Educational Visits Policy
This policy is based upon guidance from:
- Health and Safety of Students on Educational visits (HASPEV) together with the
3 Part Supplement to Health and Safety of Students on Educational Visits: DfES publications.
- Lancashire School Safety Manual.
- RIDDOR 95: A Guide to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995: HSE Books (L73).
- Health & Safety: Responsibilities & Powers: DfES publications.
- Lancashire County Council’s Health and Safety Policies.
The policy should be read in conjunction with other school policies.
This policy follows guidance from Lancashire County Council’s model policy for Educational Visits.
Moving forwards together to a positive future.
The responsible people for the implementation of the policy are the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher. The policy will be reviewed annually by the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher in consultation with the staff.
ALL STAFF INVOLVED IN EDUCATIONAL VISITS ARE DIRECTED TO IMPLEMENT THE ARRANGEMENTS IN THIS DOCUMENT, AND TO COMPLY WITH THE POLICY.
Education visits are planned educational experiences designed to enrich and enhance the taught curriculum. In addition to this they may help in developing confidence, self-esteem and life skills for many of Roselyn House School’s students.
All activities involving young people out of doors are associated with the possibility of misadventure. Safety for Educational Visits and for outdoor adventurous activities is critically dependent on the quality of leadership and although this Policy aims to minimise the potential for misadventure, it must be recognized that the elimination of risk cannot be totally guaranteed. Occasionally circumstances that could not have been foreseen by even the most experienced leader may be encountered. For this reason it is important, for example, that a visit that has been run successfully many times does not engender complacency, and planning should be undertaken in the same way as for a visit being run for the first time.
- APPROVAL AND REGULATION OF VISITS
All Educational visits require the prior consent and approval of the Headteacher (Sharon Damerall) /Deputy Headteacher (Kirsty Willacy). At present the role of the Educational Visits Co-ordinator (EVC) will be shared by these Directors of KS Education Limited.
Visits are categorized as Type A or Type B visits. These are decided as follows:
(Type B visits may include Outdoor Education, Physical Education and Duke of Edinburgh visits/ Activities)
CONTINGENCY PLANS (APPLIES TO TYPE A AND B VISITS)
An alternative programme must be planned in the event of unforeseen circumstances. This should be risk assessed alongside the main activity. If the alternative is that the visit is cancelled and the party returns to base, then this should be stated.
PARENTAL/CARER CONSENT FOR ALL EDUCATIONAL VISITS
It is a requirement that a signed parental consent/medical information form is obtained from the parents/ carers of all young people participating in all educational visits/ adventurous activities. Consent for Outdoor Education, PE and regular off site activities are often sought on a student’s admission to school and reviewed annually. Additional activities/ off site visits will require consent handed out to the student and to be returned completed by a parent/ carer. This necessitates the exclusion from such activities of students/young people for whom the school have not obtained, for whatever reason, the consent for any necessary medical treatment. Staff responsible for supervision of the activity/visit should make themselves aware of the nearest accident and emergency hospital. The responsibility for implementing the emergency procedures is that of the Visit Leader. Staff should take with them copies of the risk assessment and student passport containing all relevant information in case of emergency.
PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE
KS Education Limited has £10m cover with Ecclesiastical Insurance and Travel Insurance with Chartis. For certain smaller venues and types of activities, subject to a risk assessment, a lesser figure may be sufficient.
3.1 DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITES
3.1.1 Responsibilities Applicable to all Staff involved in Educational Visits
All staff members should be aware of the expectations place upon them and should appreciate the nature of their relationship to the students and other staff. They should fully understand and be comfortable with their role before undertaking the visit. All staff must:
- Conduct themselves in a manner compatible with their own safety and with the safety and well-being of the students;
- Inform the Visit Leader if they are unsure of their ability to perform any supervisory function requested of them;
- Recognise the limits of their responsibilities and act within these at all times;
- Report to the Visit Leader any concerns they may have concerning student behaviour or well-being during the visit.
Greater levels of responsibility will normally be assigned to the Visit Leader and a higher standard of care is expected of them.
3.1.2 Responsibilities of KS Education Limited
As part of their responsibility for the general conduct of the school, KS Education Limited must adopt a policy for the effective and safe management of Educational Visits. This policy should include:
- The nomination of the Headteacher or senior member of the teaching staff to undertake the duties listed in Section 3.1.3;
- The adoption of school procedures for the management of Educational Visits, consistent with the legal guidelines;
- A requirement that all Educational Visits have specific stated objectives which are appropriate for the participating students;
- The adoption of procedures for responding to an emergency, consistent with requirements.
Advice will be taken from placing authorities with regard their Educational Visits Policy and Procedures.
3.1.3 Responsibilities of the Headteacher/ Deputy Headteacher or EVC
The Headteacher/ Deputy Headteacher as EVC are responsible for ensuring that all school’s activities are properly planned and appropriately supervised and that Roselyn House School’s policy is implemented and monitored.
To ensure that staff with responsibility for educational visits have the correct risk assessment proformas and complete an educational visits planning check list and approval form prior to the visit taking place.
The Directors of KS Education Limited will take the joint EVCs and shall:
- Ensure that the planning of visits complies with Policy and Guidelines on Educational Visits;
- Ensure that the visit or activity specific risk assessments are undertaken and that the Visit Leader is involved in that process. It is particularly important that within the Risk Assessment the school identifies children with special educational and medical needs. The Risk Assessment should confirm whether it is necessary to ask if the Centre can meet these needs. If there is any swimming during the activity, this must be addressed in the Risk Assessment; The out of school sheet completed on the day of the visit will also list any specific needs or risk associated with individual students;
- Ensure that the visit is planned in such a way as to provide adequate supervision at all times. In the case of a residential visit, this will mean that cover is provided 24/7;
- Approve the appointment of Visit Leaders, deputy leader, assistant staff and voluntary helpers;
- Verify the competence and suitability of the Visit Leader and assistant staff/volunteers, taking account of the planned arrangements for the visit and the number and nature of the students involved (see Section 3.2). The personal qualities of the individuals concerned are equally as important as any formal qualifications.
- Ensure that appropriate CRB checks are undertaken;
- Ensure that the Visit Leader is allowed sufficient time to organise the visit properly;
- Organise the transport (as appropriate) and ensure that risk assessments also take account of traffic hazards where the visit involves crossing roads;
- Organise and monitor the training/induction of Visit Leaders and assistant staff/voluntary helpers as appropriate;
- Organise emergency planning for Educational Visits and ensure the Base Contact arrangements are made. NB the Base Contact must not be part of the Educational visit/activity;
- Ensure that a senior member of staff on the visit is nominated to co-ordinate any child protection duties;
- Monitor visits, including accident and near miss reporting, and review school procedures;
- Ensure appropriate liaison with placing authorities and Duke of Edinburgh Scheme.
3.1.4 Responsibilities of ALL Staff who lead or instruct their own groups in
External instructors will be used to lead adventurous activities where the member of staff leading the group does not have his/ her approved qualification in the area of the specific activity.
3.1.5 Responsibilities of the Visit Leader
The Visit Leader must recognise that whilst leading the visit he/she is in effect representing Roselyn House School and therefore KS Education Limited. The Visit Leader must:
- Ensure the overall maintenance of good order and discipline during the visit;
- Ensure that adequate arrangements are planned and implemented for the safety and well-being of all participants, staff and students, whilst on the visit. In respect of residential visits, adequate supervision must be provided 24/7;
- Ensure that all members of staff are fully briefed as to their roles and responsibilities;
- Ensure that group leaders are appointed with proper regard to their experience and competence to undertake the tasks assigned to them.
- Undertake the completion of the Educational Visits Planning check List and Approval Form and Risk Assessment as necessary with the assistance of the EVC
- It is particularly important that within the Risk Assessment the school identifies children with special educational and medical needs. The Risk Assessment should confirm whether it is necessary to ask if the Centre can meet these needs. If there is any swimming during the activity, this must be addressed in the Risk Assessment.
- Complete an out of school/ transport sheet to show the risk/ medical needs associated with each individual child and be aware of individual student’s risk/ medical needs through the ‘student passport.’
The Visit Leader is also responsible for ensuring that participants conduct themselves with due respect of the environment and the local community. Visit Leaders should be familiar and act in accordance with all relevant regulations and guidance contained in this document. Visit Leaders must inform the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher (or then senior staff) if at any point during the planning of the visit concerns arise which lead them to feel unsure of their competence to lead the visit safely.
The risk assessment process must be seen as ‘on-going’ and ‘dynamic’. In other words, professional judgments and decisions regarding safety will need to be made during the activity. If the control measures aren’t sufficient the activity must not proceed.
The Visit Leader will have a clearly defined and agreed ‘Visit Closed Policy’ with the Base Contact, (additionally a ‘Failed to Return Policy’ is required for Duke of Edinburgh Award groups only). The Visit Leader must clearly communicate any delays or incidents that may cause late arrivals at destinations or return journeys to base to ease parental/carer concern.
3.1.6 Responsibilities of Nominated Group Leaders
Group leaders, have a common law duty of care towards the students in their charge. Group leaders must recognise their responsibilities in:
- Maintaining good order and discipline;
- Ensuring the safety and well-being of the students in their care;
- Informing the Visit Leader of any accident involving the students in their care, which has implications for students’ health and safety, general welfare or the good order of the visit as a whole.
3.1.7 Responsibilities of the ‘Base Contact’
The Base Contact should make arrangements to be accessible throughout the duration of the visit and be very clear on communication links with the Visit Leader. If mobile telephones are to be used, please ensure that there is a good reception and where possible, give landline telephone numbers.
The Base Contact should have full copies of Educational Visits Planning and Check List and approval; along with risk assessments and specific route maps/ details and the telephone numbers of two designated senior members of staff. In addition he/ she should have major emergency contact numbers, parent/ carer’s contact details and LEA to hand.
The Base Contact must not be part of the Educational visit/activity. The Base Contact should have a clearly defined and agreed ‘Visit Closed Policy’ with the Visit Leader. For Duke of Edinburgh Award groups, a ‘Failed to Return Policy’ is required.
3.1.8 Responsibilities of KS Education Limited
KS Education Limited has a duty under Health and Safety legislation to safeguard its employees in the course of their employment and to ensure the safety of others who may be affected by the actions of the employees. This implies a responsibility for the safety and well-being of all staff and students participating in Educational Visits. To ensure that these responsibilities are met, KS Education Limited will:
- Maintain regulations and procedures governing Educational Visits;
- Provide guidance for organisers of Educational Visits;
- Monitor and keep under review this Policy and Guidelines;
- Monitor Type A and B Educational Visits on a sample basis;
- Reserve the right to visit the Centre/Providers in the interests of quality assurance and provision;
- Provide training opportunities for visit organisers and activity leaders.
- Work with peninsula Business Services Limited on developing Health and Safety practices and further Risk assessment training.
3.1.9 Responsibilities of KS Education Limited (Technical Advice)
- To ensure that systematic monitoring is undertaken from the database information;
- To check on the effectiveness of administrative systems e.g. notification processes, parental/carer consent and medical information, emergency procedures and base contact(s);
- To observe a sample of activities undertaken;
- To encourage and motivate individuals and offer advice, to practitioners, participants and the policy makers, if appropriate. To promote standards of safety and good practice;
NOTE; KS Education Limited has the authority and should accept the responsibility to stop or curtail any activity where it is considered that unsafe practice has been observed.
The staffing required to run the visit safely needs to be identified through the risk assessment rather than by a simple numerical calculation of ratios. It is important to have a high enough ratio of adult supervisors to students for any visit. The factors to take into consideration include:
- Gender, age and ability of group;
- Students/young people with special educational or medical needs;
- Nature of activities;
- Experience of adults in off-site supervision;
NOTE: If adults are less experienced in the activity, then more of them may be required to ensure adequate supervision.
- Duration and nature of the journey;
- Type of any accommodation;
- Competence of staff, both general and on specific activities;
- Requirements of the organisation/location to be visited;
- Competence and behaviour of students/young people;
- First aid cover.
Staffing ratios for visits are difficult to prescribe as they will vary according to the activity, age, group, location and the efficient use of resources, as defined by the risk assessment.
The following are regarded as the minimum ratio acceptable on any visit:
At Roselyn House School, due to the nature of the students then the ratio will be at least 2 adults to 8 students/young people.
- A minimum of two competent staff from Roselyn House School should accompany any visit/activity;
- For residential and any visits abroad, it is strongly recommended that the ratio should not exceed 1:10. When visits are to remote areas or involve hazardous activities, the risks may be greater and supervision levels should be set accordingly. The same consideration should be given to visits abroad;
- For residential and any visit abroad, it is strongly recommended that for mixed groups there are staff from each sex. In circumstances where this is not possible, it should be explicit in the risk assessment of how the issue will be addressed and parents/carers should be informed of the measures taken. Some non-residential visits with mixed groups may require member of staff from each sex and the school will need to decide where this is appropriate and inform parents/carers accordingly.
3.2.1 Other Persons (including Children)
It is known that, in some cases, arrangements are made for a member of staff or a volunteer to take with them other persons, including child/ren, who would not otherwise be one of the group taking part in the visit/activity. This situation would usually arise where an adult brings along his or her own child/ren, and possibly a friend. Roselyn House School does not endorse this practice, and KS Education Limited will not allow this to happen.
Volunteers may attend the trip/ activity but will be subject to CRB clearance and expected to have their own insurance arrangements.
- When a visit is between the school and another educational establishment for the purpose of receiving education at the second establishment (e.g. integration visit from a special school) then a student can be accompanied by any member of staff approved by the Headteacher/ Deputy Headteacher.
- This Policy should be read in conjunction with Roselyn House School’s Transport Policy.
Sample Educational Visits Planning Checklist and Approval Form
Out of School/ Transport Form
Reviewed April 2016 by S. Damerall and K.Willacy