Trips (Educational Visits) Policy

Date: 16/10/2020

This policy applies to all trips and activities off College premises at all times of the year. The policy and the associated permission forms and trips approval procedures are based on the key guidance document in this area –
‘Health and Safety: advice on legal duties and powers’ (DfE February 2014) which replaced ‘Health and Safety: Responsibilities and Powers’ (2001) and ‘Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits’ (DfEE 1998) and the three supplements to the document (DfES 2002). 

All trips must comply with the guidance in this document.

Copies are available from the Vice Principal, Pastoral.

The Vice Principal, Pastoral is responsible for:

  • formulation of trips policy
  • development of standardised procedures to be followed when staff members are seeking approval for trips and activities
  • advising the Head of Activities Dept. and teachers on the development of a trips and activities programme suitable for their students to include consideration of
    • types of trips and activities e.g. cultural, outdoor education
    • duration of trips i.e. day, overnight etc.
    • impact on teaching and other activities
    • cost of trips and activities to students
    • educational value
    • budget arrangements
    • staffing
  • checking and approval of proposals for trips and activities
  • ensuring involvement of teaching staff in trips and activities in line with their contractual obligations.

The Trip Leader is responsible for:

  • the detailed planning of the trip including itineraries, risk assessments and budgeting
  • communication with parents before and during the trip
  • behaviour of students in line with the College Regulations
  • ensuring that the needs of students with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities and medical issues are met
  • deployment of staff
  • getting approval for the trip and the arrangement from the Vice Principal, Pastoral.

Approval of day trips
Submit the ‘Day Trips Approval form, fully completed with associated risk assessment, to the Vice Principal, Pastoral, a minimum of 3 days before the trip.

Approval of overnight or overseas trips
For such trips, pre-approval is necessary. This is to avoid staff members planning trips that are unlikely to be approved. For any trips that have not run before, see the Vice Principal, Pastoral to discuss arrangements for the trip as detailed in the ‘Trips Pre-approval form’.
Once pre-approval has been given, then proceed to plan the trip in line with the guidance in this policy and the documents noted above. Submit the completed ‘Overnight/Overseas Trips Approval’ form to the Vice Principal, Pastoral a minimum of two weeks prior to the trip departure date.

Parental approval
As part of the Joining Documents, parents provide approval for day trips and activities. If this approval is withheld then students must not participate in such trips and activities. The Head of Activities is responsible for keeping a list of such students updated on the Staff Room notice board.

Written parental consent (electronically scanned) must be obtained for students’ participation in overnight or overseas trips.

Timing of trips
Check the calendar produced by the Vice Principal at the start of each academic year.

Activities consent forms
The Activities Dept. holds a list of the students for whom parents have given permission to go on trips and any restrictions that may have been imposed by the parents. If students’ names are not on this list, they must not go on a trip. Exemplar forms for parental permission for specific trips can be obtained from the Activities Dept. for completion.

Group composition
Staff to student ratios for school trips are not prescribed in law​ but St. Clare’s follows the guidelines detailed in Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Trips (DfEE 1998).
Day trips within the UK – 1:15, though this ratio does not apply to trips which involve hazardous activitiesor where other hazards have been identified in the risk assessment.
For trips abroad and overnight trips, the minimum ratio is 1:10, though there should be a minimum of two teachers, one of which should be female.
All staff that accompany trips must have enhanced DBS checks. Volunteers are not permitted to accompany overnight or overseas trips.

Transport (College vehicles)
No charges must be made for use of the College minibuses, which are licensed as Private Light Goods Vehicles, and no payment must be made for driving.
Book a minibus through the Porters’ lodge.
Make sure that any drivers have passed their test.
Ensure that minibus checks have been carried out with the Porter.

Insurance and Health
All students must be adequately insured for any trip organised by College. College insurance cover will extend to most activities arranged by St Clare’s staff, though you must check the exclusions, particularly for hazardous activities.
An EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) should be obtained for British and EU nationals travelling abroad, so that they can get reduced cost/free hospital treatment. Students can apply for the card online (free of charge).
Check with students that they have received the inoculations required, as appropriate to the country visited and the activities in which the students are to be engaged.

Emergency contact arrangements
It is essential that parents and/or College should be able to contact a staff member on the trip should an emergency occur relating to College or the family of one of the students on the trip.
Should an emergency occur on the trip, then a member of staff must be contactable at College who will be able to liaise with staff, parents, students as required.
In serious emergencies the following numbers are available:

  • Vice Principal Pastoral & DSL: 07932724511
  • College switchboard (for use during College working days): 01865 552031
  • Porters duty mobile number: 07967 127281
  • College internal emergency out-of-hours number (Head of Boarding): ​

Safety arrangements

  1. Ideally, one or more of the trip leaders should be first aid trained.
  2. A first aid trip pack must be obtained from the Nurse and taken on every overnight trip, overseas trip and any trips that involve hazardous activities. 
  3. Where feasible, accommodation to be occupied by students should be visited prior to the trip or alternatively prior to occupation of the premises by students, to ensure that first aid and fire safety arrangements are appropriate. Information must be sought from the owners of the accommodation to be used so that the trip leaders can satisfy themselves that the fire safety and first aid arrangements are appropriate.
  4. When the leaders arrive on site (especially for overnight stays) they must satisfy themselves that the fire safety arrangements are satisfactory.

Special needs
Check with students and records held by the College Nurse that students with any special dietary, religious or medical requirements are catered for.

Refer to the guidelines on leading activities and excursions which can be found on the activities website here​.
Keep a careful record of income from student trip fees and all expenditure (receipts must be obtained). Present the accounts to the Bursary to check that costs are calculated correctly and allocated to the correct budgets and that all expenditure is appropriate and accounted for.

Passports and visas must be checked prior to the visit (overseas) to ensure that all students and accompanying staff will be allowed entry to the countries to be visited. It is the responsibility of the student’s parents or guardian to ensure that the student has a visa which allows them to travel to the trip destination(s).  ​Staff organising the trip should also provide Admissions with a list of travellers, once known, so that visa and passport records can be checked. 

Risk assessment
Generic risk assessments, which cover many of the hazards common to most trips are part of both the day trips approval forms and the overnight/overseas trips approval forms. Please ensure that you have read and understood these risk assessments. Complete the section on the risk assessment sheet for hazards that are specific to the trip you are leading. Overnight and overseas trips will require specific risk assessments that take account of the accommodation and activities specific to each trip. A blank risk assessment form is included in the trips approval form for such trips.

The trip leader must discuss the risk assessments with accompanying members of staff on the trip and provide them with a copy of the risk assessment before the trip. Students must also be informed of risks and steps they must take to reduce them.

Cancellation and Refunds Policy
There will be no refund for any cancellations made by parents or guardians after the closing date. 

It is the responsibility of the student’s parents or guardian to ensure that the student has a visa which allows them to travel to the trip destination(s).  If a cancellation has to be made after the closing date because the student is not eligible to travel to the trip destinations(s) for visa reasons, a refund will not be made.

If a cancellation is made because of the ill-health of the student, it may be possible for the parents/guardian to make a claim under the College’s student travel policy.  Claims must be made by contacting the College’s Financial Controller.

If a place is cancelled and a replacement found, the College may make a full or partial refund.  However, this will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If the trip is cancelled by the College a refund will normally be made unless the cancellation is for reasons of student behaviour.​

Cancellation of a students’ place can only be done by the parent, in writing. 

Associated forms
Day Trips Approval
Trips Pre-approval
Overnight/Overseas Trips Approval
Generic Day Trips Risk Assessment
Generic Overnight/Overseas Trips Risk Assessment
Risk Assessment (blank)

Covid-19 Risk assessment

Most recent review / amendment
VPP July 2020