1. Can I run trips in my local area which involve a walk such as to a local park, a forest or green area?
Yes, the DfE defines these as ‘routine visits’ and ‘they can be considered as lessons in a different classroom.’ Ensure you have a Local Learning Area Policy and Standard Operating Procedures in place. Your bubbles must be maintained at all times. This is a good opportunity to review your risk assessments and procedures to ensure they are up to date.
2. Can I Book And Run Future Educational Visits?
The Department for Education has now amended the guidance for full opening of schools, the Educational Visits is shown below, see full guidance here.
‘In the autumn term, schools can resume non-overnight domestic educational visits. These trips should include any trips for pupils with SEND connected with their preparation for adulthood (for example, workplace visits, travel training etc.). This should be done in line with protective measures, such as keeping children within their consistent group, and the COVID-secure measures in place at the destination. Schools should also make use of outdoor spaces in the local area to support delivery of the curriculum. As normal, schools should undertake full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits to ensure they can be done safely. As part of this risk assessment, schools will need to consider what control measures need to be used and ensure they are aware of wider advice on visiting indoor and outdoor venues. Schools should consult the health and safety guidance on educational visits when considering visits.’ – The Department for Education.
3. The FCO Says British Citizens Can Travel Abroad, Are We Now Allowed To Resume International School Trips?
No, as a school you must follow all government guidance and default to the less favourable option if there is contradiction. In this case, the DfE Guidance is less favourable and does not permit international travel at this time.
4. We Have a Residential Trip Booked for the Autumn Term and Parents are Asking if These are Going Ahead, can you Advise?
Currently, the DfE are advising against residential trips for the autumn term ‘In the autumn term, schools can resume non-overnight domestic educational visits.’
5. Should we pay Final Payments for Trips in the Autumn Term Even Though the DfE Advise Against Residential and Overseas Travel?
In short, yes. The school has a contract with the provider and failure to stick to the terms of this may result in the trip being cancelled and the school losing payments made to date. Many providers are extending payment terms to closer to the date of travel.
6. A Parent no Longer Wants Their Child to Travel on the Residential and Wants Their Money Back, are They Entitled?
A parent and school have entered into a consumer contract when booking the trips. Typically a school will have to agree to take a non-refundable deposit for this booking and, as such, the remainder of the balance is likely to be refundable unless express terms have been agreed at the point of booking with the parent.
7. I Want to Run Some Outdoor Activities with my Students, do you Have any Resources?
There are many resources available to assist with running outdoor learning activities, These can be found on the following links:
8. Can an Outside Provider Come Into School to run Outdoor Activities for our Bubbles?
Yes, they must adhere to the school’s COVID procedures, have their own robust COVID procedures in place and your groups must remain in their bubbles. The DfE state: ‘Schools should consider how to manage other visitors to the site, such as contractors, and ensure site guidance on physical distancing and hygiene is explained to visitors on or before arrival.’
9. Can Sports Fixtures Take Place in the Autumn Term?
The Association for Physical Education have a dedicated advice page for PESSPA in schools and the Coronavirus. Take a look at the advice page here.
10. Can we Have a Sleep Over on the School Grounds?
Currently this would be classed as an overnight residential and the government guidance does not permit this.