Crampton Primary School acknowledges that school visits are an essential part in a young person’s development. It can broaden and enhance both the learning and social experience of young people as well as being a memorable experience. Children visit a variety of establishments throughout their time at Crampton including Religious Buildings, Museums, Art Galleries, Parks & Gardens as well as Historic Residences. School visits support the specific ‘Learning Journeys’ within each year group with at least one visit per half term.
The Educational Visits Co-ordinator (EVC), who will ensure that the planning and supervision of all visits and adventurous activities meet the DfES (now DCFS) Requirements and LA guidelines.
The Head teacher will keep the Governing body aware of its Educational Visits in the termly report to Governors.
The role of the EVC is detailed in the publication ‘London Borough of Southwark – Off Site Visits Policies & Procedures 2011’. This has been compiled by the LA’s Outdoor Education Adviser as is downloadable from the EVOLVE site.
Competence to Lead
Any member of staff leading a visit will need to have their ‘competence to lead’ assessed before approval for the visit is given. The Headteacher / EVC must consider the following when assessing the competence of a member of staff to lead the visit:
Approval for Visits
All matters regarding each Off Site visit will require the prior approval of the Headteacher.
Approval of ‘normal’ day visits is at the discretion of the Head Teacher and the EVC is to complete a visit as early as possible in advance of the visit taking place
However, visits that are either:
Will require the additional approval of the Local Authority; the governing body will also need to be informed about these visits prior to a commitment being made.
If an external provider or tour operator is being used, they must complete the detailed Form EV4 at the time of the provisional booking. The procedures to be followed in this case are outlined in Section AA of the booklet.
Educational visits that need specific Parental Consent; Museums, Galleries, Days Out, Gifted and Talented, Sporting Events etc will also require approval from the EVC and Head teacher, this is to establish and maintain one approval system.
Reasons for Visits
It is essential that all visits have sound and clearly stated educational aims. Trips ‘for the sake of it’ will not receive approval although events that reward participation or achievement are to be encouraged.
Assessment of Risk
‘Risk assessment’ is a careful examination of what could cause harm to Pupils/Participants, staff or others, together with an identification of the control measures necessary in order to reduce risks to a level which, in the professional judgement of the assessor, is deemed to be acceptable (i.e. low).
In considering risk, there are 3 levels of which visit leaders should be mindful:
Contingency or ‘Plan B’
Despite the most detailed pre-visiting planning, things can go wrong on the day e.g. Parent helper is unavailable, member of staff is ill, transport fails to arrive, museum has lost booking etc. to avoid having to cater for any foreseeable eventuality.
Staffing and Supervision
On all visits there must be an ‘effective level of supervision’ that has been approved by the Head Teacher / EVC, and where applicable is in accordance with Governing Body Policy.
A professional judgement must be made by the Head teacher / Deputy Head teacher as to the appropriate ratio for each visit.
This will be determined by:
|Activity||Age Range||Staff to Young People Ratios||Notes|
(Galleries, Museums and Normal Countryside)
Y1 – 2
Y3 - 6
|1:4 – 5|
|Y2 – 3|
Y4 – 6
|Visits Abroad||Y4 – 6||1:6|
|Swimming in Public Pools|
(With qualified Lifeguard)
|Y1 – 3|
Y4 – 6
|1:5 – 8|
Pupils must be supervised throughout all visits. However, there are circumstances when they might be unaccompanied by an adult (remote supervision). The decision to allow remote supervision should be based on risk assessment and must take into account factors such as:
Role of Supervising Parents
Supervising parents must be fully briefed on the programme, venue, activities, supervision arrangements and their responsibilities. They must also be given a written list of the Pupils in their immediate care.
The level of first aid provision should be based on risk assessment. On all visits, there should be a member of staff who has a good working knowledge of first aid. The One Day Emergency First Aid Work for the appointed person is the minimum requirement for residential visits and specific Paediatric or Activity First Aid qualifications may be needed for Early Years or Adventurous Activities.
All non-teaching staff has received basic first aid training and have been provided with first aid bags, they must be taken on all school visits; if the visit involves splitting up the party, a kit should be taken for each group.
Travel arrangements should be included in the risk assessment. If public transport is to be used, all Pupils and supervisors must be fully briefed as to procedures on platforms, at bus stops, on busy streets etc.
If travel is by coach or minibus, all Pupils must wear a seat belt. Staff must ensure that Pupils comply with this rule; Pupils may also be asked to check the seat belt of their neighbour. If a minibus is being borrowed or hired, the driver must have passed the LB Southwark test for the driving of council vehicles.
Types of Visits
Water ‘Margin’ Activities
Where Pupils might participate in learning activities near or in water, such as a walk along a riverbank or seashore, collecting samples in ponds or streams, or paddling or walking in gentle, shallow water, then the guidance contained in DfES (now DCFS) ‘Group Safety at Water Margins’ is relevant. All staff, including parents, should be provided with a copy of this guidance prior to the visit.
If the school is leading an adventure activity, such as canoeing, the LEA (via EV3 form) must ensure that the group leader and other supervisors are suitably qualified to lead and instruct the activity before they agree that the visit can take place. Qualifications can be checked with the National Governing Body of each sporting activity.
Pupils should be assessed to ensure that they are capable of undertaking the proposed activities. During the visit, they should not be coerced into activities they fear. Pupils whose behaviour is such that the visit Leader is concerned for their or others’ safety should be withdrawn from the activity.
Residential Trips should be planned and arranged well in advance. Parents will be invited to a briefing session to discuss the arrangements of the trip and to meet the staff attending.
Residential trips must be approved by the Governing body and by the LEA via the EVOLVE system.
Group leaders and other teachers should be aware that many of the incidents affecting school children have occurred by or in the sea. There are dangers on the coast quite apart from those incurred in swimming.
Swimming and paddling in the sea or other natural waters are potentially dangerous activities for a school group. Swimming in the sea on a coastal visit is not allowed. Paddling will only be allowed as part of a supervised activity and only in recognised bathing areas which have official surveillance. Pupils should always be in sight of their teachers. One teacher should always stay out of the water for better surveillance.
Crampton recognises that farms can be dangerous even for the people who work there. Taking children to a farm will be very carefully planned. The risks to assess include those arising from the misuse of farm machinery and the hazards associated with E-coli food poisoning and other infections.
The proposed farm will be checked to ensure that it is well managed; that it has a good reputation for safety standards and animal welfare and that it maintains good washing facilities, clean grounds and public areas. An exploratory pre-visit should be carried out.
Seeking Parental Consent
Parents should be made fully aware of any likely risks of the visit and their management, so they may consent or refuse on a fully informed basis (known as ‘Acknowledgement of Risk’).
The letter to parents should therefore give full detail of the visit, the reason for the visit (educational aims), supervision arrangements and the transport arrangements. Ensure that detail of other incidental activities is included, together with Plan B if appropriate. The letter should also state the cost of the visit per child.
The reply slip should read:
“I give permission for my child _______ to take part in ….. I have read and understand the information about the visit. I enclose my voluntary contribution.”
In the case of sports fixtures, the reply slip should read:
“My child ______________ is able to play in the ……. match (at ……..) On ………..
I have read and understand the information in the letter, and give permission for my child to take part.”
On the Day of the Visit
Be sure to:
During the course of the visit, Pupils should be counted regularly as appropriate, and always when changing locations. Always ‘double-count’.
Public Transport / Coach
Children and adults must wear seat belts (Private hire vehicles)
The class teacher should lead and another staff member should be at the rear. Any other adults should stay with the children in the middle.
Always walk on the pavement as far away from the roads as possible. Adults walk closet to the road. Children must NEVER step into the road until given permission by a staff member.
All staff involved in a visit should be aware of what action to take in the event of an emergency.
Ensure the rest of the group are safe, decide if you need specialist help and;
For visits that take place outside of school hours a completed Group Leader Action Card must be with the visit leader at all times.
The visit leader is asked to ensure their mobile phone is fully charged and switched on throughout the visit, this is to enable the school to contact the visit leader in case of an emergency and vice versa.
The mobile phone should be switched on during the entire homeward journey and the Home Contact advised of any delays etc. as soon as possible and updated regularly so they can update waiting parents etc.
Crampton Primary School
(T) 020 7735 2219
Date of Policy September 2022
Date of next review: September 2023