This policy must be read in conjunction with Newham’s Education Guidance Visits.
At Britannia Village Primary School, 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
- Local visits
- Half or full day visits which need transport
- Residential visits up to 5 days in length
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).
Planning and Preparation
Planning and risk assessment must be completed one week prior to a visit taking place or they will be cancelled. In the event of visits being cancelled any monies will be deducted from phase budgets.
- Visits are planned as part of half-termly or termly curriculum planning.
- Y6 residential visits are planned for the Autumn term. 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.
- Information relating to a destination needs to be sent for in advance of a pre- visit.
- A proposal for a visit should be filled in and a proposed date agreed by the Head or Deputy.
- The trip must be put in the diary in order to avoid clashes including proposed staff they will be taking.
- The risk assessment for the visit must be authorised by the EVC, Head or Deputy at least one week before the planned visit can be authorised.
- Any letters to parents should be copied to the office. (They often take calls or questions from parents and need to know what classes are doing).
- The kitchen staff need to be informed as soon as the visit is authorised (or two weeks before the visit – whichever is appropriate). It is not acceptable to request ‘last minute packed lunches’. Kitchen staff will refuse last minute requests.
- Leaflets and information relating to educational visits should be stored in resource boxes for future use.
- Visits should be planned to avoid PPA, Friday tuition or release times as these can not be rearranged.
- Any travel tickets should be applied for well in advance.
- Teachers must take into account which adults they are taking on a visit and the implications this will have for lunchtimes, breaks and intervention. The SENCO must be made aware of proposals for school staff to accompany trips in good time as staff may not be able to go owing to timetable restrictions.
- Where possible teachers should avoid making visits as year groups – they should consult with the Head or Deputy if they have any questions.
Adult to child ratio
The ratio of adults to children for class outings involving transport should be at least as follows:
1:4 in Foundation Stage
1:6 in Years 1-2
1:10 in Year 3
1:15 in Years 4-6
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 we take?
1 classteacher per class.
A TA for children requiring 1-1 support.
After that the adult-child ratio should be achieved using 1 TA only regardless of how many classes are going out. Any other adults MUST be parent volunteers.
Nursery, Reception, Year 1:
All school employees in the year group plus parent volunteers in order to achieve the ratio.
This number can decrease for local visits, around the village. It is always a good idea to try and bring as many parents onboard.
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. the borough recommend that one accompany children below 8 yrs old.
We have a high ratio of adults to pupils and in certain situations this can be revised. However changes to ratios can only be made after discussion with the EVC, Head or Deputy.
Supply Teachers must not act as Leaders in charge of visits.
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 Head or Deputy.
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.
As far as possible every attempt should be made to allow a child access to the curriculum - and the aims/lo of the visit. This does not have to be done off site but
every effort must be made to ensure that a child is not excluded from a visit because an SEN issue.
It is important to arrange for free transport tickets if the journey requires the use of London Transport. An application should be made as soon as a visit is planned or at least three weeks in advance of the visit if tickets are to arrive on time.
Access arrangements for children with SEN need to be considered. Teachers should consult with the SENCO or SMT in order to consider the needs of a particular child.
Online bookings can be made by logging on to the Transport for London website.
When using public transport it is important to consider:
- Where you will sit
- What you will do if the bus is full
- How long the journey will take
- Your route – at this point consider the shortest route, the least number of escalators, transfer between stations
- How you will take the children down escalators. One adult should remain at the top/bottom while another adult travels to the top/bottom of the escalator on their own.
- When the adult reaches the top/bottom the other adult will begin to put the children on the escalator one at a time. 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
- When walking to a destination; children should walk on the pavement and use crossings. Adults should walk on the right 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.
- Make sure that your risk assessment shows what you will do in the event that someone is left on the platform; the group is split up; the trains are cancelled.
- 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
- Pupils should be easily identifiable; school uniform should be worn except in special circumstances
- 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
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 an 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
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.
- Parents accompanying classes must sign a volunteers form stating that they are under the supervision of the trip leader
- 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)
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.
Letters to parents/carers
Once the details of the visit have been confirmed then a letter to parents and carers should be written. The letter should be checked by the Educational Visits co-ordinator, Head or Deputy and a copy should be given to the school administration staff. The letter should included details of:
- 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
- Cost, including a statement about voluntary contributions. 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. Every effort should be made to collect contributions but no child should be left at school because of financial difficulties.
It is not necessary to ask for permission as all children should have completed an annual consent form, however it is important to check that all children have brought one back.
Refer to Newham’s Guidance for Educational Visits
- 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.
The Risk Assessment is a legal requirement for all activities involving pupils which take place off the school site. The Risk Assessment form must be submitted for final authorisation in order for a visit to take place. A copy should be given to all staff taking part in the visit. (Proforma attached)
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 take a copy of the risk assessment with them and make recommendations to the EVC where they feel changes should be made.
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 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 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.
Group Control and Organisation
It is beneficial to develop a school approach to moving around outside school, begun from Nursery and Reception. Frequent experience of travelling in a group eliminates anxiety and excitable behaviour.
- Short walks around the school grounds or in the local area
- Regular planned visits
- Theme activities to develop life long learning skills
- High expectations of behaviour
- Children are encouraged to consider codes of conduct
- Clear roles and responsibilities for adults
When organising groups you need to consider:
- The dynamics of the group and subsequent groupings
- Whether the leader should oversee all groups or have their own group
- SEN requirements
- Allocation of parents to groups
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 the Borough Educational Visits Guidance (pages 55 to 58 – attached)
All residential visits follow:
- Newham’s guidelines
- School policy on educational visits
All Year 6 classes are taken to Fairplay House in the Autumn term. The visit includes work on Geography, History, PSHE and PE. At least three members of staff accompany the class, and additional staff are available at the Centre.
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. This should explain:
- Purpose of visit
- Costs, including a planned saving scheme
- Practical arrangements
- Arrangements for supervision and safety
- Insurance arrangements
- Medical and emergency arrangements
- Consent forms
- Contact numbers
- 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
Refer Newham Guidance for Educational Visits App.6.
A serious accident may be defined as a fracture, an amputation or any other illness or injury requiring immediate medical treatment and / or hospitalisation for more than twenty-four hours. In some cases a death may have occurred.
All teachers / leaders. Adults involved in the visit, including those involved back at the school such as the Head or Deputy, etc, should have prepared plan of action ready to put into operation automatically and in the shortest possible time should a serious incident, accident or a death occur 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 and Local Authority
- A copy of the emergency procedures and risk assessment should be taken on trip
- Phone school 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
Headteacher guidance and procedures can be found on pages 27 & 28 of the London Borough of Education Visits Guidance 2001
Proposal for Educational Visit
Risk Assessment and example of how to complete
Volunteer Escort Form
Trip Information Sheet
Proforma letter for Parents