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Offsite Visit Policy

Off-site visits are activities arranged by or on behalf of the Pre School, and which take place outside the Pre School grounds.  The managers and staff believe that off-site activities can supplement and enrich the curriculum of the Pre School by providing experiences which would otherwise be impossible.  All off-site activities must serve an educational purpose, enhancing and enriching our children’s learning experiences.

In this policy we seek to establish a clear and coherent structure for the planning and evaluation of our off-site visits, and to ensure that any risks are managed and kept to a minimum, for the safety and health of all children at all times. Within these limits we seek to make our visits available to all pupils, and wherever possible to make them accessible to those with disabilities.

The aims of our off-site visits are to:

  • enhance curricular and recreational opportunities for our children;
  • provide a wider range of experiences for our children than could be provided on the Pre School site alone;
  • promote the independence of our children as learners, and enable them to grow and develop in new learning environments.

Risk Assessment will be carried out by managers prior to the visit and first aid equipment will be taken on the day.  We will ask parents/carers to sign a consent form in advance of such outings and will offer opportunities for parents/ carers to accompany their child and the Pre-School on the outing.

The Pre Schools managers are involved in the planning and management of off-site visits.
The Managers will:

  • ensure that risk assessments are completed;
  • assign competent staff to lead and help with trips;
  • organise related staff training;
  • make sure that all necessary permissions and medical forms are obtained;
  • keep records of visits, and ensure there are regular generic assessments of the risks (for example road-crossing) where there are frequent visits to local venues (for example the park).

All off-site activities must take place in accordance with the LEA’s instructions.

It is our policy that all children should be able to participate in educational visits. Where a child with a disability is eligible for a trip, we will make every effort to ensure that s/he is included.  We may seek guidance from parents to help us adapt our programme, and we will make any reasonable adjustments to our itinerary to include a child with disabilities.  Any such adjustments will be included in the risk assessment.

Risk assessment
A comprehensive risk assessment is carried out by the managers before the proposed visit.  It will assess the risks which might be encountered on the visit, and will indicate measures to prevent or reduce them. The risk assessment should be based on the following considerations:

  • What are the hazards?
  • Who might be affected by them?
  • What safety measures are needed to reduce risks to an acceptable level?
  • Can the group leader put the safety measures in place?
  • What steps will be taken in an emergency?

Managers planning an off-site activity will make a preliminary visit to the venue, in order to carry out an on-site risk assessment. It is important to take into account the probable weather conditions at the time of year proposed for the trip, and the managers should take careful account of the facilities available, with due regard to the proposed size of the group. They should also assess the site’s suitability with regard to the age and any particular needs of the children. They will also consider the venue’s own approach to security and to health and safety.

It is important to assess and record any health, safety or security issues that are identified during the preliminary visit. Any such issues will be taken into account when the final decision is taken on whether the visit should proceed, and the visit plan must state both the extent of any risks involved, and the measures that will be taken to reduce or eliminate them. The managers leading the visit must complete a Pre School visit risk assessment check list and keep in the risk assessment file.

Communication with parents
The parents of children taking part in an off-site activity should be provided with all appropriate information about the intended visit.  Parents must give their permission before a child can be involved in any off-site activities.  This is normally done during the registration process.

Further health and safety considerations
All adults accompanying a party must be made aware, by the managers, of the emergency procedures which will apply.  The Manager will normally carry the emergency contact numbers together with a list of everyone, children and adults, travelling with the party.

The safety of the party, and especially the children, is of paramount importance. During the activity the managers must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that safety. This involves taking note of any information provided by medical registration forms, and ensuring that children are both safe and well looked after at all times.

Visit plan
The visit plan for intended educational visits must include the following:

  • risk assessment;
  • report on preliminary visit;
  • applications for approval of visit;
  • general information;
  • names, ages, contact details, permission forms, medical records and other relevant details of all those going on the visit;
  • travel schedule;
  • full plan of activities;
  • fire precautions and evacuation procedures;
  • intended arrangements for supervision;
  • insurance arrangements for all members of the group;
  • emergency contacts and procedures;
  • general communications information;
  • guidance for managers
  • guidance for the emergency contact and managers
  • medical questionnaire returns;
  • first-aid boxes, inhalers, Epi-pens if needed, and individual prescribed medicines.

Operational procedures for outings
The same standard of care and interaction with the children is expected of staff, volunteers and students on outings.

The worker’s prime responsibility on outings is to ensure the safety of the children.

However they will be expected to balance this responsibility with ensuring that children have the maximum opportunity to experience and explore new environments, to socialise and to have fun.

Procedures where a child is lost on an outing

  • If the Pre School’s policies and procedures are being observed the likelihood of a child being lost is small. Very occasionally a child may become separated from the group on an outing or become lost.

With careful planning and co-operative working amongst staff, children should not be out of sight of an adult during an outing.

If it is realised that a child is no longer with the group, staff should look carefully all around without leaving the group.

That Educator’s key children should be re-allocated to other members of staff.
The Pre School managers will contact the parents immediately.

The police will be informed and all the children will be returned to the Pre School.
At the end of the day the managers will complete an incident report.