It is important that schools follow their employer’s guidance for the management of residential learning experiences.
For many schools this will continue to be their local authority’s guidance. Until recently this guidance has tended to vary quite considerably from local authority to local authority. This lack of a consistent approach has made planning quite difficult for schools. As a result, the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) has recently produced new National Guidance for the Management of Outdoor Learning, Off-Site Visits and Learning Outside the Classroom.
The guidance has been written for employers to adopt as their policy, and as guidance for their staff to use. Employers who adopt this guidance should have a policy document that directs staff to use this guidance, and sets out their specific arrangements for staff training, access to advice, notification or approval of visits and monitoring. Advice about these issues is included in the guidance. Employees must be sure that their employer has adopted the guidance before using it. Find out more here.
It is essential for school staff to check whether their employer has adopted this guidance before using it. To check if this is the case, you can find your local authority adviser here.
The Royal Geographical Society with IBG runs regular Off-site Safety Management courses, which provide training for anyone planning visits in the UK or overseas. Over two days the course takes an in-depth look at the practicalities of risk management while planning, leading and evaluating local visits, fieldtrips, expeditions, residentials and exchanges. Details can be found here.
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