Here at School Travel Manager we offer a comprehensive tracking and operational system especially designed for school transport. This extensive system is proving invaluable to schools for the day-to-day school run or school excursions and activities.
Many schools are not fortunate to have such systems in place and have to rely on guidelines set down on how to transport their students safely and correctly. The Victoria State Government in Australia have set the following set of rules and guidelines to Schools when they take students on excursions and activities.
Excursions and Activities
An excursion is an activity that a school organises that takes students away from the school campus to engage in educational activities, adventure activities and extracurricular are also included in this definition. This will also include summer camps and sports, but not included is work experience.
Principals have to follow the State regulations on how to arrange the trip and the notifications they must adhere to.
The State Government also make school principals aware that there is a real possibility of litigation following accidents or incidents that may lead to injuries whilst students are on a school excursion. And they must be prepared to show detailed plans and actions that were put into place prior to the trip.
The amount of planning involved prior to a school excursion will depend on the perceived risks that may arise. Planning should always take into account:
- The educational reason for the trip.
- Departmental school requirements for staff.
- A full maintenance recording documentation and planning log.
- The suitability of the venue for the excursion.
- The consent from parents and guardians.
- Adequate information for students attending, including medical information.
- The preparation of the students travelling setting out expected behaviour.
- The requirements that will be needed for any sporting or adventure activities.
Risk and Emergency Management
- Schools should prepare a detailed risk and emergency plan that should include:
- The assessment of all perceived risks.
- What to do in case of emergency.
- Arrangements made for cancellation or amended excursion.
- Completion of an online notification of school activity form three weeks prior to the excursion.
- First aid requirements.
Cancellation or Alterations
The school must have a cancellation or amendment plan in place before the date of the activity or excursion, this should include:
- Parent should be advised as soon as possible for alterations to schedule or any cancellations. Plus any fees that may be imposed on the parents by third parties.
- Principals must advise parents of any costs returning a sick student early from an excursion.
- By the same token principals should negotiate all terms with third parties well in advance.
- Principals are also responsible for checking that proper insurance cover is taken out prior to the excursion.
The school is totally responsible for the provision of the correct staffing levels to ensure sufficient supervision is available for the amount of students on the excursion.
This is particularly important during transportation, the students must follow guidelines set down by the coach company for safety on board their transport. Such as remaining seated during transportation and the compulsory use of seatbelts.
The Victoria State Government felt the need to issue these guidelines to all schools for excursions in Victoria. Many of the highlighted points can be assisted if the transport company chosen by the school has a tracking system such as School Travel Manager.