Brighton Hill Community School

36. Off-Site Activities

Information & Policies

Published on - 29-06-2018

Scope

This policy covers all offsite activities, and aims to ensure such activities enrich students’  learning, but without unduly disrupting the timetabled educational programme. It also aims to ensure that such activities are planned and led effectively and professionally. The health and safety of staff and students taking part in offsite activities is of the highest priority. 

An offsite activity is any activity which takes students away from Brighton Hill Community School’s campus, either during or outside of the timing of the school day, which has been organised by a member of the teaching staff in his or her professional capacity. 

Activity Leader

Each offsite activity will have a designated Activity Leader, which shall hold qualified teacher status (QTS), and be present throughout the offsite activity. Newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and staff without QTS may not act as Activity Leader for offsite activities, but may accompany and supervise on offsite activities, if deemed suitable by the Headteacher. 

Activity Leaders are responsible for the health and safety of students and staff taking part in  offsite activities. 

The lead manager for the application and monitoring of this policy is the Headteacher.

Permission

Please note that the requirements outlined below this paragraph do not cover sporting activities after school hours, which take place at away venues on days when students are attending school. In such cases, the Activity Leader will ensure that a Medical Information Form has been completed and submitted for each students taking part in the offsite activity. 

The Activity Leader will also ensure that written permission from a parent/carer has been received for each students taking part in the offsite activity. Please note that a telephone call or a text message does not satisfy this requirement. 

The Activity Leader will apply to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) for permission for the offsite activity to go ahead.  This will be done through use of form A (visits initial authorisation form).  The Activity Leader will not make any arrangements with students, parents/carers or outside bodies until such permission has been given. 

Offsite activities which result in substantial alteration to students’ normal timetable commitment, or require substantial cover, will be discussed by the senior leadership team before permission can be given.  Cover costs may need to be budgeted where supply is required to cover normal teaching staff as a result of an off-site visit.

The Educational Visits Co-ordinator will not give permission for an offsite activity to go ahead

if: 

  1. there are concerns about the health and safety of students and/or staff taking part;
  2. there is no sound educational basis for the offsite activity; 
  3. if the cover required would disrupt the efficient and effective running of the school;
  4. if students’ learning would be disrupted, rather than enhanced; or 
  5. in conjunction with other activities taking place at the same time, the activity would be too disruptive to the normal daily routine of the school. 

If the Headteacher/Assistant Headteacher approves the offsite activity, the Activity Leader will  complete Forms B (visits cover authorisation), Forms C (visits budget) and form D and submit them to the  within ten working days to SLT.  

Final authorisation of the trip will only be given following receipt of these forms.  SLT will inform the Educational Visits Co-ordinator, who will confirm that the trip has been authorised and will then instruct the trip leader to input relevant details (including full risk assessments, itinerary’s, and student lists) onto EVOLVE.  The EVC will ensure all trip leaders have an active EVOLVE account so that relevant details can be uploaded.

The Senior Leadership Team will inform the cover manager that cover is required.  No additional cover form is required at this stage.  Form A/B will be used to allocate cover.

The Activity Leader will read the Employer Guidance document found in the ‘resources’ section of Evolve. Please note that this should be read before each offsite activity is organised, as it is subject to change and revision. 

The Activity Leader must enter details of the trip on Evolve, found online at www.hampshireoutdoors.com, including completion of the Risk Assessment (form D).

Please note that the Activity Leader could expose himself or herself to personal liability if any of the procedures set out in the planning checklist are not followed correctly.   A trip leaders/organisers checklist is available on the internal teacher drive to support the organisation process.

All Offsite Activities

Offsite activities will only be provided for students who are on roll at Brighton Hill Community School at the time the offsite visit takes place. 

Former students who are over 18 years of age may travel with the group, but only if deemed suitable by the Educational Visits Co-ordinator and the Headteacher. Governors may form part of the staffing for an offsite activity, but must carry out their duties in full, and in line with the Activity Leader’s requirements. Spouses may form part of the staffing for an offsite activity, but must carry out their duties in full, and in line with the Activity Leader’s requirements. Parents/carers should not travel with the group, or form part of the staffing for an offsite activity, unless they are also employees of Brighton Hill Community School. 

Children of members of the staffing for an offsite activity may not travel with the group, or take part in the offsite activity, unless permission has been obtained from the Educational Visits Co-ordinator and the Headteacher, based on a specific risk assessment for those children. 

The Activity Leader will ensure that a Medical Information Form has been completed and submitted for each students taking part in the offsite activity. 

The Activity Leader will ensure that written permission from a parent/carer has been received for each students taking part in the offsite activity. Please note that a telephone call or a text message does not satisfy this requirement. 

Ratio

A minimum of two members of staff shall form the staffing of any offsite activity, unless the group is within the recommended ratio and students are attending events where other schools and other members of staff are present, e.g. at a school sports tournament. For offsite activities taking place less than 60 miles from Brighton Hill Community School, a ratio of 1:20 staff/students shall apply. For all other activities, including residential offsite activities, a ratio of 1:12 staff/students shall apply. 

If the offsite activity is taking place near open water, a member of staff with a current HIAS Outdoor Leader (Open Country) qualification must be present with students for the duration of the offsite activity that takes place near open water. 

Residential Offsite Activities

Permission for a residential offsite activity will not be given until the accommodation and itinerary has been risk assessed by the Activity Leader and approved by the local authority (Hampshire County Council). 

International residential offsite activities should be appropriately supervised.  Where high numbers of students are involved, a reduced student to teacher ratio is recommended and should be considered, e.g. 1 staff to 8 students.  In addition, further guidance from HCC must be sought during the planning of the trip to ensure student to staff ratios are appropriate for the activities that will take place on the trip.

Activity Leaders for residential offsite activities must satisfy themselves that the accommodation is appropriate for their group. The appropriate type of accommodation and supervision will vary according to the needs, age, gender and abilities of the group. Activity Leaders should not book accommodation on which they have not conducted a pre-visit inspection, in order to satisfy themselves of its suitability. 

On pre-visit inspections, Activity Leaders must consider: 

  1. the security of the building at night, including ensuring that doors and downstairs windows can be locked; 
  2. adequate fire exits and details of fire officer’s report (or equivalent); 
  3. bathroom, toilet and washing facilities, including ensuring they do not have to be shared with others; 
  4. floor plan to illustrate location of students’ and staff sleeping areas; 
  5. the size of the rooms, in proportion to the number of students it is expected to accommodate; 
  6. the cleanliness of the bathroom, toilet and washing facilities; 
  7. window openings and retainers in upstairs rooms; 
  8. access to balconies in upstairs rooms, including the height of balcony retainers, if applicable; 
  9. availability of a large meeting area for your specific use and needs at the accommodation; 
  10. whether or not the accommodation offers value for money; 
  11. the district and neighbourhood of the accommodation; 
  12. the availability of recreation and game facilities for students to use at the accommodation. 
  13. the availability of relevant tour representatives; 
  14. access to public telephones at the accommodation; 
  15. proximity of the accommodation to local amenities; 
  16. quality of the food offered at the accommodation; 
  17. condition of local transport available, including the mandatory use of seat belts;
  18. availability of local doctors and dentists; 
  19. details of the nearest British Embassy or equivalent consular representative, if abroad; and proximity to open water.

For all residential offsite activities, a Parents’ Information Evening must be held, in order to inform parents/carers of your findings on the pre-inspection visit, to outline the itinerary and offer parents/carers the opportunity to ask specific questions. 

Activity Leaders must be able to state to parents/carers that a risk assessment has been completed and that the accommodation and proposed itinerary are acceptable, in their judgement, with respect to the health, welfare and safety of students. 

Other Offsite Activities

It is possible that a member of staff is involved with out-of-school activities which include students from Brighton Hill Community School, but where this activity has nothing to do with the school. It is essential in such instances for the member of staff to seek permission from the Headteacher and, with agreement from the Headteacher, make it clear to parents/carers that he or she is not operating in his or her professional capacity as a member of staff at Brighton Hill Community School. 

Training

The Educational Visits Co-ordinator will ensure that training and guidance is offered to staff involved in organising offsite activities. 

The Educational Visits Co-ordinator will ensure staff qualifications are monitored and updated accordingly.

Monitoring

The Educational Visits Co-ordinator will ensure that, in the case of each offsite activity, the Activity Leader has conformed to all the procedures set out in the school’s offsite activities flowchart (attached), and will check that all relevant information is included on EVOLVE, and that the trip has been given authorisation by the Headteacher and/or Senior Leadership Team, and (where relevant) the Local Authority. 

 

Last ratified: May 2018 

Next review date: May 2019