School Tours/Excursions Policy
This policy was drawn up by the staff and circulated to the Board of Management (BoM) and Parents Association for observations and feedback. Taking into account the age and interests of the children and the curriculum being covered, school tours will be arranged by the school to present the children with a new environment in which they can observe, investigate and relate their findings to their own environment. Tours will be arranged at the discretion of the class teacher.
The need for this policy arises due to children being exposed to a wide variety of different experiences while on school outings, and the necessity to have a framework for good practice in place to cover all eventualities.
To ensure all practical possibilities are covered in reducing the exposure of children to risk on outings
To provide an enjoyable educational experience for all children
It has been the policy of the school over the years to organise separate tour dates and destinations for:
Junior Classes (1 st, 2 nd )
Middle classes (3 rd, 4 th)
Senior Classes (5 th, 6 th)
The tours are structured in such a way as to provide an educational aspect in addition to an entertainment and recreational value.
No teacher is responsible for more than 22 pupils. This becomes possible as support teachers or principal accompany mainstream classes on school outings.
Children must obey their supervisors at all times
Children must remain seated and belted while the bus is in motion
Children must remain with their allocated grouping and supervisor at all times
Children will line up in their individual groups on disembarking from the bus
Roll calls/head counts are taken when children return to the bus after each segment of the tour
School rules apply to all tours and excursions
The transport organiser of the tour will ensure that:
A form of transport, appropriate to the distance and the numbers travelling will be chosen
The bus company/suppliers and drivers accept the following conditions.
Conditions of Hiring
All transport supplied, will be suitable and well-maintained. Teachers have the right to refuse any bus they find unsuitable for their outing. If the bus proves unsuitable a replacement will be supplied or the money refunded
The driver will be used to dealing with children and have a thorough knowledge of and follow the itinerary and timetable for the tour. The driver is responsible for the safety of the children while they are travelling, but teachers have the right to intervene if it is felt the the safety of the children is compromised:
- The group will have access to the bus for the full day
- The consumption of food (snacking) and singing on the bus - at an acceptable level - will be at the discretion of the teacher in consultation with the driver
- Buses will be left as they were found
Teachers will take a tour kit on all outings. These will be available from the office. The kit will contain:
- First aid materials, refuse sacks and illness bags, kitchen roll
- Class lists including parent contact details
- Mobile phone/teachers mobile phone
Teachers will ensure they have contact details for the venue(s) and also have the cheques to pay each venue.
The teachers will ensure that the cost of the tour is reasonable and represents value for money. All children will be actively encouraged to save towards the cost of the tour.
Spending money If spending money is required, teachers travelling together will agree and notify their group of the upper limit on spending money. This will be based on age and venue.
Tours will be booked in the 2nd term for a date as close to June as possible. Teachers will be conscious of the likely "busier" days. Not more than two classes will travel together, unless venue and transport arrangements warrant otherwise.
Rain and head gear will be essential for all children and a change of clothes may be necessary, depending on the venue.
A list of suitable tours for all classes will be available to the staff during term 2. Teachers will ensure that venues are suitable for pupils with special needs.
Children are permitted to wear their own clothes during tours. For all other excursions uniforms will be worn.
Where problems arise either with venue or transport teachers will report back to the transport/tour organiser who will in turn will discuss it with the Principal.
Conduct on Tours
Pupils’ behaviour on tours will comply with the standard set down in the School's Code of Behaviour. In certain circumstances parents may be asked to agree to a contract on behaviour. Where it is felt that a child's conduct would pose a safety risk or inhibit the educational benefit for self or others, the teacher may refuse the child permission to travel. Parents will be advised of this in advance.
Safety and Supervision
Teachers will be extra vigilant when taking children out of the school. Special attention will be paid to - Road Safety, Behaviour on bus, Risks posed by particular venues (e.g. adventure playgrounds etc.). The minimum supervision ratio will be 22:1 (adult).
Teachers will ensure that Parents are given sufficient notice of:
- Itinerary & Timetable
- Special clothing requirements and packed lunch.
Fieldtrips which relate to a particular curricular area are encouraged. These trips can range from simple walks around the school to organised trips to relevant places of interest.
The principal must be informed in advance if it is proposed that a class leave the school grounds.
Teachers are encouraged to plan and prepare children in advance of the trip and to carry out some follow up work in the classroom following the fieldtrip.
Teachers should ensure adequate supervision at all times. Where necessary, an SNA, Support teacher or parent / guardian should accompany the class on the trip.
Children should be appropriately dressed for the fieldtrip e.g. raingear, suitable footwear etc. High-vis vests will be worn on all walking excursions from the school.
No child is to be refused participation in any proposed activity because of family inability to pay.
Buses booked for fieldtrips must be fitted with individual seatbelts and these should be worn by all children.
- Positive experiences for all
- Children having a safe enjoyable experience
- Teacher/Parent Satisfaction
Ratification and Review
Reviews will be conducted in the light of experience after each year. A full review of this policy will take place in 2020 or sooner if necessary.
Before the tour
Individual parents informed of travelling embargo on disruptive pupils
Parents informed by standard letter
Extra supervisors (minimum 22:1)
Day of Tour
Tour leader will ensure;
Tour kits are available for each bus
Cheques for venues
Cheques for bus
Report back to office