School trips or visits allow pupils to encounter experiences that are unavailable in the classroom. They can help pupils to develop initiative, resourcefulness and independence. It also helps develop emotional and physical well-being, develops environmental awareness and interpersonal skills.
Our schools are able to book residential trips at the Pendarren House outdoor education centre, set in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Pendarren is owned and maintained by Haringey Council and has been providing residential adventurous outdoor education courses since 1972.
It is essential that visits take place with the highest regard for the safety and welfare of pupils. Guidelines have been developed to provide helpful and practical advice to governing bodies, headteachers and teachers in the organisation of school visits.
School visits are classified as follows:
- Category 1: day trips within London
- Category 2: day trips within the UK
- Category 3: residential trips (including Pendarren), overseas visits or visits involving adventurous activity in external outdoor activities centre etc.
The school visit category defines how approval for the trip is sought.
Our guidelines also define minimum adult to pupil ratios for trips as follows:
Ratio for category 1 and 2 visits
- One adult for 6 pupils in years 1 to 3
- One adult for 15 pupils in years 4 to 6
- One adult for 20 pupils in years 7 onwards
Ratio for category 3 visits
- One adult to 4 pupils in years 1 to 3
- One adult to 10 pupils in years 4 onwards.
These figures are for guide purposes only and reflect the minimum requirement. Schools in Haringey often exceed these levels to ensure the safety of pupils and students alike. The adults may be members of staff and/or parent volunteers. Volunteers will be carefully selected and be known to other adults and pupils on the visit. Volunteers for residential visits will have been screened for criminal convictions in the same way that permanent staff in educational establishments are checked. Volunteers will not be left alone to be in charge of a group - they will always be with a recognised school staff member.
There are currently no documented guidelines for supervision levels for nursery and reception classes, but good practice would indicate a ratio of 1 adult to 2 children, with criminal conviction checks as given above.
Schools may make charges or request a voluntary financial contribution for trips. Children of parents on certain benefits will not be asked to pay the full charge for residential visits.
Booking and approval of visits
The recording, reviewing and approval of all educational visits are now carried out using EVOLVE. This is an online management system introduced in April 2017.
The system is set up to ensure that the Educational Visit Coordinator for each educational establishment approves all visits, prior to approval by the Head Teacher and Chair of Governors. Certain visits will require final approval by the council’s corporate safety team, including:
- visits outside of England;
- visits involving strenuous activities;
- visits with overnight stays.
Training on the use of EVOLVE is provided on FUSE and should be completed prior to using EVOLVE. The training can be located by searching the word EVOLVE in the FUSE system.
- For further information see the Health and Safety pages on Department for Education website (external link).
Health and Safety Team
4th Floor River Park House
225 High Road
Health and Safety Helpline: 020 8489 4589
Health and Safety Mailbox: Health.SafetyAdvice@haringey.gov.uk
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