Educational Visits Policy
Safely managed educational visits with a clear purpose are an indispensable part of a broad and balanced curriculum and a vibrant aspect of the study support programme at Priory Woods School. They are an opportunity to extend the learning of young people including an enrichment of their understanding of themselves, others and the world around them and are to be encouraged.
Priory Woods School recognises its ‘Duty of Care’ and statutory responsibilities for the Health, Safety and Welfare of participants, staff, voluntary assistants, providers and members of the public in connection with educational visits for which it is accountable. (reference: DfES/0803/2001, Health and Safety: Responsibilities and Powers)
In order to achieve and maintain the highest possible standards in this regard the school has adopted the following guidelines issued by the DfES:
Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits DfES/HSPV2, September 1998
Standards for LEAs in Overseeing Educational Visits DfES/0564/2002, July 2002
Standards for Adventure DfES/0565/2002, July 2002
A Handbook for Group Leaders DfES/0566/2002, July 2002
Group Safety at Water Margins DfES/CCPR/2002, Dec. 2002
These guidelines will form the basis of good practice in the management and conduct of educational visits. From time to time they will be supplemented by complementary guidelines, instructions and procedures issued by the LEA, or by the School with the approval of the LEA. Together they will be known as ‘Safety Guidelines for Educational Visits and Adventure Activities’.
- To ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to benefit from educational visits;
- To ensure that all visits are safe, purposeful and appropriate to meet the educational needs of pupils taking part;
- To enable the School to identify appropriate functions, responsibilities, training, support and monitoring for governors and all committees, staff, volunteer assistants, pupils and providers involved in educational visits;
- To enable compliance with LEA ‘Safety Guidelines for Educational Visits and Adventure Activities’ which incorporate guidelines published by the DfES in 1998 entitled ‘Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits’ together with Supplements 1-3 published in July 2002 and Group Safety at Water Margins issued by the DfES in conjunction with the CCPR in December 2002;
- To ensure that whenever appropriate, further advice is sought from the LEA and from other technically competent sources.
- All educational visits will be linked to the objectives of the School and planned sufficiently well in advance in accordance with good practice and effective planning procedures; staff will use the Evolve system to plan and have visits over half a day approved.
- Governors will include in their role the support of School policy and procedures for educational visits including the reporting of visits;
- The Head teacher will be responsible for the approval of all visits but may delegate the approval of local routine and low risk visits (Category A) to an appropriate member of staff which may be the Educational Visits Coordinator;
- The Head teacher will approve all higher risk visits including adventure activities, residential experience and foreign travel (Categories B and C). The most demanding of visits (Category C) will be submitted to the LEA for endorsement;
- A named Educational Visits Coordinator (EVC) will be appointed;
- The EVC will support the Governors and Headteacher with approval, decisions and the management of educational visits in accordance with ‘Safety Guidelines for Educational Visits and Adventure Activities’ and in particular as described in ‘DfES: Standards for LEAs in Overseeing Educational Visits’ section 6;
- There will be a named and approved Group Leader (and where appropriate, deputy) on all educational visits;
- Working with the EVC as necessary, the Group Leader will be responsible for all aspects of the planning, risk assessment and organisation of the visit. The Group Leader will assume full responsibility during the visit, including ongoing risk assessment, in accordance with ‘Safety Guidelines for Educational Visits and Adventure Activities’ and in particular ‘DfES: A Handbook for Group Leaders’ and ‘DfES/CCPR: Group Safety at Water Margins’;
- The Group Leader will ensure Best Value principles are used when purchasing goods and services, that appropriate checks are made, that insurance and financial procedures have been followed;
- The School Prospectus will provide parents/guardians with information about policy and procedures relating to the safe management of educational visits;
- Parents or guardians will be given sufficient written and supplementary information about educational visits to enable them to make informed decisions and give written consent together with medical and emergency contact details;
- Whenever appropriate for high risk, residential and foreign visits a briefing meeting with parents/guardians will be arranged;
- Expectations with regard to behaviour and codes of conduct will be explained to parents and guardians. This information will include the necessity of meeting additional costs and making collection arrangements in certain circumstances.
- Wherever possible pupils should be involved with the planning of an educational visit, establishing codes of conduct, assessing and managing risk and evaluating their own learning, development, attitudes and behaviour;
- Pupils should be adequately briefed about aims, expectations and codes of conduct for all educational visits. Ongoing briefings are an important element of learning and safety.
- All documentation must be completed and approved by the head, deputy or EVC before an educational visit can take place.
- The group leader, working the EVC as necessary, is responsible for ensuring that all relevant documents are completed before any visit takes place.
- Full day and residential, or visits beyond Middlesbrough’s borders must be planned and approved via Evolve.
Although this policy focuses on the management of Health, Safety and Welfare, educational visits are an integral part of the strategy for learning and the curriculum plan. The policy should therefore be linked to complementary policies concerned with such issues as equality of opportunity, special educational needs, social inclusion and staff development.