School Tour/Outings Policy

Taking into account the age and interest 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.

The frequency duration and destination of tours will be arranged at the discretion of the class teacher and in consultation with the principal.

Transport

The teacher/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 and drivers accept the following conditions.

Conditions of Hiring

• All transport supplied will be suitable and well maintained.

• The bus hired for the trip must be equipped with seatbelts, one for each child, except in cases where double decker buses are hired from Dublin Bus or where children travel on public transport.

• The driver will have knowledge of and follow the itinerary and timetable of the tour. The driver is responsible for driving the bus safely. However, as the teacher has overall responsibility for the children’s safety on a school trip s/he has the right to intervene if it is felt that the safety of the children is compromised.

• The consumption of food and singing on the bus-at an acceptable level – will be at the discretion of the teacher and in consultation with the driver.

• Buses will be left as they are found.

• The driver should provide the teacher with a contact mobile phone number.

• The teacher will check that all children, once seated, put on their seatbelts.

Cost

The teachers will ensure that the cost of the tour is reasonable and represents value for money.

Spending money: Teachers will discuss this as appropriate with the pupils.

Parents are asked to send in the money to the class teacher. Once the money has been collected, it will be lodged into the school account by the secretary.

Tours List:

A file of suitable tours for all classes is available in the office. Teachers will choose a venue suitable for their own classes and will ensure that venues are suitable for pupils with special needs.

Venue

Tours will be booked as early as possible.

Not more than two classes will travel together, unless venue and transport arrangements warrant otherwise.

The teachers will be ‘au fait’ with the venue, with particular reference to educational opportunities afforded, services available (phone, toilets, emergency facilities) and possible risks associated with the activity. Where no phone facilities exist, the leader will have a pre-arranged plan to deal with emergencies and will carry a mobile phone.

Informing Parents

Teachers will ensure that Parents are given sufficient notice of the school trip. Parents will be given information about:

• cost

• details of the itinerary and destination

• special clothing requirements as necessay

• packed lunch requirements as necessary

Parents are required to sign a consent form for each child travelling. This form will also include contact telephone numbers in the event that parents need to be contacted. The teacher in charge will bring these forms on the school tour along with a mobile telephone so that contact with the school or parents can be made if necessary.

Weather Conditions:

It is essential that all children bring rainwear. For some venues a change of clothes will also be necessary

Tour Kit

Teachers will take a tour kit on all outings.

The kit will contain: –

• Basic first aid materials

• Refuse bags

• Mobile phone

• List of pupils’ names, consent forms and contact telephone numbers

• Money

• Sunscreen (min. factor 15)

Reports

Where problems arise either with venue or transport, teachers will report back to the school and discuss it with the Principal. All pupil injuries must also be reported.

Conduct on Tours:

Pupil’s behaviour on tours must comply with the standard set down in the School’s Code of Discipline.

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 in consultation with the principal may refuse the child permission to travel. The child will come to school as usual on that day. Parents will be advised of this in advance.

In the event that a child’s behaviour doesn’t comply with the school’s code of behaviour on a school trip, the teacher will immediately contact the principal and parents to advise them of this. If feasible, the parents will be asked to collect the child. If this if not practicable the child will be required to remain with the teacher in charge for the remainder of the trip and will not be allowed to take part in activities that might endanger him/herself or others.

Children are not permitted to have chewing gum on a school trip. The school and teachers will not be responsible for pupils’ belongings, especially expensive items such as cameras and mobile phones.

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 the bus

• risks posed by particular venues

The ratio of adults to children is to be decided on an individual basis and is dependant on the venue and the supervision provided there, but must be a minimum of 1:15.

In the unlikely event that a child does not choose to go on a school trip, the child will be supervised in another class in school for the day.

Teacher’s checklists

Before the tour.

Teacher will ensure:

• Appropriate venue is booked

• Transport is booked

• Timetable organised

• Adequate supervision and pupil:teacher ratio calculated

• Parents informed by standard letter and consent form signed (see Appendix 1)

Include:Itinerary

Timetable

Cost

Lunch arrangements

necessary clothing

contact mobile phone number

Day of tour

Teachers will ensure tour that the following is brought on the trip:

• cheques for venues

• cheques for bus

• money

• consent forms

• mobile phone for emergency

• any necessary medication for individual children

Tour Kits should contain:

First aid materials as per schools policy

Refuse sacks

Illness basins

sunscreen

After tour

Report back to office

Thank parents as appropriate

This policy was amended during 2005-2006 and was ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting on 16th May 2006.
It was reviewed, revised and ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting on 20th April 2010