Advice on school trip documentation, legislation and teacher-pupil ratios
Organising a school trip can be daunting especially if you are worried about documentation, legislation, health and safety assessments and supervision ratios.
This article is to give you an insight into some of the aspects when considering planning your school trip, it is not a comprehensive list as establishments will vary to what documentation and legal requirements you will need when planning your trip.
It is always recommended to check with your establishment and Local Authority for further information.
Health and safety is a very good starting point when thinking about planning your trip. A good starting point for research is the Department of Health and Safety guide for schools found on their website (click here for website). In particular, page 7 provides advice on health and safety for school trips abroad.
Our guide to Risk Assessments Explained is also another great starting point to help you get your trip off the ground.
Pupil to Staff ratios on trips and visits
Pupil to staff ratio for school trips are not prescribed in law. Those planning a trips, on a basis of risk assessment, should decide the ratios, taking into account the activity to be undertaken and the age and maturity of the pupils.
The Department of Education (DfE) does not require certain ratios of staff to pupils for trips abroad. However, a school would still be expected to carry out an appropriate risk assessment, and determine their staff needs based on that assessment.
Local Authorities (LA) may have more specific requirements about staffing ratios for the schools to follow and these will vary, and may not in any way directed by the DfE.
Levels of Supervision whilst on a school trip
Levels of supervision should be determined by school risk assessment for the trip. There should be clear boundaries and clear lines of communication. Remote supervision is considered by the DfE to be part of the development programme; it should be phased in gradually because it is important for children to learn to be independent.
Need more advice? Click on our Teachers Zone tab for additional material.
Click here to read the Department for Health and Safety's FAQs on School Trips.