School Tour Policy
When this policy was drafted in May 2008 as a response to safeguarding the health and safety of the children, it put in writing the safe practices used by the staff up to that date. This policy was most recently reviewed in September 2014.
The Board of Management has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils when they are engaged in school activities when inside and outside the school.
The formulation of this policy enables out school effectively
- provide for the safety of students and staff
- ensure that adequate arrangements are in place for the planning of school tours and trips outside the school
- have a policy with which all staff are familiar
Roles and Responsibilities
The Board of Management, Principal and staff have a duty of care to the students in the school. This is achieved in co-operation with the parents.
This policy re-enforces the element of the school mission statement which advocates providing a safe and secure learning environment for each child; ensuring a duty of care at all times when the school is in operation.
To develop satisfactory procedures where by the safety and well being of all staff and pupils is safe guarded.
Tours will be arranged at the discretion of the class teacher. School tours should take into account the age and interests of the children and the curriculum being covered. Children go on school tours and trips to learn, to take part in sports and to enjoy themselves.
Over the year there may be opportunities for the children to go to forest areas such as Knocksink (for the infant classes) and Glendalough (for older children), the National Concert Hall, the Zoo, the National Aquatic Centre, the Ark etc.
When a visit is planned outside the immediate local area a letter with permission slip is sent home to be signed. Children cannot travel without these being signed.
Local trips are covered by the general permission slip signed by the parent when the child first enters the school. Local trips include those to the church, the North or South Beach, the library, the fire station, local sports facilities. Whether the teacher and class are travelling locally or further afield, the school secretary and Principal should be informed.
Supervision and travelling
Adequate supervision is vital. When walking, children should walk in twos or single file depending on the width of the pavement. They should not walk near the edge of the pavement or on the road.
The children should be reminded to show consideration for other people, especially the elderly. The children should walk with care to avoid tripping or walking into lamp posts. Children should also be asked not to pet stray dogs.
An adult should lead and one adult should mind the ‘tail end ’ of the line, making sure no one falls back behind them. Ideally there should also be an adult in the middle. A whistle can prove useful.
When travelling by private coach, there should be seatbelts. The children have to remain tied in and seated during the journey.
If it is looking like the children are likely to be home later than scheduled please ring the office, so that parents inquiries can be answered.
If walking, the route should be planned in advance. Teachers unfamiliar with the area should check with staff members the safest way to get to the destination.
It is suggested that the teacher try the route in advance first even by car. Teachers should brief the adults who are travelling with them and tell them in advance about anything to watch out for on the route.
The teachers should do their best to ensure that the cost of the tour is reasonable and represents value for money.
Tours should be booked early. Popular venues are can be booked up before Easter. Please sure the date booked does not clash with e.g. Sports Day
Where problems arise either with venue or transport teachers will report back to the transport/tour organiser who will in turn discuss it with the Principal
Conduct on Tours
Pupil’s behaviour on tours will comply with the standard set down in the School’s Code of Discipline. In certain circumstances parents may be asked to agree to a contract on behaviour.
Where it is felt that a child’s conduct would pose a safety risk or inhibit the educational benefit for self or others, the teacher may decide that the child permission to travel. Parents will be advised of this in advance.
Safety and Supervision
Teachers will be extra vigilant when taking children out of the school. Special attention will be paid to:- Road Safety, Behaviour on bus, Risks posed by particular venues (e.g. adventure playgrounds, National Aquatic Centre etc.) Parents accompanying the students are asked to be vigilant too.