New school trip health and safety advice by DfE

Date Posted: 04/12/2018

The guidance, which has been released by the Department for Education (DfE), offers advice for teachers on health and safety when it comes to planning school trips.

The new advice offers support on getting consent from parents, using external organisations, planning adventure activities and taking trips abroad.

Other topics included in the new guidelines include dealing with emergencies, evaluating trips, educational visits coordinators, routine visits and trips that need a risk assessment.

The health and safety guidance refers teachers to the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) National Guidance and also endorses the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom’s (CLOtC) Quality Badge.

Additionally, the new DfE guidance recommends that every school should appoint an educational visits co-ordinator, and provides links to OEAP’s National Guidance (http://oeapng.info) which gives advice on all aspects of educational visits.

Responses to the Government’s new guidance

Adrian Clarke, OEAP national chairman, said: “We believe that every child in every school should have access to a comprehensive programme of high quality outdoor learning, educational visits and adventurous activities as an integral part of a compelling school curriculum.”

Kim Somerville, chief executive officer for CLOtC, added: “We want more schools to take learning beyond the classroom but understand that can be a daunting prospect for time-strapped schools. Our Quality Badge provides peace of mind for teachers.

“We are pleased that the Department for Education has recognised the value of this accreditation and is encouraging schools to seek it out when planning their school trips and visits.”

Further information for teachers

In depth details on the DfE’s school trips health and safety guidance are available on the government website (www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-safety-on-educational-visits/health-and-safety-on-educational-visits).

OEAP also offers training programmes for educational visit co-ordinators, details of which can be found on their website (www.outdooreducationadvisers.co.uk/training), and schools can check if an organisation holds the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge here (http://lotcqualitybadge.org.uk/search).

School Travel Organiser's Guide