The first steps towards planning a safe school trip

Date Posted: 26/07/2018

Whether it’s your first time organising or your fiftieth, safety is something that will always be in the foreground when planning a successful school trip.

Here, we look at some of the steps you’ll need to consider and act upon to deliver a mixture of fun and wellbeing.

1. Risk Assessment and preliminary visits

Many attractions and operators recommend a preliminary visit for teachers to attend in order to get a taste for the location and see what is on offer. This is a way to size up any risks that you may encounter so you can plan for any possible situations and make sure all children are catered for.

The School Journey Association is among those who offer preliminary visit. The organisation suggests that a pre-visit will help teachers look for appropriateness of venues, check timings, evaluate potential hazards and obtain information of local service in the case of an emergency.

2. Health information

Making sure you are aware of the specific health needs of pupils is something that all teachers will go through when arranging a school trip. However, it is also important that the child has records of any health problems or requirements on them in case they are separated from the group and for in case of an emergency. 

Child Safe Limited is an organisation which can provide special wrist bands for pupils to wear on their trip, which include vital health information and contact details which allow someone to help them if they get lost.

ClassHug is another company which can help take the stress away when it comes to keeping track on children on a school trip. The organisation provides special headcount devices to ensure all children are accounted for at all times.

3. Communication

Communication with parents, staff and pupils is key. Many attractions and operators are happy to communicate with the specifics of your trip and help you along the way with organising. However, it is down to the teacher to make sure parents are onboard and aware of everything the trip will entail.

Sending parents itineraries of the trip is a good place to start, and many organisations such as Voyages School Travel will have itineraries ready to send you as well as example itineraries which can give both teachers and parents an idea of what pupils will be up to.

4. Accredited marks

If it’s your first time visiting a location it is good to do some background checks to make sure that everything is legitimate. Checking the attraction/operator’s website and looking for symbols such as the LOtC Quality Badge which is a scheme managed by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. It’s a symbol that lets you know the destination has been awarded for providing safe learning.

ABTOT is another mark you might like to look out for. ABTOT is a trade association that shows an attraction is compliant with travel regulations.

School Travel Organiser's Guide