Excursion Policy

General Requirements

(1)         An excursion is a learning experience external to the school site initiated, organised and supervised by a school or schools and approved by the Principal/s or an Assistant Director-General as appropriate.

(2)         An excursion is an integral part of the school’s curriculum and specifically of the students’ learning program and must be justified on this basis.

(3)         An excursion can range from a brief visit of less than one hour to a local point of interest, to an extended journey occupying a number of days and requiring overnight accommodation.

(4)         Usually an excursion will take place wholly within the official school week or term.

(5)         Since excursions offer enrichment to the planned curriculum, all students within the specific learning group should be given the opportunity to participate unless exceptional circumstances exist.

(6)         The same standards of conduct and the obligation top report suspected child abuse, improper conduct of a sexual nature and misconduct apply throughout all stages of an excursion as they do in schools.

Specific Requirements

(1)           While recognising the potential benefits of excursions, schools must also recognise that such activities may interrupt normal learning routines of students.  Accordingly, Principals must consider the educational value of a proposed excursion in relation to the total needs and resources of the school and in relation to the students’ needs and total learning program.

(2)           All excursions must have the approval of the Principal and, when more than one school is involved, the Principals of all participating schools.

(3)           If the proposed excursion involves travel outside Australia, approval of an Assistant Director-General is also required.

(4)           All teachers participating in an excursion must accept responsibility for students in their care for the duration of the excursion.

(5)           Prior to any excursion taking place there must be consultation between the Principal and staff concerned with its organisation.  Parents (which includes guardians) should be informed of the full details of any planned excursion in writing, including details of all planned activities for the excursion.  Signed consent forms granting permission for students to participate in an excursion must be obtained from the parents.

(6)           If it is not possible to obtain a signed consent form from parents, oral approval can be sought.  The Principal must keep a record of any oral approvals given by parents.

(7)           When it is inappropriate to obtain parental consent because of the age or living circumstances of the student, the consent can be sought from any other person considered appropriate by the Principal. 

(8)           Expensive excursions should be avoided.  Where financial hardship is understood to be the reason for a student’s non-participation, schools must endeavour to provide financial assistance.

(9)           If parents do not permit participation of a student in an excursion the school will make available a sound alternative educational experience.

(10)      A suggested excursion information form and parental consent form is attached.

Conduct of Excursions

(1)           Transport

Public transport (government bus, rail and ferry services, or private bus and ferry services) should be used for school excursions wherever possible.

In exceptional circumstances (eg for small groups), consideration may be given to the use of private motor vehicles.  In such cases, reference must be made to the policy governing the use of private motor vehicles for school activities (section 16.7, Issue 8, of the School Manual on Financial Management refers).

(2)           Supervision

Before the planned excursion is undertaken Principals are to ensure that precautions are taken in relation to the safety of the participants and that supervision will be adequate in relation to the number of students, their maturity, anticipated behaviour and the activities planned.

Staff planning overnight or extended excursions should recognise their special duty of care for student safety and welfare in these circumstances.  They should take all necessary steps to provide sufficient numbers of appropriate, responsible adults to ensure adequate supervision, especially with co-educational groups.  Staff should be aware that they retain the ultimate responsibility for supervision while on excursions and cannot transfer that responsibility to parents, other volunteers or employees of external organizations, such as hotel staff.

On overnight and extended excursions, supervisory and accommodation arrangements are to be such that no staff member is placed in a position where there is a potential for allegations of improper conduct to be made.  In particular, sleeping arrangements should not place any adults in a situation where the propriety of their behaviour could be questioned.  Likewise, sleeping and supervisory arrangements are to ensure that no student is placed in a situation where there is the likelihood of sexual contact between students.

Principals are to ensure that any excursion involving swimming or water activities and/or overnight stays are accompanied by a member of staff who possesses current training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and emergency care.

All other excursions must be accompanied by a member of staff who has undertaken emergency care training.

Where it is considered necessary, the site of the proposed excursion should be assessed beforehand to identify potential problems or dangers and to determine the level of supervision necessary to avoid the risk of injury.

(3)           Parental Involvement

Parents will frequently volunteer to assist in excursions.  The number of parents who might be of assistance will vary according to circumstances.

(4)           Unscheduled Activities

Students participating in an excursion must not be permitted to engage in additional or alternative activities which were not originally scheduled in the program and for which parental approval would normally have been necessary (eg horse riding, water activities).

(5)          Special Requirements

Where a particular excursion activity requires special equipment or apparel (eg hard hats), this must be used.  Under no circumstances may safety requirements be compromised.

Where any excursion involves swimming or water activities, Principals may encourage but not insist that parents provide any floatation devices considered necessary for students.  Parents must be asked to indicate the swimming ability of their children when giving consent for students to participate in excursions.

If parents indicate students are poor or non-swimmers and no floatation devices are available for use by the students, Principals will need to assess whether such students should participate in the swimming or water activities of the excursion.  This assessment must take place irrespective of parental permission for the students to participate in the swimming or water activities.

(6)          Film Screenings and Live Performances

Principals must note the classification, comments and details on Matinee Performances – Film Screenings published in the Education Gazette.  Schools are not to arrange for students to attend any film that is rated “R”, “MA” or “M”. “G” films may be shown.  “PG” films may be shown only after parental permission has been received through a permission note being sent home.

Guidelines on the handling of controversial issues must be followed (section 11.4 of School Manual on Education Management refers) and Principals must take into account the age and maturity of students and acquaint themselves with the details of any film or live performance prior to granting approval.

(7)          Record of Excursions

Principals must ensure that a record of all excursions held is maintained.

Performances by School Musical Ensembles

The attendance of school performing ensembles (choirs, orchestras, bands etc.) and combined school ensembles (both locally and centrally organised) at concerts, festivals and competitions, and the presentation of concerts by such groups in other schools, is subject to the same conditions which apply to excursions or overseas visits.

Other visits outside the school grounds

In addition to excursions and other visits, occasions for leaving the school grounds for brief, local, spontaneous educational activities will arise from time to time, particularly in primary schools.  The value of such visits is recognised and on many occasions it is not possible to obtain the permission of parents prior to the visit.  Such visits may only take place at the discretion of the Principal, who must ensure as far as possible the safety and welfare of students and be satisfied as to the value of the visit as an integral part of the school curriculum.

Excursions at Budgewoi Public School

All excursions at Budgewoi Public School will relate to curriculum areas.

  1. All children to partake in day excursions related to Units of work.

  2. All children to be given the opportunity to attend a minimum of 2 overnight excursions to a maximum of 3 overnight excursions over the period K-6 eg  Year 2 … Year 4 … Year 6

The location of the overnight excursion will be dependent on:

  1. the unit of work being studied by the grade; and the teachers on the grade

  2. relevance to curriculum (KLA area)

  3. cost factor

 


 

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