Educational Visits Policy (Health and Safety on School Visits) Academic Year 2009 - 2010 THE JOHN LYON SCHOOL OFF SITE TRIPS INTRODUCTION: Taking pupils off the premises for carefully selected and suitable purposes is good for their education. A steadily growing body of research and practice shows that there are short, medium and long-term benefits to pupils from such experiences, whatever the subject or activity. This evidence is recognised by a number of agencies and organisations, and particularly by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, with its encouragement of off-site learning through the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto (2006) and the ‘Real World Learning’ campaign. These initiatives are intended to help reverse a reduction in off-site provision by schools in recent years. Being off the school premises may seem at times to be fraught with difficulties and danger, with examples often highlighted by the media of ventures that have gone wrong. Clearly, sometimes things can go wrong, as they can with any activity in any sphere in life. But the benefits of off-site learning, whether it is visits to the theatre, art gallery, religious building, farm, field centre, factory or another country, make the efforts educationally worthwhile. So why go off the premises? Ask any pupil in a school about the factors that help them to learn best and you will soon hear phrases such as ‘enjoyment’, ‘fun’, ‘seeing things at first hand’, ‘doing practical activities’, ‘finding things out for yourself’, ‘being creative’ and ‘going on trips’. They can see, hear, touch and explore the real world around them and have opportunities for challenge and adventure that cannot be replicated in a classroom, however talented the teacher is, and however good the digital images are. In many curriculum areas (such as English, science, geography, history, art, design, religious education and citizenship) learning outside the classroom provides direct experience of parts of the curriculum and data for coursework, projects and individual assignments. It is commonly known that such trips support active visual learners, motivate all groups of young people, raise attainment and improve behaviour. CONSIDERING A TRIP, VISIT OR EXPEDITION: All of the John Lyon School off-site trips, visits and expeditions are carefully planned within a framework of considerations such as the trip being a local day visit, an overnight trip in the United Kingdom (UK), several nights away in the UK or Abroad, even if the trip involves Activities such as skiing or whether the trip is an Expedition in the UK or Abroad to ensure the venture is safe for pupils, staff and other members of the public. This includes day trips, UK overnight trips, and trips overseas. Risks are carefully assessed on each occasion regardless of whether or not they include activities such as skiing. The staff and pupils are suitably trained, briefed and a trip risk assessment fully considered, taking into account all policies and legislation and to meet the objectives in the ‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes. Cost: Most school visits have an additional cost implication. These costs are carefully considered in a balanced approach to benefit the pupil’s education and experiential learning and the cost to the family. Such trips and experiences are developmental from Year 7 to Year 13. Inclusion for all pupils to participate with their peer group is important. Risk Assessment: All trips, visits and expeditions carry a variety of risks many of which are generic and such risks are considered in exactly the same way as when you, as parents, organise a family outing or expedition. The growing emphasis on safety, linked with the ‘compensation culture,’ has created many unfounded concerns, along with some reasonable ones, over young people and safety. However, undertaking risk is an essential part of young people’s development and young people need to know how to manage risks for themselves. Supervision Ratio: For Years 7 – 9 there should be a ratio of 1 teacher to 12 boys (1:12), with a minimum of two school staff per trip. It is recommended that other adults may be taken as assistants, depending on the nature of the activity. If travel is to be by public transport, a ratio of 1:6 shall apply. For Years 10 – 11 there should be a ratio of 1:15, with a minimum of two school staff per trip. Extra adults are advised for public transport and a ratio of 1:10 shall apply in such circumstances. Sixth Form Trips – These may be supervised or unsupervised. If they are organised by the School, either in school time or outside of school hours, parents must be given written notification of travel details etc. and their signature obtained. The Parental Consent Form (OST003) will cater for this. University Open Days – The parents of boys wishing to make these visits should notify the school as soon as possible to avoid any possible clash. The parents are deemed responsible for such trips. Trips Abroad and Overnight Stays – There is to be a minimum school staff to pupil ratio of 1:10 regardless of age, and a minimum of two school staff per visit. It is strongly recommended that extra adults assist on such trips when taking younger boys. Please note these rules do apply for sixth formers who must remain under the supervision of school staff. All staff and other helpers must be cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau and have knowledge of the school’s Child Protection Policy Examples of consideration for changeable factors such as weather are usually determined by a briefing and training during the planning stage. Such training will consider food, drink and clothing, transport to be used, skills to be employed whether that is kayaking, mountain climbing or expedition. This means that the greater the challenge, the greater the preparation will be; the higher the level of skills to be employed means that the level of insurance cover will be adjusted accordingly. Many people consider a risk assessment to signify that a trip or expedition is too great a risk to run. This is not the case as staff at the John Lyon School will have considered all factors including: Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 Children Act 1989 Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 Activity Centres (Young Persons’ Safety) Act 1995 Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 The SEN and Disability Act 2001 Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) British Standard for Overseas Expeditions (BS8848) Insurance: The John Lyon School carries the following Travel Insurance Cover for all persons authorised by the School to undertake a journey within the United Kingdom and/or outside the United Kingdom: Personal Accident up to £25,000 Medical Expenses up to £2,500,000 Disruption up to £2,000 Missed Departure up to £500 Travel Delay up to £2,000 Personal Property up to £2,000 Money up to £250 (More for staff) Personal Liability up to £2,000,000 Exclusions Include: Committing suicide, attempted suicide or self-inflicted injury Being under the influence of alcohol, solvents or drugs Aerial Pastimes Motorcycling Racing of any kind other than on foot, rowing or yachting Jet skiing, white water rafting, mountaineering or rock climbing involving the use of ropes or guides, hiking or trekking above 4,000 metres Engagement in paid manual work The exclusions do not necessarily mean these activities are not undertaken but will require a special level of training e.g. ‘The Mountaineering Club’ and additional insurance cover will be obtained through the school policy or another provider. Transport: At The John Lyon School it is common for our off site trips to use a variety of transportation methods, including aircraft, train, tube train, public bus, private coach, mini bus with hired driver, school mini bus or personal vehicle. Where vehicles are hired with a driver all drivers are PSV qualified and the companies used provide a regular service to our school using good quality and serviced vehicles. Transport on school visits receives careful planning and consideration whether it is the use of public transport; the use of hired coaches and minibuses, school owned mini buses or the use of staff or parents’ cars. In all cases we examine the insurance implications in such matters as the nature and condition of the vehicles being used. Most of visits are day trips and likely to use tube train transportation into London. This is often restricted to smaller groups. Where a large group has to be managed it is more likely that the services of a reputable private coach company and their qualified driver will be specifically employed. The transportation of groups will be determined by the supervision ratios but may involve sixth form pupils being allowed, with parental consent to travel unsupervised. Where school mini buses are used to convey pupils and are driven by John Lyon School staff or other authorised person, that person should possess a D1 or PCV driving licence as a minimum standard. It is common to seek and accept the advice of professional vehicle service providers about the nature of journey times and rest stops and these will also be aligned with The John Lyon School Trips Policy. All who drive pupils in school minibuses, must be CRB cleared. Parents will always be notified of meeting time, date and departure location and the trip will always leave in sufficient time for a safe journey. Food and rest stop provision will also be considered and will be dependent on the nature of the journey. Parents and boys will be notified of these considerations. Where a private coach is employed for a long journey staff may consider the use of appropriate entertainment such as DVD / Television for the pupils to enjoy and may also consider having a toilet on board. Parent and Pupil Notification of Off Site Trip: After a trip has been approved by the Senior Management Team, who consider staffing ratio and any impact on the students’ learning at school, the member of staff responsible for the trip will produce a letter and send this to pupils’ homes for parental consideration of the trip detail. We require commitment from both students and parents to any planned school trip. This letter will usually be accompanied by a ‘Parental Consent Form’ for completion and return to the relevant member of staff responsible for the trip. Sometimes, an invitation to attend a Parent Trip Information Meeting is extended. When pupils / parents have committed to a trip, visit or expedition, costs are usually incurred because the school will have to place a deposit for each person to pay for transport, entrance fees, accommodation, employed skilled staff etc and it is often the case that cancellation or withdrawal of a student will present complications in returning funds. In individual cases where a refund is requested due to extreme mitigating circumstances the Deputy Head will decide on how to proceed on a case-by-case basis. Parent Consent Form: The form you receive will detail the location of the trip, the main activity / purpose of the trip, and the dates for the trip that you are consenting to. Parents must complete the pupil’s personal details on the front and, if the pupil has a mobile telephone, that number should be recorded at the bottom of the front page. The pupil is then expected to have that telephone with them during the trip. On the reverse side of the form there are sections relating to the pupil’s medical condition, any medication being taken, and dietary requirements. This information will aid planning. Medical Condition: A parent must declare all known and up to date medical conditions on the rear of the parental consent form in order for staff to be able to assess risk and care for the student when necessary. Pupils on all trips will have their known and declared medical information (which is held at the School Welfare Office) checked for further consideration of their care. If a pupil is identified by the School Welfare Officer as in need of enhanced medical consideration, that pupil will be placed in the supervisory care of a First Aid Qualified member of staff. The Welfare Officer may provide the Supervising member of staff with medication held at the school and instruction on its use. Medication: If a pupil is taking any medication at the time of the trip, then this information must be recorded to enable staff supervising the trip to ensure the medication is taken, and to understand the medical condition. This information should always be declared to the School Welfare Officer for general consideration. Dietary Requirements: An individual’s dietary requirements are necessary not only for the provision of food, but also with regard to allergies. In the unlikely event of hospitalisation staff are then able to make medics aware of the complete needs of a pupil. Visits within the European Union: If pupils are to visit the European Union they must carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in order to receive medical treatment. An EHIC card can be obtained on line http://www.ehic.org Visits World Wide: Where pupils are offered other visits throughout the world they will be advised of the need for a travel visa and where to obtain the visa from. They will also be advised as to their medication and passport requirements. These will invariably be at additional cost to parents and they are the responsibility of the parent. Correct medical advice from a doctor (GP) or a travel clinic before departure is recommended by the school. It is also the responsibility of parents to obtain necessary visas for their son. Time Lines for Returned Forms: Where the organising member of staff asks for forms to be returned by a particular date, it is usually to meet the needs of other organisations, to organise staffing, accommodation and to plan transport. When forms are received late this can be problematic, and can sometimes lead to a pupil not being allowed to participate in a trip. The John Lyon School Emergency Procedures Policy The First Aider will take charge of an injured pupil and assess the situation with the Trip Supervisor. Alert Emergency Services if necessary. If a pupil is injured and/or Emergency Services are called or the injury is treated by a Medical Practitioner the Trip Supervisor must contact the School Emergency Contact in the first instance who will then inform the pupil’s parent(s). Make sure the remaining members of the party are safe and constantly reassured. They must be taken out of immediate danger and, if necessary, returned to a place of safety (Hotel, school etc). Pupils must be instructed not to contact home and not to use mobile phones until the school Emergency Contact has permitted it (to prevent poor information and increased concern for parents.) One member of school staff must accompany any injured pupil to hospital and remain there until released by the School Emergency Contact. Staff and pupils on the trip must not at any time speak to the Press. In the event of a pupil failing to keep to agreed arrangements and/or if they do not keep to a rendezvous then the school’s emergency contact must be notified as soon as possible. If it is safe to conduct a local search without jeopardising the care of others, this should take place. Any decision to contact the emergency services or to take further action must always be the agreed decision of the emergency contact. Pupils are briefed about the possible risks before the start of every trip and they are provided with an emergency plan. Pupils on ‘away’ trips must have the number of the hotel where they are staying and the mobile telephone number of the trip supervisor, part of any briefing will include information about what a student should do in the event that they are lost or in trouble. Staff on trips have access to student’s mobile telephone numbers and details of the emergency contact details for student’s parents. These may be held on signed consent forms and/or stored in the memory of one of the school’s mobile phones or hand-held devices.