1. Introduction

St. Luke’s CE Primary School acknowledges the immense value and many benefits of outdoor learning and is committed to supporting off-site visits and activities that enrich the learning opportunities of children and young people.

St. Luke’s CE Primary School (and any contracted external providers where an activity has been commissioned) works within the requirements set out in Derbyshire County Council’s Offsite Visits and Adventure Activities Guidance and the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel ‘National Guidance’ (both accessible via EVOLVE).

All establishment staff will be made aware of the requirements of this policy and any changes that are made when the policy is reviewed.

2. Roles and Responsibilities

Headteacher  / Manager

The Headteacher/Manager is responsible for ensuring off-site activities and visits comply with the LA Guidance and this Visit Policy and are notified or submitted for formal approval as required, that all visits approved can be accommodated within the planned provision and that the ethos of each visit is one with which the Establishment  wishes to be associated.

The Headteacher/Manager will ensure that the Visit Co-ordinator (VC), Visit Leaders, assisting staff and voluntary helpers are appropriately trained as required and specifically competent to carry out the responsibilities allocated to them for all visits.

The nominated deputy to approve offsite visits in the absence of the Head/Manager is Emma Hillier.

Visit Co-ordinator

The Visit Co-ordinator (VC) is a staff member who has received relevant training and induction and is delegated with the following tasks: –

  • To grant verbal permission that a leader may plan a visit after deciding that the timetabling and ethos of the visit are acceptable.
  • To check and approve that the planning and risk management for visits follows employer policy and guidance, and to liaise with the LA as required.
  • To ensure that there is sample monitoring of visits in keeping with the recommendations of employer policy and guidance

The VC should be specifically competent, ideally with practical experience in leading and managing a range of visits similar to those typically run by the establishment

The designated VC for St. Luke’s CE Primary School is Alice Littlehailes.

 

Visit Leader

Visit Leaders will have over-all charge of the visits they lead, which will be effectively supervised with an appropriate level of staffing. The are responsible for ensuring relevant visit information is shared with parents/carers and consent is sought where necessary.

Visit Leaders, assisting staff and voluntary helpers will be appropriately trained as required and specifically competent to carry out the responsibilities allocated to them for all visits.

Details related to a visit and its participants (including staff) will be accessible to a designated 24/7 emergency contact in case of emergencies.

Visit leaders will use the visit check list to ensure they have completed all necessary steps. (Appendix 1)

Governing Body

Under Health & Safety law the employer has primary responsibility for Health, Safety & Welfare of employees and students.

In establishments where the LA is not the employer the Governors will normally hold this responsibility and should be fully aware of the responsibility this entails.

Along with the Headteacher, the Governing Body is responsible for ensuring visits are approved as required by the establishment visit policy, that all visits approved can be accommodated within the timetable and that the ethos of each visit is one with which the school wishes to be associated.

The Governor/Board member responsible for monitoring this policy is Tom Rank.

3. Procedures

Staff wishing to plan and undertake a visit (prospective Visit Leaders) will first seek permission from the Headteacher/Manager or VC to plan a visit.  The Visit Planning Flowchart on EVOLVE can be referenced as required.

Staff should follow the LA and establishment guidance if undertaking ‘home visits’. This does not form part of this policy.

Finance

The establishment charging policy for off-site visits is available.

Staff Induction and Training

All new staff will as part of their induction into the establishment, be familiar with the local policy for off-site visits and activities and understand their role in managing, planning, leading or assisting with organising off-site visits. All staff will have access to County and national guidance.

The VC will identify any specific training needs and requirements and ensure staff can access relevant learning and development opportunities as appropriate and as required by Derbyshire County Council.

 

Visit Approval

The St. Luke’s CE Primary School has adopted the Derbyshire County Council system for approval of visits which is based on these being categorised into three broad types:

  1. Local low risk single day visits that are regular and routine
  2. Day visits and programmes that require enhanced planning
  3. Higher risk visits, further field that require detailed planning and leader competence

 

The Visit process flowchart available on EVOLVE provides further detail.

Category 1:

These visits will be regular, routine day activities that are organised in and around the locality, usually on foot.

Regularly repeated visits can be covered by a block annual consent subject to parents/carers being made aware of every visit, especially any involving a return time outside the normal day.

Visits and activities included in this category for this establishment are:

  • On-site activity (excluding adventurous activities listed in category 3)
  • Transporting young people between other local schools/venues
  • Short walks in and around our school on foot e.g. church, parks.
  • Sports fixtures (involving transport)
  • DCC Primary curriculum swimming programme

These visits are planned using the establishment specific local visits risk assessment and with approval by the VC and Head/Manager. These activities are covered by an annual blanket parental consent.

Where there are local activities that are a planned part of the curriculum/routine programme but are dependent upon the right conditions on the day, then the visit leader will sign out before departure leaving relevant information with the base contact.

The specific establishment off-site visits risk assessment (that may also include road transport) covers general supervision of these visits. A review will be required rather than completed a new document each time. Any additions can be documented using the Event Specific Note form on EVOLVE.

All other visits: All other visit must be planned and submitted using EVOLVE.

Based on the visit types, EVOLVE automatically directs the flow of approval for Category 2 and 3 visits.

 

Category 2:

These visits are single “one off” day visits or a programme of visits that take place off-site but further field than your base locality and with no element of adventurous activities (as defined in Category 3). These opportunities will usually require transport and could also require some enhanced planning and risk assessment. Example visits are:

  • Visits requiring use of transport (urban areas, theatres, social events, places of interest)
  • Swimming (excluding open water)
  • Fieldwork visits (not in open/remote country)
  • Activities at Water Margins (coastal locations & inland waters)
  • Farm visits
  • Forest school programmes

These activities will be entered onto EVOLVE and submitted to the VC  prior to departure. Approval is delegated to Alice Littlehailes and visits should be covered by parental consent.

For a programme of regular visits to similar destinations, one single visit form can be completed, with the relevant dates selected and can be covered by an annual blanket parental consent.

The specific establishment local visits risk assessment (that also includes road transport) will cover general supervision of the visit. A review will be required rather than completed a new document each time. Any additions can be documented using the Event Specific Note form.

If a visit is planned to a higher risk environment, the appropriate Safe Working Procedure document should be reviewed, amended and completed for your specific visit. This will then be attached to the EVOLVE record, prior to submitting to your VC and Head/ Manager for approval.

Certain activities will require staff to hold specific qualifications or competencies before being able to deliver sessions. e.g. forest school. Please refer to the activity qualifications matrix on EVOLVE for further information. Relevant qualifications will be added and uploaded to EVOLVE. These activities will not be undertaken unless there is a sufficient number of suitably qualified staff to deliver them.

Category 3:

Approval from the Local Authority (LA) will be required for all overseas visits, residential visits and those which include adventurous activities, be it provider or establishment lead. The EVOLVE system will automatically pass such identified visits to the LA for approval after first being checked by  and authorised by Alice Littlehailes. Specific consent will be required for each visit.

Overseas visits and DofE expeditions will be submitted to the LA four working weeks before a visit is set to take place, and before anyone is financially committed. Other visits requiring LA approval require two working weeks notice. Approval notification via email will automatically be sent out (from EVOLVE) as soon as possible up to two working weeks after receipt of the visit form.

A member of staff intending to lead an adventurous activity, must be specifically approved by the LA to do so via the EVOLVE Leader Approval Request function.

When external providers are used it is a requirement for their safety management to have been verified either by completion and return of a Provider Form or verified by holding an appropriate national accreditation. Providers will not be used until they have been ‘vetted’ by the LA.

4. Risk Management

The risk management of an activity is normally carried out by visit leader and assistants with the support of VCs as required. Risks are expected to be reduced to an acceptable or tolerable level, but not necessarily eliminated.

Planning should achieve a rational balance between potential adverse risks and the intended benefits and outcomes of the activity.

St. Luke’s CE Primary School recommends a ‘risk-benefit assessment’ approach, whereby the starting point for any risk assessment should be a consideration of the targeted benefits and learning outcomes.

This appreciation of the benefits to be gained through participating provides objectivity to a decision that any residual risk (i.e. the risk remaining after control measures have been put in place) is ‘acceptable’. HSE endorse this approach through their ‘Principles of Sensible Risk Management’ and advocate that it is important that young people are exposed to well-managed risks so that they learn how to manage risk for themselves.

There is no legal requirement to produce a risk assessment in a particular format; but there is a legal requirement for the process to be recorded and for suitable and sufficient control measures to be identified for any significant risks i.e. those that may cause serious harm to an individual or harm several people.

St. Luke’s CE Primary School staff will adopt and adapt the risk management materials available through EVOLVE to ease the burden of bureaucracy that might otherwise discourage leaders from making full use of educational visit learning opportunities.

A copy of the establishment generic visits risk assessment is located in the EVOLVE resources library and blank copy of the Event Specific Notes form can be downloaded .

5. Monitoring

The arrangements for monitoring off-site visits within St. Luke’s CE Primary School will be undertaken by Alice Littlehailes.

6. Insurance

Appropriate insurance must be in place for all visits.

The responsibility for arranging adequate insurance cover rests with Alice Littlehailes  in conjunction with the organiser of each journey.

For visits abroad, additional journey insurance must be taken out.

As an employer, in addition to the standard public liability cover which all establishments will have in place, Derbyshire County Council offers LA Schools the opportunity to buy into an annual ‘blanket’ personal accident cover / travel insurance, provided through CHUBB, covering any off-site activities and overseas travel ventures.

It is the responsibility of the Governing Body, Headteacher and VC to determine whether any additional insurance should be taken out.

Insurance in St. Luke’s CE Primary School is provided by Chartis Europe Ltd Policy number 21005033

7. Inclusion

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to treat a young person less favourably and/or fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled persons are not placed at a substantial disadvantage without justification.

St. Luke’s CE Primary School endorses the principles of:

  • a presumption of entitlement to participate
  • accessibility through direct or realistic adaption or modification
  • integration through participation with peers

Adjustments made to include a disabled child or young person should not impinge unduly on the planned purpose of the activity.

Expectations of staff must be reasonable, so that what is required of them (to include a given young person) is within their competence.

Behaviour

St. Luke’s CE Primary School encourage the use of codes of behaviour conduct as a means of establishing appropriate expectations of young person’s behaviour. Such codes will be explained to both young people and those with parental authority prior to a visit, so reducing the opportunity for misunderstanding both expectations and the sanctions that may be invoked where a code is breached.

Whilst inclusion of young people and adults on offsite visits will be the norm at St. Luke’s CE Primary School, this will not be the case where health and safety of the individual or other group members would be significantly compromised. Visit Leaders will ensure that they consult the LA and parents well in advance of the visit where inclusion is an issue.

8. Evaluation

To ensure rigorous evaluation of each visit can take place, visit leaders must have reached a clear understanding of the learning outcomes they hope to

achieve. Given that most outdoor learning, off site visits and activities have the potential to deliver a very wide range of benefits and outcomes, the visit leader and staff team to agree how the Learning Outcomes are to be prioritised, in the early stages of the planning process and documented  on the EVOLVE record.

Each identified outcome can be evaluated and record using EVOLVE.

9. Emergency Procedures

The risk management for each visit will identify the relevant emergency procedures during the visit.  For any off-site visit a home contact will be designating by the establishment who may be needed as a link between the party, the parents/carers, the establishment and the County Council in the event of an emergency. The home contact must be an employee, be unrelated to anyone attending the visit and be confident in providing support in a crisis.

For visits that take place outside normal establishment hours:

  • A completed emergency contact list must be with the Visit Leader at all times, and
  • A completed emergency contact list must be with the emergency home contact(s) at all times, where access to EVOLVE is not possible.

In the event of a delay in retuning (of more than 1 hour), or of an incident resulting in harm to any attending participant, staff member or volunteer, then the establishment must be contacted as soon as possible to inform Alice Littlehailes or designated deputy so that they can decide: –

  • If the incident is of a less serious nature then the next of kin or parents of those affected will be informed about what has happened (e.g. that the party will be returning late or that an incident has befallen a party member) and the action that has been taken so far. In appropriate circumstances the Visit Leader will be designated to undertake this task.
  • If the incident is very serious to contact Derbyshire County Council.

 

10. Accident Reporting

All accidents will be handled in line with Derbyshire’s County Council’s Accident Reporting Procedures. Accident Forms and other related documents are available in the Resource section of EVOLVE – Guidance.

Academies must ensure they have equivalent procedures to meet the requirements of the law and good practice.

Where an incident or accident occurs on an activity led by a Provider, please ensure this is reported to the LA Visits Team.


Chair of Governors

 

Signature: …………………………

 

Name: …………………………

 

Date: ………………..

 

Headteacher

 

Signature: …………………………

 

Name: …………………………

 

Date: ………………..

Appendix 1

Visit Leader Check List

  • I have met all requirements of my employer’s and my establishment’s policies relevant to the visit.
  • I am confident to lead the visit and have the specific competence to do so, and have been judged so by my head / manager in line with my employer’s requirements.
  • I have planned and prepared for the visit, involving staff and young people in the planning and risk management process to ensure wider understanding.
  • I have kept my EVC informed at each stage of the planning process.
  • I have undertaken a preliminary visit if appropriate or required by school policy.
  • I have defined the roles and responsibilities of other staff (and young people) to ensure effective supervision, and have appointed a deputy.
  • I have shared details of 24/7 emergency contacts and emergency arrangements with key staff.
  • I have obtained parental consent forms (where required), medical details and contact details and these have been copied and shared with relevant staff and providers.
  • I have checked whether insurance arrangements are adequate.
  • If accompanying leaders take a family member on a visit, there are adequate safeguards to ensure that this will not compromise group management.
  • Child protection issues are addressed, including DBS checks and processes where appropriate.
  • I have disseminated relevant information to supporting staff.
  • There is access to first aid at an appropriate level.
  • Relevant information has been provided to parents and young people, and pre-visit information meetings have been arranged where appropriate.
  • All aspects of the visit (both during and after the event) are evaluated.
  • Staff and other supervisors have been appropriately briefed on the nature of the group, including age, health characteristics, capabilities, special educational needs, likely behaviour and any other information relevant to the planned activities and the nature and location of the visit.
  • The visit is effectively supervised – staffing ratios meet requirements of good practice.
  • Staff and third party providers have access to emergency contact and emergency procedure details.

 

 

Code of Conduct for Visits

Visit Leaders should edit this model code of conduct so that it is appropriate for their group(s). It may be useful to have a generic code of conduct for routine visits and a specific one for other visits, such as residentials, which includes details specific to those visits.

It can be good practice to involve young people and their parents in the process of drawing up the code of practice: this is a useful way of getting them to think though the issues and to understand the reasons behind the requirements, and is itself a process of risk assessment.

General Expectations

For the visit to be both beneficial and enjoyable for all, you are expected to:

  • behave responsibly and show consideration for others, including fellow pupils, staff and members of the public.
  • comply with instructions.
  • look after your own possessions and anything you borrow.
  • keep all facilities clean, tidy and undamaged.
  • abide by any rules and regulations of the places we visit.
  • in the event of an emergency, follow emergency procedure instructions.
  • inform staff if you have any medical conditions or injuries.
  • inform a member of staff if you have any concerns about safety or security.
  • report any damaged or unsafe equipment.
  • wear appropriate clothing.

On a coach or minibus

  • remain in your seat, unless given permission to do otherwise.
  • wear your seat belt.
  • stow luggage on the luggage rack or under the seat. Luggage should not block the aisle.
  • put litter in the bags/bins provided.
  • do not distract the driver – no shouting out, no flash photography etc.
  • if you begin to feel travel sick, inform a member of staff.
  • when disembarking, be aware of traffic movement and direction.

Motorway service stations etc.

  • follow instructions from staff about where you are allowed go and how long you may spend in the service station.
  • be back on the coach/minibus at the given time.

On a ferry, at an airport and at a railway station

  • remain in your group at these busy locations.
  • be aware of and comply with all timings and meeting places.
  • understand and comply with security arrangements and limitations.
  • follow instructions from transport operator staff.
  • follow all instructions about being on boat decks.
  • stay back from the edge of railway platforms.
  • be sure you know where the group is based and how to locate staff.

 

Staying in a hotel

  • read and understand all instructions about fire and safety procedures.
  • know the location of duty staff.
  • comply with any instructions about permission to leave the hotel.
  • comply with any instructions about access to parts of the hotel, e.g. bar, casino, swimming pool.
  • understand the dangers of balconies and comply with any instructions about access to them.
  • comply with instructions about access to other people’s bedrooms.
  • arrive on time for meals and meetings.
  • comply with any restrictions on the use of mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, cameras, music players, etc.
  • comply with any restrictions on internet access, and viewing TV, videos and DVDs, etc.

Excursions

  • remain in your designated group.
  • know which member of staff is your nominated leader.
  • when unaccompanied by staff, ensure that you understand any instructions and limitations.
  • always carry your emergency contact card.

Sanctions

Failure to comply with this Code of Conduct may result in the implementation of the following sanctions:

Pupils will be removed from the group and returned to school if possible.

If it is a residential parents will be asked to collect their child from the trip.

 

I agree to abide by the above Code of Conduct.

Young Person Signature……………………………………….. Date ………………..

Parent/Guardian Signature …………………………………… Date …………………