Educational Visits, Outdoor Learning and Adventurous Activities Policy
This policy sets out the establishment procedures within which all employees must operate. Further details can be gained by referring to the Employer Policy as detailed in Section 2.
Every young person should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances.
Learning beyond the classroom is the use of places other than the classroom for teaching and learning. It is about getting children and young people out and about, providing them with challenging, exciting and different experiences to help them learn.
It is about raising achievement through an organised, powerful approach to learning in which direct experience is of prime importance. This is not only about what we learn but importantly how and where we learn. It is not an end in itself but rather a vehicle to develop the capacity to learn. Good quality learning beyond the classroom adds much value to classroom learning.
1. Scope and responsibilities
This policy applies to all educational visits, outdoor learning and adventurous activities carried out with young people.
The Headteacher retains the role of the Educational Visits Co-ordinator. They will have the training and experience to enable them to competently discharge their responsibilities as listed in The Employer Policy.
The Educational Visits Co-ordinator is: Joanna Colledge
Administrative tasks will be carried out by: Becky Dixon
2. Establishment policy and procedures
The North Yorkshire County Council Policy for Educational Visits, Outdoor Learning and Adventurous Activities (March 2018) is the employer’s policy. Specific local procedures will be in line with, but not duplicate this policy.
Where there is conflict with non-statutory guidance or advice from other sources the employer policy will take precedence with clarification sought from the Headteacher, and if required from North Yorkshire Educational Visits Advisory Service.
Routine acknowledgement: Whilst it is not a legal requirement to gain parental consent for curriculum activities, written acknowledgement will be gained on enrolment for routine local visits and activities which are a part of our normal educational provision during the school day and information regarding the nature of the types of visit will be included in our prospectus/website/with the acknowledgment request. We will always aim to fully inform parents by whichever written method(s) the school deems appropriate of the nature of each visit, activity or series of a similar nature, remind parents that they have acknowledged this, and give opportunity to update information and emergency contact details. On occasions a curriculum opportunity may become available at short notice and we will always aim to notify parents that their child will be offsite but this may not be possible.
Non-routine consent: Written consent which may be electronic via Scholarpack, will be gained on enrolment for those visits which are non-routine visits and activities and those visits which fall outside of normal hours. We will fully inform parents by whichever written method(s) the school deems appropriate of the nature of each visit, activity or series of a similar nature.
Specific consent: Written consent which may be electronic via Scholarpack, will be gained for every individual visit, activity or series of a similar nature which involve a higher level of risk including but not limited to longer journeys, residential visits and adventurous activities. We will fully inform parents by whichever written method(s) the school deems appropriate of the nature of each visit, activity or series of a similar nature.
Medical information: We will use the medical information on record in our Student Information Management system alongside any updated information which parents will be given the opportunity to provide for most visits and activities. Where visits or activities involve a higher level of risk it may be appropriate for separate medical information and consent forms to be completed.
Records will be kept of induction, training, relevant qualifications and competence using the ‘My Details’ section of Evolve.
To ensure sustainability of important visits deputy leaders will be appointed in order that contingency plans can be put in place should a visit leader be indisposed.
The Educational Visits Co-ordinator will attend appropriate training and revalidation as required by the employer.
Visit Leader Training
Visit leaders will be approved by the Headteacher and will have attended appropriate training as required by the employer.
3. Planning and approval procedures
Visit leaders should follow the employer policy, establishment policy, guidance, local procedures and standard assessments of risk.
Risk management is a vital part of planning and assessing benefits and risk associated with visits and activities.
Sensible risk management relates to identifying significant hazards and mitigating against risk through appropriate control measures. It is not a paperwork exercise but a dynamic process before and during a visit or activity in order that young people can be kept safe from harm. Generic or event specific risk assessments will be used to record significant findings.
External providers: Wherever possible visit leaders will gain credible assurances of health & safety management systems and quality provision through a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge.
Alternatively assurances will be gained through a Provider Statement as detailed in the employer policy
4. Visit Planning and Management System
A web-based system is used to facilitate the efficient planning, management, approval and evaluation of visits. All staff that lead or accompany visits can access their own account which is set up by the Educational Visits Co-ordinator.
The default option is a day visit within the United Kingdom. Visits can be further categorised as follows:
- On-site or local learning area
- Joint visit
- Adventurous (provider led)
- Adventurous (self-led)
Refer to local procedures and guidance regarding the establishments’ use of these categories.
Approval of visits will be made as detailed below. Initial approval in principal will also be gained as required in the employer policy.
Governing Body: Community and voluntary controlled schools
The governing body has a strategic role to set the vision and direction of the school and has responsibility for its educational and financial performance. To enable this it will hold the Headteacher to account by oversight of learning beyond the classroom opportunities to ensure that the educational experiences are of high quality, that best value is obtained and financial regulations are adhered to.
Adviser: Visits abroad and all self-led adventurous activities regardless of location. (As detailed in guidance).
Headteacher: All visits and activities as the Headteacher is the EVC.
Educational Visits Co-ordinator: Local walking visits, bike ability training, local sports fixtures and local swimming visits.
5. Incident Management
In the case of an incident during a visit all members of staff will follow the establishment’s incident management plan as detailed in the appendix.
6. Monitoring of visits and procedures
Governors will monitor the implementation of this policy by acting as a critical friend in monitoring the
implementation and effectiveness of the policy. The Educational Visits Co-ordinator will ensure that there is a system in place for appropriate monitoring of visits and activities.
7. Charges for Off-site Activities and Visits
Charges for educational off-site visits and adventurous activities, including charges for visits and transport, requests for voluntary contributions and remission of charges are made in line with DfE guidance. Reference should also be made to the school charging and remissions policy.
8. Inclusion & SEND
We endorse the principles for young people of a presumption of entitlement to participate, accessibility through direct or realistic adaption or modification and integration through participation with peers.
We acknowledge that it is unlawful to treat a young person with a protected characteristic less favourably or fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that young people with protected characteristics are not placed at a substantial disadvantage without justification.
We also acknowledge that expectations of staff must be reasonable, so that what is required of them (to include a young person) is within their competence and is reasonable. Reference should also be made to the school SEND policy.
Safeguarding procedures should be considered as part of the planning process with additional consideration for residential visits. Visit Leadership Teams should:
- As part of planning, liaise with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and other staff to identify any relevant safeguarding issues
- Have access during a visit to the DSL (or trained deputy) either directly or through the Base Contact.
Any volunteers who accompany any visit or activity will be vetted and be directly supervised by a member of staff. If they are to have significant unsupervised access to young people then an enhanced DBS disclosure will be obtained and they will undergo induction and training in their role and responsibilities as detailed in employer and school policies and local procedures. Reference should also be made to the school safeguarding policy.
Young people participating in visits and activities will have annual travel insurance provided under an annual Schools Journey Insurance policy. Any differences to this will be notified to parents/carers as appropriate before any consent or payment is made.
Careful thought must be given to planning transport to support off-site activities and visits. Statistics demonstrate that it is more hazardous to travel to an activity than to engage in it and staff must follow any specialist guidance provided by your employer.