Iqra High School
Health & Safety
School Trips Procedures
The organisation of all our educational and recreational visits follows current best practice guidance as described in the Department of Education advice on health and safety for schools, issued April 2012, governing activities that take place on or off school premises, including school trips.
The HSE fully supports schools arranging a wide range of out of school activities, which can include visits to museums, trips to the countryside or taking part in challenging and adventurous activities.
At Iqra High School going off site for recreation and education is a fundamental part of our curriculum. We believe that learning is much more than teacher-lead, classroom-based lessons. It is a common practice for a trip to take students out during the day, superseding the lesson timetable.
Striking the right balance between protecting pupils from risk and allowing them to learn from school trips can be a challenge, but getting this balance right is essential for realising all these benefits in practice.
Our arrangements for trips ensure that:
- risk assessment focuses attention on real risks
- proportionate systems are in place – so that trips presenting lower-risk activities are quick and easy to organise, and higher-risk activities (such as those involving climbing or water-based activities) are properly planned and assessed;
- those planning the trips are properly supported – so that staff can readily check if they have taken sufficient precautions or whether they should do more.
It is important that those running school trips act responsibly by:
- putting in place sensible precautions, and making sure these work in practice;
- knowing when and how to apply contingency plans where they are necessary;
- heeding advice and warnings from others, for example those with local knowledge or specialist expertise (especially in respect of higher-risk activities).
Risk assessment and management
The terms ‘risk assessment’ and ‘risk management’ are used to describe the process of thinking about the health and safety risks of any activity and the steps taken to counter them.
Sensible management of risk does not mean that a separate written risk assessment is required for every activity and a commonsense and proportionate approach, as recommended, is taken, remembering that in schools risk assessment and risk management are tools to enable students to undertake activities safely, and not prevent activities from taking place.
Routine activities will already have been risk assessed, for example, walking to the PE facility. By being aware of the risk assessment the activity leader makes sure that IHS
the precautions remain suitable each time these activities take place, updating the assessment as appropriate.
For new activities, a specific assessment of significant risks must be carried out. Where a risk assessment is carried out the significant findings of the assessment are recorded.
For less frequent activities a review of an existing assessment may be all that is needed.
Adventure Activity Licences
When planning an activity that will involve climbing, trekking or water sports, the school uses providers who hold a licence as required by the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004. However, the school does not require a licence for it own provision to its own students.
Written consent from parents is not required for pupils to take part in the majority of 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.
Instead a Consent Form for School Trips and Other Off-Site Activities and Medical Information Form is completed by all parents at the time of admission, supplying necessary details and consent giving power to act in a medical emergency when required.
When practical, parents should be told in advance of planned trips and activities and given the opportunity to withdraw their child from any particular school trip or activity covered by the form. This will normally be through parent newsletters and information emails. However, many activities happen more spontaneously and a judgement must be made about the likelihood of the activity being of a nature that some parents might not wish their children to participate. It should be noted that no trip at Iqra High School is ever compulsory for any student.
Additional written consent is usually only requested for activities that need a higher level of risk management or those that take place outside school hours.
All relevant incidents, accidents and near misses will be reported as appropriate to HSE and insurers.
The procedure outlined below is to be followed by any adult (usually a teacher) who is responsible for the care and management of a group of Sands School students. Adults may include volunteer helpers, for example, parents and carers.
- A Trips Risk Assessment is to be conducted where necessary.
- Written parental consent is to be obtained for overnight trips or trips involving a higher level of risk, e.g. adventure activities.
- The trip leader must fill out a trip registration form before taking any trips off site. As well as being a list of the students on the trip, it also is a place to put trip times, responsible adults, contact numbers, and tick boxes to confirm that the responsible adult has read the appropriate
Risk assessments and knows of all the medical needs of participating students.
- All trips will have an adult with appropriate training. Although the staff have many of the necessary qualifications we also often hire in instructors from time to time. These will bring their own health and safety requirements which we will adhere to.
- One adult will be identified as the person taking overall responsibility for students and staff during the trip. They must always carry a mobile telephone.
- Pupil to staff ratios for school trips are not prescribed in law. Those planning trips, on the basis of risk assessment, should decide the ratios, taking into account the activity to be undertaken and the age and maturity of the pupils.
- All trips should include an adult trained in First Aid and all adults should know where the First Aid Kit is.
- After an accident – as soon as possible make a formal record and hand it to the senior staff responsible detailing:
- name of student
- time of injury
- nature and cause of injury
- action taken
|Revision date||October 2018|