New Guidance from the Department for Education

Basic Essentials Emergencies Evaluation and reviewing Executing the plan Good practice Model Forms Must Read National Guidance Personalised check lists Planning and Evaluation Planning and Preparation Policies planning and evaluation Roles and responsibilities Specialist activities and visits

The Department for Education (DfE) has revised its guidance “Health & Safety on Educational Visits“.  You can view the guidance here.

The guidance provides a summary of eight key points for organising educational visits, and refers the reader to OEAP’s National Guidance, which provides greater detail on each of these points.  To read the more detailed guidance, follow the links below:

  1. The 2 main types of trips:  4.3c Risk management – an overview  |  1b Foundations  |   5.2b Planning Basics for Outdoor Learning, Off Site Visits and Learning Outside the Classroom | 4.3f Risk  management – some practical advice
  2. When to get consent from parents:  4.3d Parental Consent
  3. Using outside organisations:  4.4h Using external providers and facilities  |  4.4f Assessing an adventure activity provider check list
  4. Adventure activities: caving, climbing, trekking, and watersports:  3.2f AALA Licensing  |  4.4f Assessing an adventure activity provider check list7a Adventure activities  |  3.2d / 4.4a Approval of Leaders  | 7o Natural Water Bathing  | 7x Swimming Pools
  5. Trips abroad:  7q Overseas expeditions |  7r Overseas visits
  6. Knowing what to do in an emergency:  4.1h Avoiding Accidents and Emergencies  |  4.1i Emergencies and Critical Incidents – An Overview   |  4.1k Visit Leader Emergency Checklist | 4.1j Off-Site Visit Emergencies: The Role of School Governors  |  4.1l / 8.1l Visit Leader Emergency Action Card – amendable version
  7. Evaluating trips:  6d FAQs: Retention of Documents  | 5.1a Establishment Self Evaluation Form  | 5.1c Learning outside and off-site visits: self evaluation using the Ofsted framework
  8. Educational visits coordinators:  3.4j Educational Visits Coordinator (EVC)  |  3.3a EVC check list

Exchange Visits and Homestays

Essential Frequently Asked Questions Legal Framework Model Forms Policies Specialist activities and visits

We have updated our guidance about exchange visits and homestays to provide greater clarity about when a DBS check may be required.  This has involved amending documents 3.2a Underpinning Legal Framework, 3.2g Vetting and DBS checks, 7f Exchanges and Homestays and creating a new FAQ 6r Hosting a Homestay.

We have also revised 8a English Homestay form (Word version) and 8b English Homestay Form (PDF version) so that they can be used to collect more of the information needed to make vetting decisions for homestays in the UK.

Jellyfish and Portuguese Man-of-War Stings

Specialist activities and visits

Recent research has called into question the commonly-accepted treatment for lion’s mane jellyfish stings.  Medical authorities have yet to have a chance to consider this research, so it is not yet included in NHS advice.  With many people heading for the sea this summer, we have updated 7e Jellyfish and Portuguese Man-of-War Stings to refer to the new research.

You can download the revised guidance here.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE)

Legal Framework Specialist activities and visits

The Government has recently updated its guidance on Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE). As a result, and after discussions with DfE, we have made minor amendments to National Guidance document 3.2g Vetting and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), specifically about DBS checks for adults involved in homestays. We have similarly updated the document 7f Exchanges and Homestays.

You can download the revised document 3.2g here, and you can download the revised 7f here.

Group safety at water margins

Specialist activities and visits

We have decided it was time to replace the 2001 DfES/CCPR document Group Safety at Water Margins, which we had added to National Guidance in 2014.  Although the content of the original document remains current, many of its links are out of date.

We have therefore created a revised document 7i Group safety at water margins, which updates the previous document.  It covers activities that might take place near or in water – such as a walk along a river bank or seashore, collecting samples from ponds and streams, or paddling or walking in gentle, shallow water.

It does not cover swimming and other activities that require water safety or rescue qualifications and equipment or water-going craft.  Leaders planning for young people to enter the water should also read document 7o Natural water bathing elsewhere in this guidance.

You can download the new document here.

Drinking, drugs and smoking

Specialist activities and visits

Do any of the young people that you work with smoke, drink alcohol regularly or misuse drugs?  If they do, this could manifest itself on an off-site visit, especially a residential one. Also some young people may be tempted, either through curiosity or peer influence, to use opportunities presented on a residential visit to experiment with these substances.

Managing the potential use/misuse of alcohol, drugs and smoking also applies to adult participants, leaders and helpers. Some of the adults may be regular smokers, drinkers or recreational drug users and their habits and expectations may need to be managed.

We have created a new National Guidance document: 7p Drinking, drugs and smoking, which provides guidance on some of the questions to consider when planning a visit and some strategies for management.  You can download the new document here.

Visits to areas at risk of terrorism

Emergencies Specialist activities and visits

In the wake of the attacks in Paris on 13th November 2015, outdoor education advisers have taken calls from EVCs and visit leaders about visits to areas where there is a risk of terrorism.

The National Guidance document 7r Overseas Visits already includes advice about checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, but we have amended the document today to also add a link to Government advice “Recognising the Terrorist Threat“.  Its “Stay Safe” advice at point 2 raises awareness of what to do if you are involved in a terrorist attack.

As well as amending 7r Overseas Visits, we have also added the Government link to 4.1c Off Site Visit Emergencies: Guidance for Leaders.

Overseas Visits – Visa Waivers

Specialist activities and visits

Did you know that schools and sixth form colleges travelling in the EU with non-EU pupils can apply to the British Council for a ‘Travellers List’ which is a visa waiver? We have updated the document 7r Overseas Visits to include information about this, including how to apply.

Please note that this does not include non-EU teachers travelling with the visit, who would need to apply for their own visas.

To see the updated document, please click here.

Overseas Visits

Specialist activities and visits

Did you know that if young people leaving the country are flagged on police watch lists (for example, where there are concerns that they may be at risk of child sexual exploitation or abduction) the airport police may wish to interview the young person and see evidence of consent for them to travel abroad, prior to allowing them to board the aeroplane?

If you are taking a group abroad, and you know (or suspect) that a young person in your group is flagged, you are advised to ring 101 in advance of the visit. You will be directed to the appropriate police section to pre-empt any flagging issues at the airport.

We have updated 7r Overseas Visits to cover this point.  You can find it here.