Educational Visits Policy
(Health and Safety on School Visits)

       Academic Year 2009 - 2010
                                    THE JOHN LYON SCHOOL
                                        OFF SITE TRIPS

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

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.

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)
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
        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.

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.
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
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
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

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
       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
       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.

To top