importance of educational visits and underlined the support and
guidance available to local education authorities and teachers to
help them oversee and organise such visits safely.
School standards minister David Miliband said:
'Teachers should not abandon schools visits - safely conducted and
properly supervised, they are an important part of any child's
education. We value, and are committed to support, the professional
competence of teachers who supervise educational visits, many of whom
do so in their own spare time.'
Skills and vocational education minister Ivan Lewis added:
'We have issued a wealth of good practice guidance which helps ensure
that the vast majority of school visits are carried out safely. Many
schools across England already have staff trained as educational
visits co-ordinators, who liaise with the outdoor education adviser
in the local education authority, and help teachers to assess and
manage the risks of a visit.'
David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head
'The Paul Ellis case should not deter teachers from continuing to
lead school visits. Pupils benefit greatly from these visits, and the
overwhelming majority take place without any cause for concern
'If the DfES guidance is followed by all those involved with the
organisation of these educational activities, there is no reason why
teachers and support staff should be at risk.'
John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads
'Parents can be reassured about the precautions taken by head
teachers to ensure that school visits are safe. Schools now take such
care in the planning and risk assessment for all school visits that
children are probably safer and more closely supervised on a school
trip than on a family holiday.
'School visits are important in broadening the education of children,
especially those from less privileged backgrounds who have few
opportunities to go away with their families. I hope very much that
teachers will continue to volunteer to lead school visits, so that
children's horizons can be widened in this way.'
This Press Notice applies to England.
1. The Department for Education and Skills issued comprehensive
guidance, Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits in 1998.
This was recently supplemented with additional handbooks to increase
the competence and confidence of group leaders and other teachers
when supervising pupils on visits,
Standards for LEAs in Overseeing Education Visits
Standards for Adventure
A Handbook for Group Leaders
Group Safety at Water Margins
2. The Department during 2002-3 also distributed £3.5m to all
local education authorities in England to fund, amongst other things,
their training of teachers as Educational Visits Co-ordinators. The
Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel ran a 'training-the-trainers'
programme on the Department's behalf All local education authorities
are signed up to the training designed to increase teachers'
management of risk in outdoor education.
3. The department also sponsors the Adventure Activities Licensing
Authority to inspect and license over 1,000 organisations which offer
climbing, caving, trekking or waterborne facilities to schools and
other groups of under-18s.