an emergency occurs on a school visit the group leader should maintain or resume control of the group overall.  The main factors they should consider include:

  • Establish the nature and extent of the emergency as quickly as possible;

  • Ensuring that all the group are safe and looked after;

  • Establishing the names of any casualties and getting immediate medical attention;

  • Ensuring that a teacher/TA accompanies casualties to hospital and that the rest of the group are adequately supervised and kept together;

  • Notify the police if necessary;

  • Ensure all group members are following the emergency procedures and the roles allocated to them – revising and re-directing as necessary;

  • Inform the school;

  • Details of the incident passed on to the school should include: nature, date and time of incident; location; names of any casualties and details of injuries; action taken so far and action yet to be taken;

  • Ascertaining phone numbers for future phone calls – try to get a landline number from a local shop or school for example;  

  • Write down an account of the incident as soon as possible;

  • Complete an accident report form as soon as possible;

  • Do not speak to the media;

  • Do not accept liability for anything;

  • Keep receipts for any expenses incurred.


8. GROUP CONTROL AND ORGANISATION

It is beneficial to develop a whole school approach to moving around outside school, beginning from Nursery and Reception.  Frequent experience of travelling in a group eliminates anxiety and excitable behaviour.

 

Our Approach:

  • Short walks around the school grounds or in the local area

  • Regular planned visits

  • Planned thematic learning linked visits which are in line with delivering our broad, balanced and creative curriculum

  • High expectations of behaviour

  • Children are encouraged to consider codes of conduct (see previous section on conduct)

  • Clear roles and responsibilities for adults

 

When organising groups, teachers need to consider:

  • The dynamics of the group as a whole and when they are split into smaller groups at the destination venue.

  • Whether the leader should oversee all groups or have their own group

  • SEN requirements

  • Allocation of volunteers to groups


9. TYPES OF VISITS

For visits which require more detailed safety procedures e.g. farms, seaside, swimming pools, woodland areas, kayaking on the docks,  risk assessments must be written in consultation with the Educational Visits Co-ordinator and with reference to national guidance.

 

Local/Wider Educational Visits

A local visit is considered local to the school and anywhere in London that is accessible by public transport.

Wider visits must consider route and transport carefully and must be deemed of value if the school day is to be prolonged. Parents must have plenty of prior notice if start /end of times are different to normal. A member of SLT must be in school for the return of an extended visit. SLT are responsible for children who are not collected on time.

Full day and half day visits must be planned in plenty of time (at least 2 weeks) so that all aspects of the visit are considered.

 

Residential Visits

All residential visits follow:

  • Newham’s guidelines

  • School policy on educational visits

  • National Guidance

 

Y6 residential visits are planned for the Summer Term (Lille, France).  Parents and Carers are informed so that they have time to finance their additional contribution.  The visit is booked one year in advance and more detailed planning takes place at the beginning of the new school year.

Year 5 residential visits are planned for the Spring Term (Fairplay House). Parents and Carers are informed so that they have time to pay.  The visit is booked one year in advance and more detailed planning takes place at the beginning of the new school year.

Year 4 residential visit is planned for either the Summer Term (Science Museum) or Autumn Term (Celtic Harmony).

 

Residential participation - although we expect our staff to take part in residential visits, we understand that there may be determining factors as to why the visit may not be suitable. Staff have the option to swap with another teacher at school.  Parents will not be invited to attend residential visits.

 

Individual venues have their own risk assessments but risks will also be considered by the school. For school constructed residential visits such as the visit to France, individual risk assessments are built covering each venue/activity.

 

Plans for a residential visit need to take place 9–12 months in advance. Prior to any residential visit, the staff responsible need to visit the venue to:

 
  • Check for suitability and safety, especially appropriate safety standards in outdoor activity centres

  • Look at disabled access/facilities/arrangements

  • Collect information about the venue and its surrounding area

  • Find out location, address and phone numbers of the local doctor’s surgery, nearest hospital etc

 

Following the initial visit, curriculum plans need to be finalised with the centre staff. A parents’ meeting is arranged early in the Autumn term for Year 6 and Year 5 parents. This should explain:

 
  • Purpose of visit

  • Costs, including a planned saving scheme

  • Practical arrangements

  • Itinerary

  • Arrangements for supervision and safety

  • Insurance arrangements

  • Medical and emergency arrangements

  • Consent forms

  • Contact numbers

 

Further preparations:

  • A detailed itinerary

  • Contact numbers of parents and staff

  • Medical and dietary arrangements needed

  • Rotas of staff on duty

  • Use of leisure time

  • Stand-by staff arrangements (They must be available throughout the entire event, and must hold all information, contact numbers, hotel numbers etc, to enable them to respond to an emergency at either end).

 

During the visit:

  • Staff must ensure the adequate supervision and safety of all children at all times

  • In the case of any emergency, the appropriate adults at school must be contacted immediately

  • Children should know which adult is on duty at all times and what to do if they have a problem at any time

 

Action Planning for Emergency

A serious incident may be defined as one where members of the party are under serious threat or have suffered serious injury/suddenly become unwell enough to require urgent medical attention.


All teachers / leaders involved in the visit, including those involved back at the school such as the Head or Deputy, etc, should have a prepared plan of action ready to put into operation automatically and in the shortest possible time should a serious incident, injury involving members of the party on the visit whether in this country or abroad.

 

In planning for Emergency

Non serious (tube delayed, transport disruption)

  • Teachers need to have contact numbers for the school.

  • A copy of the emergency procedures and risk assessment should be taken on the trip

  • Phone school office and inform them of the delay so that parents can be alerted

  • Visit leaders will consult risk assessment and decide whether to put plan B into operation

 

Serious (serious injury, hospitalisation, involvement of emergency services or media)

  • Leader should ensure all children and staff are safe from danger

  • Phone emergency services and the school

  • School inform Education Department

  • Allocate one adult (not the Leader) to accompany any injured child(ren) to hospital

  • Children should return to school under adequate supervision

  • A careful, written record of all facts and circumstances should be made as soon as possible


10. DATA PROTECTION:

Please ensure that documents containing pupil names, details of staff, telephone numbers etc is only held by the visits leader and is destroyed at the end of the visit.

 

11. INDUCTION, TRAINING AND MONITORING

The EVC will ensure that annual Educational Visits training takes place. The EVC will also attend regular network meetings with the EVC Hub to keep apprised of updates with regards to best practice in Educational Visits. Educational Visits forms part of NQT induction. Visits are evaluated regularly. The EVC or a member of senior staff will attend Educational Visits within a year in a monitoring capacity. Staff will receive feedback on this and risk assessments will be updated as necessary.

 

12. FINANCE

Parents are not asked to contribute towards educational visits apart from residential visits - and these are subsidised by the school. Special considerations can be made for families with regards to financing residential visits, these include payment schemes and discounts. Families in receipt of benefits are entitled to discounted residential visits at 50% of the cost to other families.

 

OTHER DOCUMENTS RELATING TO EDUCATIONAL VISITS:

 

Proposal for Educational Visit checklist

Risk Assessment template

Volunteer Escort Form

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