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FAX: 0115 9411073 TELEPHONE: 0115 9476202 EMAIL: martin.smith@collegest.org.uk

TO: All Head Teachers and EVCs
FROM: Martin Smith – Outdoor Education Advisor

Welcome back to another academic year, which I am sure will be at least as busy as last year. I hope to have completed a review of last year‟s school visit activity by the end of the month and will share the results with you. 2005/06 was certainly one of change as we moved towards the creation of a Children‟s Service and introduced the new on-line approval system. In terms of the former I am currently rewriting the school visits policy to include a much wider group of services, of which there is more information below. I would also like to thank all of you who have persevered with the on-line system. We have made some changes as we have gone along and I am sure this process will continue. There is no doubt that this system has sped up approvals and has provided a useful tool in terms of monitoring and emergency planning. REVIEW OF OFF-SITE VISITS POLICY AND RISK ASSESSMENTS Over the summer period I have spent my time reviewing the Off-site Visits policy and looking to adapt it for a much wider client base across the Children‟s Service. This process has been more than just changing the language as I am also hoping to reduce the policy document to a more manageable size and rewrite it in a way that more effectively supports Off-Site Visit planning. In addition to reviewing the policy document I am also reviewing the Generic Risk Assessments in the light of recent comments from the Health and Safety Commission and the Director of the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority. The press release copied below, illustrates the more practical approach that is beginning to evolve in terms of preparing risk assessments. I hope to have documents out for consultation later this term, as soon as I have confirmed the extent of any changes with senior managers within the Service. Meanwhile the existing documents should be referred to. “Get a life”, says Health and Safety Commission The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) have urged people to focus on real risks – those that cause real harm and suffering – and stop concentrating effort on trivial risks and petty health and safety. To help take this forward the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have launched a set of key principles: practical actions that we believe sensible risk management should, and should not, be about. The principles can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/risk/index.htm. Launching the principles at a children’s sailing centre in north London, Bill Callaghan, Chair of the

Launching the principles at a children‟s sailing centre in north London, Bill Callaghan, Chair of the HSC, said: “I‟m sick and tired of hearing that „health and safety‟ is stopping people doing worthwhile The following table when at the same time others and enjoyable things summarizes the new requirements are suffering real harm and even death as a result of mismanagement at work”. “Some of the „health and safety‟ stories are just myths. There are also some instances where health and safety is used as an excuse to justify unpopular decisions such as closing facilities. But behind many of the stories, there is at least a grain of truth – someone really has made a stupid decision. We‟re determined to tackle all three. My message is that if you‟re using health and safety to stop everyday activities – get a life and let others get on with theirs.” Lending support to the principles, author and adventurer Ben Fogle said: “Children encounter risk everyday and its important that, through activities like those being carried out today, they learn how to enjoy themselves but also stay safe”. “I probably take more risks than most – and I wouldn‟t want my life to be any other way. No one wants a world where children, in fact anyone, is wrapped in cotton wool, prevented from taking any risks and scared of endeavor. That‟s why I‟m supporting HSE‟s launch and am happy to endorse these principles.” Sensible risk management IS about:  Ensuring that workers and the public are properly protected;  Providing overall benefit to society by balancing benefits and risks, with a focus on reducing real risks – both those which arise more often and those with serious consequences;  Enabling innovation and learning, not stifling them;  Ensuring that those who create risks manage them responsibly and understand that failure to manage real risks responsibly is likely to lead to robust action; and  Enabling individuals to understand that as well as the right to protection, they also have to exercise responsibility. Sensible risk management IS NOT about:  Creating a totally risk free society;  Generating useless paperwork mountains;  Scaring people by exaggerating or publicising trivial risks;  Stopping important recreational and learning activities for individuals where the risks are managed; and  Reducing protection of people from risks that cause real harm and suffering. Commenting on the principles Jonathan Rees, HSE Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We want to cut red tape and make a real difference to people‟s lives. We are already taking action to put the principles into practice. Last month we published straight-talking guidance on risk management, but we cannot do this alone. That‟s why I welcome the broad alliance of support for this initiative – organisations representing employers, workers, insurers, lawyers, volunteers, health and safety professionals and many others who have made positive contributions to our approach. “These principles build on all of this and will hopefully drum home the message that health and safety is not about long forms, back-covering, or stifling initiative. It‟s about recognising real risks, tackling them in a balanced way and watching out for each other. It‟s about keeping people safe – not stopping their lives.” Risk Assessment for Off-site Activities – Autumn and Spring Courses These are short practical courses, which aim to take the „mystery‟ out of carrying out risk assessments and are aimed at anyone taking groups on off-site visits. These courses will be held on the following dates: 3pm – 5pm Tuesday, 17th October 2006 at Green‟s Mill 3pm – 5pm Tuesday, 13th March 2007 at Wollaton Hall For further details contact Helena Cresswell on 0115 947 6202 or Helena.Cresswell@collegest.org.uk

OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION WEBSITE Over the summer period a lot of work was undertaken to improve the Outdoor Education website, which can be found at www.collegest.org.uk. This will soon be supplemented by a separate Environmental Education website where we hope you find information more effectively. CHANGES IN THE SEAT BELT LAW Over the summer period a number of issues have come to light regarding seat belts and coaches. We are currently awaiting new guidance from the Department for Transport on this and I will inform you of any changes as soon I have news of them. We will also try to produce a Transport Guidance document in the coming months in order to make sense of the many changes that are taking place. The Pupil Health and Safety Advisors have just issued the revised guidance relating to the use of seat belts in private cars, taxis and private hire vehicles, this is reproduced below. „New child car restraint laws come into force on the 18th September 2006. The laws apply to transporting children in cars, taxis and private hire cars. Risk assessments and school procedures should be reviewed in line with the new laws. Examples of activities when children may be transported in vehicles requiring appropriate child restraints include:  Transporting pupils in private vehicles for off-site visits, sports matches  Taking pupils home if ill (this may be classed as a “reason of unexpected necessity” below) Further advice is available at www.childcarseats.org.uk/law The table on page 4 summarises the new requirements. OUTDOOR MANIFESTO There has been a delay in launching the Outdoor Manifesto, but I hope to have news of this latest initiative from the DfES in the next few weeks. NOTTINGHAM EDUCATION LOANS SERVICE The Education Loans Service has recently been re-launched. This is an excellent opportunity to support your museum visits by using the loans collection to „set the scene‟ for the visit and associated classroom based work. Loans boxes currently exist for the Victorian Kitchen, 1950‟s, 60‟s and 70‟s, Africa inspires, history Mystery, The Romans in Britain and World War 1. For further details, please contact Emily Tabassi, the education Loans Officer on 0115 929 7445 x 4065 or emilyt@ncmg.org.uk We hope everyone has a successful school academic year.

Martin, Helena, Lucy and Paul

The Sports, Outdoor and Environmental Education Team

Front seat Driver Child up to 3 years Seat belt MUST be worn if available. Correct child restraint MUST be used. Rear seat Who is responsible? Driver Driver

Correct child restraint MUST be used If one is not available in a taxi, then the child may travel unrestrained in the rear Where seat belts fitted, correct child restraint MUST be used MUST use adult belt if the correct child restraint is not available in three scenarios: - in a in a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle; - for a short distance for reason of unexpected necessity; - two occupied child restraints prevent fitment of a third. In addition, a child 3 and over may travel unrestrained in the rear seat of a vehicle if seat belts are not available Seat belt MUST be worn if available Seat belt MUST be worn if available

Child from 3rd birthday up to EITHER 1.35m in height, OR 12 years old

Correct child restraint MUST be used


Child over 1.35 metres, or 12 to 13 years Adult passengers (i.e. 14 years and over)

Seat belt MUST be worn if available Seat belt MUST be worn if available