Educational off-site visits - General information

Advice for Heads of Service, Headteachers, Principals, Teachers, Educational Visits Coordinators, Establishment Staff and Governing Bodies.

Traditionally, educational establishments within Doncaster have had a strong programme of visits and journeys, reflecting the high value placed upon the contribution they make to enabling learning and developing the potential of young people through real experience and social interaction.  Doncaster Council aims to positively support such experiences so that young people may be engaged, inspired, developed and enthused in their learning and development.

According to Ofsted, learning outside the classroom makes a clear contribution to the learning and development of young people.  

"When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils' personal, social and emotional development."  

Learning Outside the Classroom: How far should you go?

Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) (2008).

‘DMBC Educational Off-site Visits and Adventurous Activities Policy and Guidance’ (see the ‘Downloads and Resources’ section) is the employer guidance for all staff employed by Doncaster Council and by all non Doncaster Council staff whose employer has adopted this guidance in relation to their establishment’s off-site educational and adventurous activities.  DMBC has adopted the Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel (OEAP) National Guidance as current best practice.  Policy, Procedures and Guidance supported by thorough preparation prior to the departure of a visit, provide a framework for all educational off-site visits and activities to continue at the highest possible levels of safety and quality.  The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places a duty on education employers to make sure that safety measures are in place for young people taking part in off-site visits and outdoor learning.

Doncaster Council establishments and non Doncaster Council establishments (who make use of the Local Authority educational off-site visits provision) make use of a nominated website for the planning and approval of off-site educational visits.  The visit management and notification system can be accessed via: https://doncaster.exeant.co.uk

Risk management is an integral part of the planning and implementation process of an educational off-site visit.  Further information and generic risk assessment templates can be accessed on the Risk Assessment page.

Parents and carers need to be fully informed of the details regarding off-site visits that their young people are taking part in.  Further information and copies of consent forms can be accessed on the Consent page.

In addition, Doncaster Council accepts the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge as an indicator towards the suitability of a provider for educational visits.  If a provider does not hold a LOtC Quality Badge then a ‘Provider Assurance Form’ (PAF) must be sent to and completed by the provider.  Further information from OEAP National Guidance regarding using providers can be obtained on the OEAP National Guidance website.

When selecting appropriate transport providers (coach, taxi and minibus) for use as part of an off-site visit, establishments need to seek assurances that transport providers are suitable and sufficient.  For details of current providers who have met some pre-qualifying requirements which showed an understanding of home to school transport please contact the Pupil Support and Passenger Transport Team on 01302 737325 or transportandpupilsupport@doncaster.gov.uk

This information cannot be taken as a recommendation to use any one particular provider over another and establishments should always ensure that they undertake any suitability checks necessary on all providers who work for them.  For providers who are not listed with the Pupil Support and Passenger Transport Team or to seek additional assurances the ‘Coach Transport Assurance Form’ (CTAF) can be sent to the provider for completion.  Further information from OEAP National Guidance regarding using a coach/transport provider can be obtained on the OEAP National Guidance website.

Useful links in connection with educational visits are listed below: 

If your school does not currently have access to the Local Authority educational off-site visits provision, or you have feedback regarding this webpage please contact: 01302 737152

Parents should be aware that, in the event of any query concerning a school visit, they should contact the school concerned.

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Last updated: 10 June 2021 15:48:23