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 Educational Excursions Policy and Procedures

Introduction

The school curriculum provides opportunities for students to experience life in community situations outside the family. Appropriately planned and supervised camps and excursions assist greatly in the students' understanding of the community in which they live.

Because excursions involve both staff and students leaving the school premises, they often present risks to which staff and students are not normally exposed to at school. Schools need to ensure that the health and safety of staff and students on excursions is managed just as it would within the school grounds.

 

Definition

An educational excursion is any student activity conducted outside the school site that is organised by the school and approved by the school principal.

 

Procedure

  1. The school principal will be responsible for approving all educational excursions.
  2. An educational excursion must have clear educational outcomes which take into account:
    - the overall education program and
    - the educational needs of the students
  3. The principal will ensure that clear and comprehensive information is conveyed to parents regarding full details of time, location, cost, travel plans, educational activities, supervision and transport arrangements.
  4. Parents will be asked to sign a form acknowledging the receipt of the information about the excursion, providing medical history and any medication requirements and giving their consent for their child to participate.
  5. The principal will be satisfied that health and safety risks associated with the excursion have been addressed. Staff will complete an Excursion Risk Management Form and submit this form to the principal for approval.
  6. Where educational excursions involve physical education, outdoor education or sporting activities, staff will refer to the Department of Education Manual "Workplace, Health and Safety Activity Modules" (DOEM).7. The principal will be satisfied that the following specific health and safety issues have been addressed prior to the educational excursion:
  • staff members employed by Brisbane Catholic Education and who are appropriately qualified will supervise students.
  • First Aid qualifications will be kept up to date. All staff will renew their CPR annually and some members of staff will be required to have their full Senior First Aid Certificate. At least one staff member travelling on school camp will possess his/her Senior First Aid. First Aid equipment appropriate to the excursion will be readily available.
  • The ratio of adults/students will be appropriate to the age of the students and type of activities planned.
  • For any educational excursion the accompanying staff members must carry a record of students' significant medical conditions. Where medication is to be administered during an excursion or whilst on camp, the form Administration of Medication to Students will be completed by parents.
  • At an appropriate time, students students will be given a briefing concerning the excursion, the potential hazards and precautions to be taken, and the expected behaviour of the students, particularly during transport to and from the venue.
  • Volunteers chosen to accompany students will be selected according to the expertise they have relevant to the planned activities. Consideration will also be given to gender balance.
  • The Brisbane Catholic Education Incident Recording and Investigation Procedures will be followed in the event of injury.
  • Charter bus services must follow certain rules and meet certain standards that address the safety of passengers. The school will be aware of these rules and standards to ensure that risks associated with this component of the excursion are fully managed. The primary guidance source when chartering a bus will be the document published by Queensland Transport "Safe School Travel: Chartering a Bus - A Guide for School Communities".
  • Each excursion will be subject to rigorous examination before a decision will be made regarding the use of buses. However, the following guidelines will be adhered to:

    (a) if an excusion requires the bus to travel on the freeway, motorway, outside the CBD or allows the bus to travel to travel in areas which have a speed limit in excess of 60 km/h, buses WITH SEATBELTS will be chartered.
    (b) decisions relating to whether buses are hired with seat belts or without will be made following the completion of a risk assessment. Age of children, distance to be travelled, route to be taken and speed zones will be considered during this risk assessment.
    (c) Use of private vehicles for educational excursions is to be discouraged. However, this may be unavoidable at times. If private vehicles are to be used, the principal should be satisfied that vehicles are registered and reliable and that the driver is licensed adequately for the type of vehicle.