Carrying out a thorough health and safety assessment before heading out on a school trip will ensure that you’re compliant with all health and safety laws. This involves examining potential harmful situations so that you can identify what you can do to prevent these from happening.
The employer (local authority or governing body) is the party responsible for health and safety. They must assess the risks to both the students and their staff when it comes to activities. The law states that they must “take a common sense and proportionate approach” to risk assessments, with the aim being to enable students to participate safely rather than prevent them taking part altogether.
It’s understandable that no amount of planning can completely eliminate risks completely, but good planning can ensure a safe and productive school trip.
Identify Potential Hazards
This doesn’t mean that you have to consider everything that could possibly go wrong on a school trip. It’s more effective to think about the potential risks that you have more control over, such as losing a student whilst out on your trip.
Different school trips will bring about their own hazards; with some having significantly more than others. These should be addressed as soon as a trip is decided on so that the appropriate risk assessments can be carried out.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) was extended back in 2001 to cover the educational sector. This states that schools must ensure that pupils with disabilities or special educational needs are not treated different to anyone else in both the classroom and on school trips. Therefore, it’s essential that you ensure that there is reasonable access at all times – this should be included in your initial planning.
Your risk assessment should include students with disabilities so that you can take appropriate action.
All school trips require a certain level of supervision, something that is decided through looking at the number of students attending the trip. Schools must follow the minimum requirements for adult supervision.
It’s also important that you have someone attending that is certified in first aid.
Give Parents Detailed Information
Detailed written information should be sent out to parents a few weeks before the school trip. This gives them the time to send back their consent for their child to take part. The information should include where and when the trip is happening, what the travel arrangements are, what equipment is needed, the cost, any risks involved, food arrangements, the level of supervision and health and safety information.
A school trip is an exciting time for both students and staff – as it gives them the opportunity to do learning outside the classroom.
Here at Fussell’s Travel Service, we provide a fantastic school booking service for locations across the whole of the UK. Our expert team will be more than happy to help you plan your visit – providing tailor-made itineraries for your specific needs.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 01229 826861 to find out more information on out services.