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Planning, preparation and vigilance of competent leaders is key
“Establishments must ensure that the staffing of visits enables leaders to supervise young people effectively” says the National Guidance document Ratios and Effective Supervision.
The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) produces National Guidance, which provides comprehensive support for the management of high-quality outdoor learning, educational visits and adventurous activities.
This significant document covers decisions that will need to be made with regards to the staffing and supervision of learning outside the classroom related activities. Consideration should be given to:-
- The nature and duration of the visit and the planned activities
- The location and environment in which the activity is to take place
- The nature of the group, including the number of young people and their age, level of development, sex, ability and needs (behavioural, medical, emotional and educational)
- Staff competence
- The consequence of a member of staff being indisposed, particularly where they
will be the sole leader with a group for any significant time.
“Staffing ratios are a risk management issue and should be determined through the process of risk assessment. It is not possible to set down definitive staff/participant ratios for a particular age group or activity.”
“Staffing, especially for visits to remote locations or overseas, should take into account how the group will be supervised effectively given the possibility of a leader becoming indisposed or having to leave the group, for example to accompany a sick child to hospital”, advises the document.
The download also contains direct links a variety of other supporting OEAP National Guidance documents.