Offsite Visits Policy

TREDWORTH JUNIOR SCHOOL

Offsite Visits Policy

 

Approved by: Full Governing Body
Last reviewed on: January 2020
Next review due by: January 2021

 

 

The school/centre has formally adopted, through its Governing Body, the Gloucestershire ‘Guidance for Offsite Visit’.  Further procedures have been agreed with the Governing Body to ensure that this policy is adhered to.

 

Aims and purposes of Offsite Visits

 

The school/centre has a strong commitment to the added value of learning outside the classroom and beyond the school premises.

 

Each year the school will arrange a number of activities that take place off the school site and out of school hours, which support the aims of the school. The range of activities which the Governing Body has given its approval includes:

 

  • Out of hours Clubs (music, drama, art, science, sport, homework etc)
  • School sports teams
  • Regular local visits (places of worship, swimming, other local amenities) 
  • Day visits for particular groups
  • Residential visits
  • Overseas visits
  • Adventurous Activities.

 

Approval Procedure

 

The Governing Body has delegated the consideration and approval of offsite visits and activities to The Head Teacher. The Head teacher has nominated Mr M Samak as the Off-site Visits Co-ordinator (OVC) and the Governing Body has approved this appointment.

 

Before a visit is advertised to parents the Head teacher/OVC will approve the initial plan.  The Headteacher/OVC will also approve the completed plan and risk assessments for the visit before departure.

 

Staffing

 

The school recognises the key role of accompanying staff in ensuring the highest standards of learning, challenge and safety on a school visit.

 

Staff are encouraged and supported to develop their abilities in organising and managing visits.  There will be a system within the school to allow less experienced members of staff to work alongside more experienced colleagues on visits.  The selection of staff for offsite visits will be a key priority in the initial approval of any proposed visit.  Staff will be suitably qualified and experienced for proposed activities.

 

The school values and recognises the contribution of volunteer adults and parent helpers assisting with offsite activities and visits.  Any volunteer will be approved by both the Head and Visit Leader and is entered on the voluntary helpers list kept by the school.  They will be carefully briefed on the scope of their responsibility.  Where it is appropriate the school will ensure that vetting and DBS screening is available for volunteers.

 

The appointed Visit Leader will be fully supported in the tasks required to arrange the visit.  This will include, as necessary, making time or finances available to conduct an exploratory visit, briefing teachers and/or other staff, accessing training courses, reviewing and evaluating the visit or identifying time when the leader and OVC might work in partnership to undertake planning and risk assessments.

 

Visit staff will not be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs such that their ability to recognise hazards or respond to emergencies is in any way restricted.

 

Risk Assessment

 

The Visit Leader will identify the risks from any activity that is under their control and take appropriate steps to ensure all participants are safe.  Good practice precautions and safety measures will be taken and this will be recorded in a risk assessment.

 

External Activity Providers

 

Where external contractors are involved in organising all or part of the visit, the contract will be made with the school on behalf of the pupils.  All payments for the visit will be made through the school accounts.

 

The Visit Leader will make appropriate checks before committing the school to the contract.  This will include seeking assurances about health and safety, and any accreditation and licensing.

 

Parental Consents

 

Written consent from parents will not always be required for pupils to take part in the off-site activities organised by the school as most of these activities take place during school hours and are a normal part of a child’s education at school. However, parents will be told where their child will be at all times and of any extra safety measures required.

 

Written consent will be requested for activities that need a higher level of risk management or those that take place outside school hours.  The school has a standard form, which will be used for this purpose.

 

As part of the parent consent they will be fully informed of the activities and arrangements for the visit.  For all residential visits parents will be invited to a briefing meeting where they can ask for clarification of any aspect of the itinerary and organisation of the visit.

 

Parental authority will be requested for pupils to receive emergency treatment when appropriate, including administration of an anaesthetic or blood transfusion.  If parents do not agree to this, the school may decide to withdraw the child from the visit.

 

Information about special/medical/dietary needs

 

The school maintains information about special educational, medical and dietary needs of all pupils, which will be referred to by the Visit Leader during the planning of all offsite visits.  Parents will be reminded to provide up to date information.

 

Where necessary special arrangements will be made and information will be shared with relevant staff and training provided. 

 

The expectations of Pupils and Parents

 

The school has a clear code of conduct for school visits based on the school ‘Behaviour Policy’.  This code of conduct will be part of the condition of booking by the parents.  Pupils, whose behaviour is such that the Visit Leader is concerned for their safety, or for that of others, can be withdrawn from the activity.  The Visit Leader will consider whether such pupils should be sent home early and parents will be expected to cover any costs of the journey home early.

 

Communication

 

The school will ensure there is appropriate and adequate communication with visiting groups (in normal and emergency situations).

 

Two members of the Senior Management Team will be appointed as the emergency contacts for each visit.  All major incidents should immediately be relayed to this person(s), especially those involving injury or that might attract media attention.

 

The Visit Leader will leave full details of all pupils and accompanying adults on the visit with the emergency contacts, including the home contact details of parents and next-of-kin, as appropriate.

 

All incidents and accidents occurring on a visit will be reported back and recorded following normal school procedures for reporting and investigating accidents.

 

Review by the Local Authority

 

The school is supported in its arrangements for offsite visits by Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) at Gloucestershire County Council.  Where necessary the school will seek advice from SHE.

 

All visits that involve an overnight stay, going abroad and any that involve adventurous activities will be notified to SHE prior to departure.  SHE will provide an independent reassurance check of the plan and the precautions and safety measures that will be taken.  Any advice provided will be fully considered prior to the trip taking place.

 

References to other policies

 

The school has policies for Charging and Remissions and Inclusion, which applies to all visits.