FAQs

There are so many factors to consider when arranging a school trip or when arranging an out-of-school education provider.  We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions here, however if you have any specific questions it is best to contact the trip provider directly…

Q.  What factors do I need to pay attention to when considering an educational trip?

A.  Be mindful of the following factors:

Q.  What types of School Trip are there?

A. There’s a varied choice of school trip, accommodating a wide range of activities across the curriculum:

Q. What should I know about an activity centre/school trip provider before I book?

A. Before the trip ask the activity centre for comprehensive details and, ideally, get them confirmed in writing:

For more information visit www.rospa.com

 

Q. Can I undertake an inspection visit before I travel?

A. The majority of centres do allow inspection visits but you will need to check with each individual venue as there are some that don’t.

Q. What activities can a group expect to do on a visit to an outdoor activity centre?

A. Many centres can tailor your visit to meet curriculum needs, particular needs of your group, fit in with classroom sessions and prepare you for follow up work on your return to school.

Q. How much will a visit to an outdoor activity centre cost?

A. Many centres offer various accommodation options and programmes of activities at differing prices. Needless to say, by visiting a local centre your travel costs will be much lower than on a trip to a faraway destination. Some venues offer a service to pick up the school group from the nearest train station.

Q. How many free teacher places am I entitled to?

A. You will need to ring up individual centres to enquire about their policies on teacher places. A few centres are aware that some LEAs insist on a higher ratio of staff to students and so are happy to quote you for the number of free teacher places you require.

Q. How many adults do I need to take on my school trip?

A. This can vary per trip with many different factors to take into consideration. One group leader should manage the whole visit, then for individual activities within a visit, it is better for groups to be smaller, each with their own supervisor.

Some LEAs set their own levels of supervision for off-site visits, a general guide is; 1 adult for every 6 pupils in school years 1 to 3 (under 5s reception classes should have a higher ratio); 1 adult for every 10-15 pupils in school years 4 to 6; 1 adult for every 15-20 pupils in school year 7 onwards.

Where a high adult: pupil ratio is required, it is not always feasible to use school staff alone. Parents/volunteers may be used to supplement the supervision ratio.

Q. Can we stay at more than one accommodation centre?

A. This may vary depending on the size of your group and availability. Find out from each individual centre.

Q. What happens if my school doesn’t have an Educational Visits Coordinator (EVC)?

A. Responsibilities automatically fall to the head teacher. Having an EVC means the head teacher can delegate tasks involved in overseeing school trips.

Q. Where can the Educational Visits Coordinator (EVC) seek advice from?

A. The EVC can seek advice from the LEA’s outdoor educational adviser or an appropriately qualified technical adviser as necessary (contactable through the outdoor educational advisor). Look at www.oeapng.info/evc

Q. Do I need an OCR Offsite Safety Management Certificate?

A. This qualification is relevant to teachers who plan to lead or supervise curricular visits within their subjects e.g. fieldwork and adventurous activities. It is exam-based and can be combined with practical experience.

Q. How do I do a risk assessment?

A. Click here to take you to a separate page on Risk Assessments for School Trips

Q. What are the categories of activities when considering risk?

The LOtC website at http://www.lotc.org.uk/ refers to three risk categories based on complexity and carries a chart showing how these work. Complexity can arise from factors such as distance, transport, the activity, the make-up of the group.

Q. Where can I find out about planning, policy and health and safety issues for educational visits?

A. The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom website at http://www.lotc.org.uk/ has loads of useful information as does the Health & Safety Executive – go to http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/school-trips.htm

 

Adventure Centres

Q. How do you know how safe an outdoor pursuit activity centre is?

A. Look for a centre with an Adventure Activities Licensing Authority licence, trained and experienced staff, and risk assessments available for inspection.

Q. What does it mean if a facility is licensed?

A. A license means that the Licensing Authority has inspected the provider and is satisfied with their management of safety of adventure activities. For details of current license holders see the AALA website at www.hse.gov.uk/aala

Q. What are the NGB and leader/instructor qualifications?

A. These are listed in the matrices set out in Guidance from the licensing authority on the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004 which can be downloaded or ordered (free of charge) from http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l77.htm

 

Transport

Q. What factors should be considered when planning transport?

A. Give careful thought to the following:

 

Swimming Pools

Q.  What procedures should be in place for swimming pool trips?

A.  If considering the use of a swimming pool not used before it is advisable to observe and check the following:

 

Farm Visits

Q.  What risk factors are there to consider on a farm visit?

A.  Taking children to a farm should be carefully planned.  Consider farms that can demonstrate good practice.  Look out for:

 

Residential Visits

Q.  What factors are there to consider when assessing a residential venue?

A.  Issues for the group leader to consider include the following: