procedures following the tragic deaths of two pupils from Royds School is
delivering its priority recommendations to the council's executive board
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
- 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
- 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.
* see LGCnetfor 'LGA CONCERN AT IMPLICATIONS OF LEEDS SCHOOL TRIP DEATHS CASE'