Excursions are an important part of the school curriculum. They enable students to explore, extend and enrich their learning and their social skills development, in a non-school setting. Excursions complement the educational programs offered at the school.
An excursion is defined as any activity that takes students beyond the school grounds. Camps are excursions that extend beyond one school day.
- To reinforce, complement and extend the learning opportunities beyond the classroom.
- To develop an understanding that learning is not limited to school, and that valuable and powerful learning takes place in the real world.
- To provide a safe, secure learning experience for students in a venue external to the school.
- To further develop social skills such as cooperation, tolerance, communication, individual and group interaction.
- To further develop problem solving and life survival skills.
- To extend understanding of their physical and cultural environment.
- All staff must follow the Department of Education and Training (DET) guidelines when organising an excursion, incursion or camp. All procedural steps contained in the school Camps and Excursions Policy and Operational Procedures must be followed, including supervision ratios.
- The excursion coordinator and/or Principal or his nominee(s) will ensure that all excursions, transport arrangements, emergency procedures and staffing comply with DET guidelines. Refer to: DET Excursion Policy
- All excursions must be approved by the Principal or nominee(s) prior to being conducted. Where an excursion proposal has not been submitted, that excursion will not run, unless special circumstances are pending. The Principal or his nominee(s) will consider the educational outcome of the excursion as well as the impact on the school for the proposed date.
- The excursion coordinator or teacher in charge will ensure costing of the excursion is discussed with, and approved by, the Business Manager. Costs should include staffing costs and other items, including food, if required.
- Once the excursion has been approved, all relevant documentation must be completed. This is available from the Principal or his nominee(s). The excursion coordinator will complete the ‘Notification of School Activity’ at: www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/forms/school/sal three weeks prior to the excursion departure date, and ensure relevant details are entered in the school diary and on the school website.
- School Council is responsible for the approval of:
• Overnight excursions
• Interstate visits
• International visits
• Excursions requiring sea or air travel, weekends or vacations
• Adventure activities
The Principal or nominee is responsible for the approval of all single-day excursions, other than those that must be approved by school council as above.
The Department’s requirements and guidelines relating to preparation and safety should be observed in all excursions. All DET requirements and guidelines that apply to the conduct of excursions are also applicable to all overseas and interstate (domestic) camps/excursions.
Consideration in planning should include:
- Safety, Emergency & Risk Management, including Bushfires
- Student Preparation
- Student Medical Information
- Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors
The excursion coordinator and/or principal or their nominee will ensure that full records are maintained regarding the camp/excursion.
The excursion coordinator and/or principal or their nominee will ensure that adequate pre-excursion planning and preparation, including the preparation of students, takes place.
Students not invited to attend a camp or excursion will be placed in another class and have an appropriate learning program provided by their class teacher. Satisfactory arrangements should be made to provide instruction for the students remaining at the school during the absence of staff accompanying an excursion.
The Department of Education and Training (DET) will not be responsible for any expense associated with the conduct of excursions.
Students and their parents/carers should be aware that acceptable standards of behaviour are expected during a camp or excursion and that student behaviour that places others at risk is unacceptable. If a student’s behaviour prior to an excursion or camp raises concerns for any safety risk to that student or others, that student may, with the principal’s approval, be excluded.
The emergency management process of the school will extend to and incorporate all camps and excursions.
Prior to conducting any camp, the formal approval of the School Council and principal must be obtained. Laburnum Primary School staff should consult the LPS Excursions and Camps Operational Procedures to ensure all requirements are met.
Prior to the camp or excursion parent/carers are to be made aware that DET does not provide student accident cover and that they need to make their own arrangements for cover. The Parent handbook and newsletter convey this information.
Fire danger or ban
Principals may need to review planned excursions ahead of forecast days of significant fire risk or total fire ban days and liaise with the region about whether the excursion should be cancelled.
If an excursion is not cancelled, special fire safety precautions may be required, depending on the location.
When required, schools must follow their Emergency Management Plan and the Department’s emergency management (bushfires) procedures for off-site activities for all excursions.
On days determined Code Red by the Emergency Management Commissioner, all camps in the CFA fire district determined Code Red must be cancelled.
Arrangements for payments:
- There is a cost involved in organising excursions. Parents are expected to pay for school excursions and camps if their child is attending. Parents who experience financial difficulty, and want their children to attend an excursion, are invited to discuss alternative payment arrangements, such as timed payments, with the Principal or Business Manager.
- The school has a Refund Policy that applies to excursions and camps.
- All families should be given sufficient notice of excursions via the School Events calendar and relevant notices, and adequate time to make payments for excursions.
- Parents should be provided with permission forms and excursion information, clearly stating payment finalisation dates. Students whose payments have not been finalised at least 24 hours prior to the departure date will not attend unless alternative payment arrangements have been organised with the Business Manager or Principal.
- Teachers should review all payments for excursions, and communicate with parents of students who have not paid prior to the excursion, as per the timeline provided by the Business Manager.
- A designated ‘Teacher in Charge’ will coordinate each excursion.
- The Teacher in Charge must provide the Office with a final student list as well as bus lists if relevant.
- In the case where an excursion involves a particular class or year level group, the Teacher in Charge will ensure that there is an alternative program available for those students not attending the excursion.
- All students must have returned a signed permission note and payment to be able to attend an excursion. Copies of completed permission notes and medical information must be carried by excursion staff at all times, and retained for archiving.
- The school will provide a first aid kit for each excursion. The teacher in charge is responsible for collecting these prior to leaving. Individual student medication, particularly for Anaphylaxis and Asthma (or any severe health needs), should be taken on excursions.
- The teacher in charge will communicate the anticipated return time with the general office in the case where excursions are returning out of school hours. Parents can be updated on the anticipated return time by subscribing to the Schoolbag App.
- Parents or volunteers may be invited to assist in the delivery of excursions and must hold current Working with Children Checks, in accordance with Child Safe procedures and guidelines.
- Parents should be notified if their child is in danger of losing the privilege to participate in an excursion due to unacceptable or unsafe behaviour at school. The decision to exclude a student will be made by the Principal and/or Assistant Principal, in consultation with the organising teacher. Both the parent and the student should be informed of this decision.
- School values and disciplinary measures apply to students on camps and excursions, consistent with the School’s policies. In extreme cases, the camp or excursion staff, following consultation with the Principal or their nominee, may determine that a student should return home during a camp or excursion. Any costs and arrangements associated with the student’s return will be the responsibility of the parents/carers.
- All excursion staff and, where appropriate, the students will be familiar with the specific procedures for dealing with emergencies on each excursion.
- On days of extreme fire danger or total fire ban, the principal or their nominee may need to cancel an excursion/camp at short notice. Where an excursion is not cancelled, special fire safety precautions will be implemented. In any event, Risk Assessment documentation must be completed prior to approval.
- Excursion groups will be equipped with mobile telephones and first aid kits to be used in emergency situations.
LINKS AND OPERATIONAL APPENDICES
The Key Links that are connected with this policy are sourced through the DET Excursion Policy.
Staff should also refer to the Operational Appendices relevant to this policy and available on the comm server:
- Planning for Day Excursions
- Camp Checklist
- Student/Teacher Ratios
- Camps and Excursions Requirements
- Approval Proforma for all Excursions and Activities Requiring School Council Approval
- Parent/Carer Excursion Consent Form
- Confidential Medical Information Form
- Student Health Support Plan and links
- Asthma Care Plan
- Serious Allergies and Anaphylaxis letter
- Transport of a Student in a Private Car
- Application to use a Private Vehicle on Official Duty
This policy should be reviewed annually or more often if necessary due to changes in regulations or circumstance.
| This policy was last ratified by School Council in:
|| August 2017