School trip safety

School trip safety

School trip safety can often discourage schools from arranging outings due to paperwork or fear or prosecution, but it really shouldn't.

A large number of successful school trips or outdoor learning activities happen every year, however misunderstandings and frustrations about health and safety law, such as paperwork or fear of prosecution, may discourage schools from arranging these fun and educational outings.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) want to encourage schools to undertake a wide range of out-of-school activities and want to make sure that mistaken health and safety concerns do not prevent them from happening.

Ensuring the health and safety of pupils on school visits is all about striking a balance between protecting pupils from risk and allowing them to learn.

Schools need to ensure that:

  • Their paperwork is easy to use
  • Staff running school trips clearly communicate information about the planned activities to colleagues and pupils
  • Those running the trips are competent and clear about their roles, and those planning the trips are properly supported so that staff can check if they have taken sufficient precautions

    Striking the right balance between protecting pupils from risk and allowing them to learn from school trips has been a challenge for many schools, but schools shouldn’t be deterred from arranging school visits due to often misinterpreted health and safety regulations when there is plenty of advice and guidance available.