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Educational Visits Policy

Policy for out of school visits.


At Summercroft we aim to deliver a wide and varied curriculum to all our children. Educational visits are often planned to support our children’s learning adventure.


The following procedures must be carried out when planning and carrying out a school outing:


  1. Planning the outing:
    1. Decide on the outing venue and whether it supports the curriculum.  All visits must have an educational aim.  They must be safe, educational and fun.
    2. All trips must be discussed with the Head/Deputy/Assistant Head for approval at least four weeks before the event and an offsite visit application form must be completed and handed to the office for formal authorisation.
    3. Lesson plans should include preparation for the outing and follow up sessions afterwards, so that the children receive maximum benefit from the time out of school.
    4. Availability and cost of the venue and quotes for the transport should be obtained by the office and given to the trip co-ordinator. Once agreed Purchase orders must be raised for the venue and the transport and authorised by the Headteacher prior to any bookings being made.
    5. Once authorised, the venue and transport will be booked by the office. (The co-ordinator should check/remind office about the transport the week before the trip).
    6. The required number of staff and volunteers must be determined by the risk assessment – this should be checked out with the Head/Deputy/Assistant Head.  At Summercroft we suggest;
  • 1 teacher per class.
  • 1 school employee for every 20 children.
  • 1 extra teacher when three classes go.
  • 1 extra support staff if you are taking a child with specific behavioural or medical needs.
  • 1 adult for 4 pupils in Foundation
  • 1 adult for every 6 pupils years 1 to 3.
  • 1 adult for every 10 pupils in years 4 to 6.

These are not statutory but guidelines and a risk assessment should decide pupil/adult ratio. Where public transport is being used, an increase in these ratios should be considered.

  1. We aim to get trip letters out three weeks before the event, particularly where a visit will incur a cost.  The cost of the visit will be calculated so that no profit is made and so that parents’ contributions do not fund the cost of children other than their own.  This letter should make clear that payment of the cost of the trip by parents is voluntary and usually requires a home packed lunch (no nuts or fizzy drinks to be included) or prior ordering of a school packed lunch.
  2. For those children that are or have been in receipt of free school meals a different letter will be sent home advising the parent/carer that the Pupil Premium will be used to cover the total cost of the trip for that child.
  3. Where the child is still in receipt of free school meals, a school packed lunch will be offered for the trip.
  4. Trip letters will have the Schoolscall number included in the information so that parents can find out any pertinent information i.e. delay in return journey time.
  5. The cost of the adults accompanying the visit will be included in the overall costings, unless agreed otherwise by the Headteacher. We are a cashless school so all payments should be made via the appropriate system. The school office will manage all the payments and keep a list of reply slips.
  6. Letters should inform parents of the type of clothing that the children should wear – Wellingtons, waterproofs etc.  The amount of pocket money should also be stated on the letter.  Discuss in your year group whether a trip to the shop is worthwhile.  KS1 children should not usually take pocket money.
  7. On the Wednesday of the week before the outing the cook needs to be told that the class will be out for lunch on a day the following week.    The cook will also be advised of how many school packed lunches are required (for pre-orders and those children in receipt of free school meals wishing to have a school lunch for the trip).
  8. Phone numbers of the trip co-ordinator and at least one other member of staff must be given to the school office prior to departure. The owners of these phones have a duty to ensure they have sufficient charge.
  9. Any adults going on the trip who have a duty that day must swap with another member of staff beforehand.


2. Co-ordinator’s role


  1. If more than one class is going on the outing one teacher should be designated as outing co-ordinator and in charge of the day.  This teacher should have a list of all children and adults taking part.
  2. If the venue has not been used before the co-ordinator needs to visit the site and assess the potential hazards.  (It is important that the co-ordinator does not become complacent about a visit and make assumptions which could lead to an unsafe trip).  The co-ordinator is responsible for making sure that all adults are aware of the layout, venue and facilities.
  3. A risk assessment form must be filled in. If a risk assessment form already exists the co-ordinator must review this prior to the visit.
  4. Children with pre-existing injuries or challenging behaviour - a risk assessment will be used to inform decisions on whether these pupils should attend, and whether the activity provider/venue can meet their needs.
  5. The co-ordinator has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the pupils at all times.  In the event of an emergency, the coordinator will liaise as necessary with any emergency services and inform the school as soon as is practically possible. Additional voluntary helpers, including parents, accompanying the visit, must act in accordance with the instructions of that co-ordinator.  Pupils should be supervised at all times, even though they may be unaccompanied at times.  Consideration should be given, where appropriate, to the need for escorts of either sex.
  6. Check with the office staff for any medical conditions and treatment of children in your group e.g. inhalers or Epipens.
  7. It is the co-ordinator’s responsibility to ensure that a full medical kit is taken together with all additional medication as mentioned in 2.6 above.
  8. Make a list of pupil groups and their leaders indicating any special requirements that individual children in that group may have, medical or otherwise.
  9. If more than one coach is used make a list of the children and adults on each coach.
  10. Ensure that the children and adults are clear about the expected behaviour.
  11. Give clear instructions to children as to what they need to do if they get separated from their group.
  12. Check with the office that each child has returned a consent form, if applicable.
  13. Get parents to sign the voluntary helpers’ form. Give all voluntary helpers’ forms to the school office.


3. Parents

  1. If a number of parents do not give the minimum required contribution, the outing may be cancelled. The Headteacher will make this decision.
  2. If more parents wish to come than places are available then a ballot should take place.  Parent helpers in your class/year should be given first refusal of a place. It is school policy for parent helpers to be assigned to a group that does not include their own child.
  3. Parents who have not been successful should be informed and thanked for offering their time.  If you have difficulty recruiting parents please let the Headteacher/Deputy/Assistant Head know in plenty of time to make alternative arrangements.
  4. Parents transporting children in their own cars should have a full driving licence, fully comprehensive insurance and an MOT (if necessary) and provide the office with a copy to keep on file. The school also has an insurance policy that provides fully comprehensive insurance cover for vehicles being used by staff, governors & volunteers to transport pupils to off-site school related activities. All children should wear seat belts and use booster seats if necessary. Drivers also need to give the office their address and contact number, in case of emergency.  Parents should not drive in convoy as parent should know the route to their destination.  Children (other than parents’ own) should not be on the front seat.



4. Outing day

  1. Collect first aid kit and any necessary medication eg inhalers/ Epipens from the office.
  2. Ensure office has a list of mobile phone numbers for nominated staff on the trip
  3. Provide office with the list of pupils/ adults travelling in each coach.

Brief parents on:

  • Their role.
  • The purpose of the trip.
  • How they should help the children with the work.
  • Potential hazards and what to do in an emergency.
  • Their responsibility for their group’s safety and behaviour at all times.
    1. Provide all group leaders with a list of children in their group.
    2. Explain to the group leaders the procedure for crossing roads and what to do in an emergency.
    3. Once on the coach check that each child’s seat belt is secured.
    4. At regular intervals throughout the day each group leader should count the children in her/his group.
    5. If children are purchasing souvenirs, check that they are suitable.
    6. Before leaving the venue at the end of the day a roll call must be made. 
    7. When the children are on the coach a final count of numbers must be made.
    8. Once on the coach a message must be left on Schoolscall advising the parents/carers of the expected return time. If for any reason this changes, Schoolscall must be updated ASAP.


5. On return to school

  1. Bring all children into school if before 3.10pm, unless it is an out of hours return and the building is shut.
  2. Do not release the children at the gate to parents before 3.10pm/3.15pm.
  3. Report to Head/Deputy or Assistant Head on return to school.
  4. If appropriate write a report on the visit including:
  • Any incidents that occurred.
  • Whether the venue should be used again.
  • Improvements that could be made.
  • Potential hazards.
  • Parental/Pupil views of the trip.

Give a copy of these notes to the Head/Deputy/Assistant Head, another to the relevant subject leader and one to the office.