This policy is written in line with the DfES Health and Safety: Advice on legal duties and Powers. The recommendations made in this document are reflected in this policy.
Educational visits are an integral part of Role Model’s Residential Life Skills Courses, furthering the education of the pupils. Visits must be well organised, stimulating and worthwhile. The children are well prepared for the visit and, subsequently, put the experience to good effect. Visits are well planned by the course providers with the safety and welfare of the children being of paramount importance.
Early planning is essential for any visit. Plans for educational visits are formulated well in advance, ideally 6 months prior to the course taking place, but no later than 6 weeks before the course starts.
The management bear ultimate responsibility for adherence to the guidelines and procedures laid out in the policy but delegate overseeing the arrangements for a trip to course Coordinators.
Following approval for the trip by the management, the Course Lead provides and signs off on all details of the trip. Throughout the planning period, it is vital to keep both a check-list of jobs to be done and a record of those completed. Please follow the guidance checklist on Visits.
Planning of A Trip
Planning of a trip includes:
1. Financial Arrangements
The costs for educational visits are included within the course fees so it is important to check with management that they work.Costs to be itemised for a visit are:• Travel• Entrance fees for staff, voluntary helpers and pupils• Hire of equipment (for activities)• Preliminary visits
This should be organised as soon as possible and no later than 6 weeks before the trip:• If travelling by coach, a request should be made to the office who will book the coach, confirm the booking in writing and telephone the coach firm a few days beforehand to make the final arrangements. Vehicles used must comply with the current requirements on seat belts and only coaches with seat belts will be booked. All seats must be forward facing, and seat restraints must comply with legal requirements. The drivers must be suitably qualified and experienced. Smoking during employment is not allowed.• If travelling by public transport, tickets should be requested trough the group travel bookings with TfL. This should include journeys which are planned to begin before 09:50 when the TFL ticket becomes valid for any group of travellers. Making the application will ensure the ticket can be used for the return journey.
3. Staffing Requirements
The number of members of staff accompanying the educational visit must be determined according to the following staff (adult)/pupil ratio:1:4 Nursery (age 3/4)1:4 Reception (age 4/5)1:5 KS1 (age 5/7)1:6 KS2 (age 8/11)• Group leaders and staff are reminded to avoid any 1:1 situations with pupils that might be open to misinterpretation.• Specific duties, and the names of the pupils for whom each person is responsible, must be identified.• Members of staff must be able at the very least, to cope with the physical demands expected of the pupils, especially if, as part of supervisory duties, they are with the children during activities or treks. Role Models does not permit staff to assume responsibility for any activity for which they are not qualified, e.g. water sports.• If a child has SEN support for a behavioural or medical need, their Learning Support Assistant must accompany them on the visit. If this is not possible, another member of specifically trained staff is assigned to supervise the pupil.• At least one member of the accompanying staff must hold a valid emergency first-aid certificate and carry an appropriate first-aid kit.
4. Preliminary Visit
An exploratory visit is ideally made by the Group Leader. This is to acquire knowledge at first hand:• That the venue and the journey to the venue are suitable • To assess potential areas and levels of risk, completing a Risk Assessment• To become familiar with the area before taking the children• To obtain information concerning staff qualifications and licensesIf it is not possible to make a preliminary visit, every endeavour is made to acquire information about the area before the visit.
5. Risk Assessment
A complete risk assessment should be prepared and submitted to the management for approval at least two weeks before the day of the visit. The risk assessment should include all aspects of the visit, i.e. travelling, venue, activities, etc. (a complete risk assessment of a venue should be required to the company).Outdoor activity centres (for example, Calshot Activity Centre, Southampton) must be licensed under the provision of the Activity Centres (Young Persons Safety) Act 1995, and the associated The Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004.
Any activity that involves caving, climbing, trekking, skiing or water sports will only be included if the centre and instructors have the requisite licence and qualifications.
It is vital that information concerning staff qualifications, equipment to be used and safety procedures to be followed, is obtained in writing from any of the bodies that will be concerned with the teaching of risky or high-risk activities to children, to ensure that these fall within the guidelines. Similarly, confirmation of police checks and medical fitness of all staff that will have substantial access to, or contact with, the children must be verified, either through relevant information in the brochure or through written confirmation being sought. A copy of the company’s risk assessment will also be required.The company will ensure that adequate child protection procedures are in place at all stages of the visit and any guidelines laid down in the Safeguarding Code of Practices will be followed. Staff are responsible for the children’s behaviour at all times.
6. Liaison with Parents/Carers
Parents/Carers are requested to sign a consent form for educational visits at the time of signing up for a course that includes a visit.Parents/Carers are given full and complete details regarding the organisation of a visit to include:• Date of the visit• Activities and venues, including any special risk inherent in the activities undertaken
• Adult: pupil ratios• Time of departure and arrival• Travelling details – coach or public transport (specifying bus/tube/train)• Specialist equipment and/or clothing necessary for activities
7. Pupil Organisation
• Regular sessions are held with pupils to prepare them for the visit, so that they obtain maximum benefit.• Where strenuous physical activity is involved, it might be necessary to organise a training programme for the children in preparation for the visit, and to identify those pupils who must not participate in certain activities.• Before any trip children are given a thorough briefing on behaviour expectations and the safety procedures that will be followed. Where appropriate, they are supplied with a Pupil Code of Conduct and General Instructions sheet (see Appendix 3).
All accompanying adults have a duty of care. Staff must remember that they are in loco parentis at all times on the visit and thus are legally responsible for the well-being and safety of the children. A system of pupil recall is essential with work in an open environment, on water or during swimming activities. This system must be simple, understood by all and practised beforehand. A system is implemented to attract the attention of children (taking part in adventure or water-based activities under the supervision of centre staff) when it is necessary for the pupils to re-join the main group.
Children must never be on their own but always remain in a group. Groups and their leaders must be decided in advance and stated in the risk assessment. When travelling by coach:• At least one member of staff, in addition to the bus driver, supervises the pupils getting on and off the coach — the driver is on the coach and staff member by the steps.• Numbers on outward and return journeys must be checked.• Pupils must not sit on the first two seats facing the front window or next to the emergency exit.• Ensure children are settled before setting off.• Children must wear their seat belts throughout the journey unless told to remove them in an emergency. When leaving the coach, check for lost property and litter.• At least one member of staff must be on each coach or minibus and have a mobile phone and an up to date contact and list with them.• Staff are responsible for children’s behaviour at all times.• Contact details for Role Models office must be handed to the driver of each coach/minibus.
Despite good planning and organisation, emergencies that require immediate response by the leaders sometimes occur. Whilst still controlling and supervising the rest of the group, leaders must contact the appropriate emergency/rescue service immediately. The management/office at Role Models must be contacted as soon as possible.
Please see Appendix 2. Reporting Accidents
The standard procedures for reporting accidents are followed, as stated in the Health and Safety and First Aid Policy, including the completion of the relevant forms.Expectations of Staff
It is important that all staff be mindful of the fact that they are representatives of Role Models and share the responsibility of promoting the good reputation of the Company. When on a trip, their responsibility as a role model and guide for appropriate behaviour is evident.
Insurance cover is arranged for visits, trips and any activities of a hazardous nature. If insurance cover is not provided by the commercial centre, e.g. educational-visit provider, it is arranged by Role Models and added to the cost of the visit. All parties would be provided with precise details of the insurance policy, so that there is no doubt about the cover and, in particular, what eventualities fall outside such cover.
Tour operators must have ABTA or ATOL bonding. Contact Central Bureau on telephone 020 7389 4004.
Liaison with Parents/Carers
It is imperative that parents are given full and complete written details regarding the organisation and administration of a residential visit, to include:• Activities and venues, including any special risk inherent in the activities undertaken• Specialist equipment and/or clothing necessary for activities• Code of conduct expected of the children• Packed meal requirements• Leaders/teachers, their experience and expertise• Total costs and methods for payment• Insurance cover, including medical cover and exemptions• Passport requirements, if any.
For residential visit, parents/carers will be asked to complete and return a Parental Consent and Medical Information Form. Parents should also be given the option to withdraw their child from activities they deem dangerous, unsuitable or that contravene or conflict with religious beliefs.
Near the date of the visit, if deemed necessary, a meeting is held for all parents, their children and the staff concerned with the visit. The information above is reiterated and the emergency procedures explained. There is an opportunity for questions and discussion at the meeting.
Children must never be on their own but always remain in a group.
Close supervision of the pupils in the venue during the night on residential visits is maintained. Adults sleep in close proximity to the children’s rooms. Whenever possible, staff rooms should act as a barrier between the pupils and the exits, entrances and other occupants. Staff retain pass keys in order to gain entry to all self-locking doors in an emergency. A list of all occupants of rooms should be made and accessed if evacuation of the building is required. Staff should do a roll call/register to confirm all pupils are present and out of the building. Children and staff will occupy separate rooms/tents on residential visits, according to gender.
APPENDIX 1CHILDREN CODE OF CONDUCT1. You must be obedient at all times, displaying responsible behaviour.2. You must have respect for the staff and helpers in the party.3. You must always listen to instructions and ask if you do not understand.4. You must not argue, answer back or be cheeky.5. You must be polite at all times.6. You must stay with your group leader, when asked to do so, and not wander off.7. You must not talk to, or wander off with, any strangers.8. You must stay in your seat during journeys, with your seat belt fastened at all times, when travelling by coach.9. You must be kind and friendly to the whole school party.
PUPILS’ GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS• Ask if there is anything you are unsure of.• Ask if you need anything.• Tell staff if there is a problem.• Tell a teacher if you are feeling ill. Please do not suffer in silence.• When taking part in activities and on outings, you must take care at all times. Do not wander off or try anything you are uncertain about.• You are responsible for your own clothes and other items. Please look after them.
APPENDIX 2EMERGENCY PROCEDURESIf an accident or other emergency occurs, the group leader or supervisor must do the following:1. Assess the situation.2. Safeguard the uninjured members of the group.3. If there are injuries, establish immediately the names of the injured people and the extent of their injuries.4. Inform the appropriate emergency services, including police if necessary and the school if offsite and everyone who needs to know about the accident.5. Attend to the casualty/ies.6. Share the problem; advise all other group staff that the accident/emergency procedure is in operation.7. Make sure every member of the group is accounted for.8. Ensure that the injured are accompanied to hospital (preferably by an adult whom they know).9. Ensure that the rest of the group understands what has happened, is adequately supervised and kept together.10. Ensure the Core Team has all the details, including names of casualties, their injuries, action taken, and names of others involved. The management will initiate the contingency plan, if the accident/emergency warrants it and ensure parents of injured child/ren are contacted.11. The company will notify insurers, especially if medical assistance is required.12. Notify the tour operator, if relevant.13. Ensure all necessary contact numbers are to hand.14. As soon as possible, write down accurately relevant facts and witness details. Preserve any vital evidence.15. Keep a written account of subsequent events, times and contacts after the incident.16. Complete accident report forms.17. No one in the group must speak to the media. Media enquiries must be referred to the management.18. No one in the group must discuss legal liabilities with other parties.
We are committed to reviewing our policy and procedures annually.