Current DfE guidance states: ‘We recognise the significant benefits of educational visits for children’s educational development, as well as their mental health and wellbeing. We are taking steps to allow pupils to enjoy visits in line with the government’s roadmap.
The roadmap is driven by data, not dates. The government will only move from one step to the next when it is safe to do so and based on 4 tests.
For that reason, all dates are indicative and subject to change. This advice has now been updated to reflect the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding Step 3. Advice will continue to be updated in line with the roadmap.’
Educational Day Visits
In line with the roadmap, schools were able to resume educational day visits from 12th April. Any educational day visits must be conducted in line with relevant COVID-secure guidelines and regulations in place at that time. This includes system of controls, such as keeping children within their consistent groups and the COVID-secure measures in place at the destination.
You should undertake full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits to ensure they can be undertaken safely. As part of this risk assessment, you will need to consider what control measures need to be used and follow wider advice on visiting indoor and outdoor venues. You should consult the health and safety guidance on educational visits when considering visits.
Domestic Residential Visits – Existing Bookings
Current DfE guidance states: In line with the roadmap, schools can undertake domestic residential education visits, from 17th May.
Any domestic residential educational visits must be conducted in line with relevant COVID-19 guidance and regulations in place at that time. You should keep children within their consistent groups (bubbles) for the purpose of the visit.
Domestic Residential Visits – New Bookings
Current DfE guidance states: For new bookings, whilst there are still gaps in the traditional insurance market regarding COVID-19 cancellation cover, schools should be able to secure appropriate travel insurance for other aspects of their visit.
Given the likely gap in COVID-19 cancellation related insurance, schools considering booking a new visit are advised to ensure that any new bookings have adequate financial protection in place.
Many providers are now offering no cost deferral to a later date or a full cash refund of all monies paid against a new booking should a deferral not be acceptable. Other measures that may be available include:
- Insurance backing of ‘COVID-19 guarantee’
- Extended payment terms
- Financial protection in case of insolvency
- Membership of industry organisations
You should speak to either your commercial insurance provider, the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) or an outdoor education adviser to assess the protection available and make sure it provides suitable protection in the event of a COVID-19 related cancellation.
If unsure contact organisations such as the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) or Association of British Insurers (ABI) for independent advice on insurance cover and options.
Current DfE guidance states: The government has now published red, amber and green list rules for entering England. Given the complexities attached to international travel at this stage of the pandemic, we recommend schools do not go on any international visits this academic year up to and including 5th September 2021.
The position beyond 5 September will be reviewed again in advance of Step 4. Credit notes
Any school holding ATOL or ABTA refund credit notes may use these credit notes to rebook educational or international visits.