Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
The enquiry team set up by Leeds City Council to review policies and ...
The enquiry team set up by Leeds City Council to review policies and

procedures following the tragic deaths of two pupils from Royds School is

delivering its priority recommendations to the council's executive board

next Wednesday.

The recommendations will also encompass lessons learnt from the tragic

death of Gemma Carter during a Cockburn High School visit to France in


Since the fatal accident involving Royds School in October 2000, there has

been a ban on the activity of 'river walking', which will be reviewed after

all the recommendations have been implemented. Work is already ongoing to

address the key recommendations outlined by the enquiry team, which is made

up of council and Education Leeds officers and an independent expert.

Brian Walker, leader of Leeds City Council, said:

'I'm sure I speak on behalf of all my colleagues at Leeds City

Council when I say that our thoughts continue to be with the families

and friends of the three school pupils who lost their lives. These

terrible accidents have had a huge impact on everyone at the schools

and in their wider communities. We are determined to make sure that

every possible lesson is learned and that safety of pupils on

educational visits remains of paramount concern.

Paul Rogerson, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said:

'The enquiry team has made these recommendations to ensure that the

council does all it can to seek to avoid the occurrence of similar

tragedies in the future. It has concluded that outdoor visits have

substantial educational and developmental value and that such trips,

where properly organised and regulated, should be encouraged.

'Much work has already been done on the guidelines that are issued to

schools and the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in

educational visits have been reviewed. The safety of pupils on

outdoor educational visits will continue to be a priority.'

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds said:

'We have all learnt lessons from these tragic accidents and are

working in partnership with our schools to continue to promote safe

participation in outdoor activities. Over eight million

schoolchildren a year benefit from taking part in outdoor pursuits

which enrich school life and help to build confidence and self-esteem

in young people.'


The enquiry team's key recommendations are, in summary:

The LEA's guidance for schools is being re-written to provide a more

comprehensive and user-friendly guide for planning educational visits.

This guidance will incorporate recent DfES advice; current good practice;

and outline the roles and responsibilities relating to health and safety

for the LEA, governing bodies and school staff. It will also include

generic risk assessments for listed activities and specific risk

assessments for identified locations.

An annual summary of Health & Safety information will be sent outto

the headteachers, with the understanding that they have a

responsibility to pass this on to school staff as required.

This guidance will represent the minimum acceptable standard for

schools to follow.

- Both Education Leeds and school governing bodies will undertake a

proactive approval and monitoring role for educational visits and will

require notification and details of educational visits that fall into

identified categories.

- An extensive programme of training will be delivered on risk

identification, risk assessment and risk management on educational visits.

An appropriate level of training is being developed for Education Leeds

staff, governing bodies, senior school management, other school staff and

even pupils. This training will be tracked to ensure that relevant staff

are appropriately trained. It is believed that this training will bring

about a culture change in the planning of educational visits by increasing

risk awareness.

- Schools will be required to identify an educational visits

co-ordinator, who will receive specific training, and will be fully aware

of LEA guidelines. This individual will play a co-ordinating role for all

off-site educational visits, will oversee risk assessments and will ensure

the LEA guidance is followed.

- DfES will be asked to take a national lead with the appropriate

organisations to bring about the recognition and ownership of 'hybrid

activities' such as 'river-walking' in order to assess whether regulation

is required and guidance needs to be issued.


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.