Educational Visits and Trips

Students on a school tripOur pupils’ education is enriched through provision of a variety of visits which give the children access to expertise and resources not normally available in school. We are fortunate to have many facilities in the local area and in London. School visits and journeys have clear links to the curriculum. They also include sporting fixtures, adventurous activities and recreational activities.

Teachers plan a variety of trips per year; there are usually more trips planned for the older year groups. Wherever practical, free public transport is used for children in Y2 and above so that costs are kept to a minimum. The school is reliant on voluntary contributions to cover the costs of trips; sometimes trips have to be cancelled if there are insufficient voluntary contributions to fund the costs of the trip. No child is restricted from taking part through an inability to pay.

School visits and journeys are co-ordinated by the School Journey and Visit Administration Officer. She ensures that all visits and journeys are well-planned, with regard to the equal opportunities for inclusion of all pupils and health and safety requirements. Teachers complete risk assessments for all visits and journeys.

The Governing Body has adopted the LBRuT School Journey and Visit Guidance 2003 and the subsequent updates. A member of the teaching staff is named as party leader. Supervision and staffing ratios follow the minimum recommended ratio and are set according to a variety of factors. The setting of supervision and staffing ratios is set by the party leader. The availability of additional volunteers is not always an advantage as it increases the size of the group and the teachers’ overall responsibilities.

  Recommended Minimum Ratio
Foundation 1:6
KS1 1:10
KS2 1:15

 

All volunteers need to be CRB checked. In exceptional circumstances when an urgent need arises, the headteacher may agree to sign a Risk Assessment to allow a parent volunteer to attend a trip on a single occasion if that parent is well-known to the headteacher and staff and if that parent is not given a group to supervise. Without a CRB check volunteers cannot be left in charge of a group and it is usually, therefore, impractical for parents without CRB checks to fulfil the responsibilities of a parent helper on trips.

When parents choose for their child not to attend an educational visit, the child should attend school as usual. Otherwise their absence will be unauthorised. They will be given other work and supervised as part of another class.

The Role and Responsibilities of Parent/Volunteer Helpers of Visits and Journeys

The School Journey and Visit Administration Officer makes most of the arrangements for trips and visits including selecting parent/volunteer helpers in liaison with the class teachers. Parents do not have a right to attend school visits and trips with their children. Refusal to allow a child to participate without that parent being present cannot influence the selection of parent helpers. Parents are selected from a list of reliable helpers on a rolling programme so that all suitable volunteers have a chance to attend trips. The school retains a right not to invite a parent again if they have not fulfilled the responsibilities and followed the guidelines set out below on a previous trip.

The main duties of parent/volunteer helpers on school trips and visits are;

  • To ensure the safety and security of the children
  • To engage with the children in order to enhance their learning experience
  • To help ensure that all children, including their own, participate fully and independently in all activities

Further guidelines;

  • Parents/volunteers are asked to read any briefing information which relates to the trip.
  • Parents/volunteers should not leave their group/class at any time without notifying the teacher.
  • It is school policy that children do not take money to purchase items in shops and parents/volunteers are asked to refrain from purchasing items, or food and drink, for their own child/group.
  • Parents should not interfere with their own child’s social interaction with their group and friends or their child’s independence.
  • Parents/volunteers who experience any difficulties with a child/children in their group should inform the class teacher as soon as possible.
  • Parent/volunteers who are not CRB checked cannot take children to the toilets or take charge of a group.
  • Parents who have not been invited as designated helpers on a trip cannot join the group without the prior agreement of the group leader and School Journey and Visit Administration Officer. This would contravene the risk assessment which has been agreed for the visit.
  • When walking in public places parents should encourage children to walk in twos rather than a group.