Camps and Excursions Policy


Purpose:

 

To explain to our school community the processes and procedures Laburnum Primary School will use when planning and conducting camps, excursions and adventure activities for students.

 

Scope:

 

This policy applies to all camps and excursions organised by Laburnum Primary School. This policy also applies to adventure activities organised by Laburnum Primary School, regardless of whether or not they take place on or off school grounds.

 

This policy is intended to complement the Department’s policy and guidelines on excursions, camps and adventure activities which all Victorian government schools are required to follow. Laburnum Primary School will follow both this policy, as well as the Department’s policy and guidelines when planning for and conducting camps and excursions. 

 

Definitions:

 

Excursions

 

For the purpose of this policy, excursions are activities organised by the school where the students:

  • are taken out of the school grounds (for example, a camp, day excursion, school sports); or
  • undertake adventure activities, regardless of whether or not they occur outside the school grounds.

 

Camps are excursions involving at least one night’s accommodation.

 

Local excursions are excursions to locations within walking distance of the school and do not involve ‘Adventure Activities’.

 

Adventure activities are activities that involve a greater than normal risk. Further information and examples of adventure activities are available on the Department’s Policy and Advisory Library, at the following link:

https://www2.education.vic.gov.au/pal/excursions/guidance/adventure-activities

 

Policy:

 

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.

 

For all camps and excursions, including adventure activities, our school will follow the Department’s Policy and Advisory Library: Excursions.

 

Planning process for camps and excursions

 

All camps and excursions will comply with Department planning requirements.

 

Part of this planning process includes conducting risk assessments to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to minimise the risks associated with each proposed camp or excursion. Laburnum Primary School’s risk assessment will include consideration of arrangements for supervision of students and consideration of the risk of bushfire activity in the excursion location. In the event of a Code Red Day being announced, excursions or camp activities in effected locations will be cancelled or rescheduled. Planning will also cover arrangements for cancelling, recalling or altering the camp or excursion for any other reason.

 

For policy and advice on managing the risk of COVID-19 when planning for and undertaking excursions, Laburnum Primary School will refer to the Department's School Operations Guide (staff login required).

 

Laburnum Primary School is committed to ensuring students with additional needs are provided with an inclusive camps and excursions program and will work with families during the planning stage, as needed, to support all students’ attendance and participation in camp and excursion activities.

 

In cases where a camp or excursion involves a particular class or year level group, the Organising Teacher will ensure that there is an alternative educational program available and appropriate supervision for those students not attending the camp or excursion.

 

Supervision

 

Laburnum Primary School follows the Department’s guidelines in relation to supervision of students during excursions and camps.

 

All excursion staff will be familiar with supervision requirements and the specific procedures for dealing with emergencies on each camp and excursion.

 

All school staff will be aware that they retain overall responsibility for the supervision and care of students throughout all camps and excursions (including adventure activities), regardless of whether or not external providers are managing the activity.

 

Parent volunteers

 

Parents may be invited to assist with excursions. School staff will notify parents/carers of any costs associated with attending. School staff are in charge of excursions and parent/carer volunteers are expected to follow teachers' instructions. The Organising Teacher will decide which parents/carers can attend and the school has no obligation to explain these decisions.

 

Volunteer and external provider checks

 

Laburnum Primary School requires all parent or carer excursion volunteers and all external providers working directly with our students to have a current Working with Children Check card.

 

Parent/carer consent

 

For all camps and excursions, other than local excursions, Laburnum Primary School will provide parents/carers with a specific consent form outlining the details of the proposed activity. Depending on the event, Laburnum Primary School either uses:

- Sentral to inform parents about camps and excursions and to seek their consent OR 

- sometimes informs parents about school camps and excursions by placing a note in student bags and asking parents/carers to return the part of the note that asks for parents/carers signature, confirming they consent to their child’s participation.

Parents/carers are encouraged to contact the school to discuss any questions or concerns that they or their child may have with a proposed camp or excursion.

 

For local excursions, Laburnum Primary School can choose to provide parents and carers with an annual Local Excursions consent form at the start of each school year or upon enrolment if students enrol during the school year. Laburnum Primary School will also provide advance notice to parents/carers of an upcoming local excursion through Sentral OR/a note home in the student’s bag. For local excursions that occur on a recurring basis (for example weekly outings to the local oval for sports lessons), Laburnum Primary School will notify parents once only prior to the commencement of the recurring event.

 

Cost of camps and excursions, refunds and support

 

Although camps and excursions are valuable, they remain optional for families. The cost of all camps and excursions are to be paid by parents/carers unless alternative arrangements have been agreed to by the Principal prior to the excursion. All families will be given sufficient time to make payments for all activities. Consent forms will have clearly stated payment amounts and payment finalisation dates.

  • Due to the extensive work required in organising payments and documentation for excursions, students who have not finalised payment by the required date will not be allowed to attend unless the Principal determines exceptional circumstances apply.
  • 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
  • The school has a Refund Policy that applies to excursions and camps.

Laburnum Primary School will make all efforts to ensure that students are not excluded for financial reasons. Families experiencing financial difficulty are invited to discuss alternative payment arrangements with the Principal or Business Manager. The Business Manager or Principal can also discuss family eligibility for the Department’s Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF), which provides payments for eligible students to attend school activities, including camps and excursions.  Applications for the CSEF are open to families holding a valid means-tested concession card or temporary foster parents and are facilitated by the school. Further information about the CSEF and the application form are available at Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund.

 

If a camp or excursion is cancelled or altered by the school, or a student is no longer able to attend part or all of the camp or excursion, our school will consider requests for partial or full refunds of payments made by parents/carers on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the individual circumstances. Generally, we will not be able to refund payments made for costs that have already been paid where those funds have already been transferred or committed to a third party and no refund is available to the school. Where possible, we will provide information about refunds to parents/carers at the time of payment.

 

Student health

 

Parents and carers need to ensure the school has up-to-date student health information prior to camps and excursions. A member of staff will be appointed with responsibility for the health needs of the students for each camp/excursion. Teachers will administer any medication provided according to our Medication policy and the student’s signed Medication Authority Form. To meet the school’s obligations relating to safety, a first aid kit and mobile phone will be taken by teachers on all camps and excursions.

In addition:

  • The teacher in charge is responsible for collecting first aid kits prior to leaving.
  • Individual student medication, particularly for Anaphylaxis and Asthma (or any severe health needs), should be taken on excursions
  • 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.

It is the responsibility of parents and carers to ensure their child/children are in good health when attending excursions and camps. If a student becomes ill during a camp and is not able to continue at camp it is the parent/carer’s responsibility to collect them and cover any associated costs. If the Principal approves a student joining a camp late, transport to the camp is the parent/carer’s responsibility.

 

Behaviour expectations

 

Students participating in camps and excursions are required to cooperate and display appropriate behaviour to ensure the camp or excursion is a safe, positive and educational experience for all students involved. Students and their parents/carers should be aware 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.

 

Parents/carers will usually be notified if their child is in danger of losing the privilege to participate in an excursion or camp due to behaviour that does not meet the standards of behaviour set out in the school’s Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy and Bullying Prevention Policy. The decision to exclude a student will be made by the Principal or Assistant Principal, in consultation with the Organising Teacher. Both the parent/carer and the student will be informed of this decision prior to the camp or excursion.

 

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.

 

School values and disciplinary measures apply to students on camps and excursions, consistent with the School’s policies. If on a camp or excursion the Teacher in Charge considers an individual student's behaviour does not meet required standards, then the Principal or their nominee may determine that a student should return home during the camp or excursion. In these circumstances the parent/carer is responsible for the collection of the student and any costs associated with this.

 

Disciplinary measures apply to students on camps and excursions consistent with our school’s Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy and Bullying Prevention Policy.

 

Electronic Devices

 

Students will not be permitted to bring electronic devices to camps or excursions, unless there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. health monitors) and the Principal or Organising Teacher may place conditions on its location and use during the camp or excursion.

 

Food

 

Students are not permitted to bring their own supply of food items to camps and excursions unless the item is medically indicated and discussed with the Organising Teacher, or included as an item on the clothing and equipment list for that camp or excursion.

 

Teacher Responsibilities:

 

  • 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.
  • 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.

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, Laburnum Primary School will follow the 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.

 

Accident and Ambulance Cover

 

Any costs associated with student injury rest with parents/carers unless the Department is liable in negligence (liability is not automatic).

 

Unless otherwise indicated, Laburnum Primary School and the Department do not provide student accident or ambulance cover. Parents/carers may wish to obtain student accident insurance cover and/or ambulance cover, depending on their health insurance arrangements and any other personal considerations. 

 

Communication

 

This policy will be communicated to our school community in the following way:

  • Included in staff induction processes and staff training
  • Available publicly on our school’s website
  • Included in staff handbook/manual
  • Listed in the A-Z of Starting at Laburnum, for parents/carers
  • Discussed at staff briefings/meetings as required
  • Included in transition and enrolment packs
  • Discussed at parent information nights/sessions
  • Reminders in our school newsletter
  • Hard copy available from school administration upon request

Further information and resources

 

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following Department polices and guidelines:

 The following school policies are also relevant to this Camps and Excursions Policy: 

Policy review and approval:

 

 This policy was last ratified by School Council

 October 2021

 This policy was endorsed by Principal

 October 2021

 

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