The School Journey Association believes that for efficient, safe and fun school group travel planning needs to be systematic, consistent and appropriate to the visit. We also know that good planning is the key to successful educational trips.
For a great school trip the aims and objectives of the visit should be clearly identified by you, the teacher/ tour leader, at an early stage. These should be relevant to your class and their needs, taking into account their age, ability, previous experience and the resources available.
Clear, appropriate objectives will contribute significantly to your class’s safety and well-being and will; ensure appropriate structure and discipline to the visit; help maximise your group’s motivation; help you choose an environment and activity appropriate to your group’s maturity and experience; and allow you to consider the appropriate training, staffing and resources needed for school group travel.
We recommend that the teacher conducts a preliminary visit and does some research to support the planning and completion of risk assessments
The School Journey Association recommends that all means of researching the area be explored. Suggested sources of information include; district councils, tourist offices, National Park information services, and other local establishments and authorities.
A preliminary visit should seek to:
- check appropriateness of the venue to your class’s needs and the objective of the school trip
- check for potential hazards and provide the opportunity for a site specific risk assessment
- check timings (length of walks, tides etc)
- establish your own local contacts
- check accommodation, including washing and toilet facilities, heating and lighting, storage space available for personal belongings and sufficient room between bunks and beds, especially for fire risks and evacuation;
- establish appropriate escape routes in case of emergency;
- obtain information on local services (doctors, dentists, hospital, telephone, toilets)
- ascertain an appropriate emergency action plan
For more information on how to conduct a risk assessment and the support that The School Journey Association provides, please refer to the Risk Assessments page.