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Educational Visit Policy


Co-op Academy North Manchester

Education Visit Policy

Policy details



At Co-op Academy North Manchester we see the benefits to learning outside the classroom. Educational visits are crucial to developing pupils’ cultural capital and enriching the curriculum that they study.  These activities further promote physical and mental wellbeing.


Educational activities and visits are used as teaching and learning tools for the delivery of elements of Co-op Academy North Manchester’s Statement of Intent for learning outside of the classroom. We strive to provide pupils with opportunities with a range of activities that develop their social, mental and personal wellbeing as well as equip them with an understanding of what is on offer outside of the academy.


Educational activities and visits have clear and measurable aims which link to Co-op Academy North Manchester’s statement of intent/curriculum intent. The impact contributes to pupils’ attainment and progress. Co-op Academy North Manchester’s approach to the evaluation of activities and visits is set out in this policy. We endeavour to provide opportunities for all pupils within the academy to be part of the activities and trips on offer.


We believe that educational visits are an integral part of the entitlement of every pupil to an effective and balanced curriculum. Appropriately planned visits enhance learning and improve attainment, and so form a key part of what makes Co-op Academy North Manchester a supportive and effective learning environment. The benefits to pupils of taking part in visits and learning outside the classroom include, but are not limited to:

  • Being and feeling happy and successful.
  • Improvements in their ability to cope with change.
  • Increased critical curiosity and resilience.
  • Opportunities for meaning making, creativity, developing learning relationships and practising strategic awareness.
  • Increased levels of trust and opportunities to examine the concept of trust (us in them, them in us, them in themselves, them in each other).
  • Enhanced opportunities for ‘real world’ ‘learning in context’ and the development of the social and emotional aspects of intelligence.
  • Increased risk management skills through opportunities for involvement in practical risk-benefit decisions in a range of contexts, i.e. encouraging pupils to become more risk aware as opposed to risk averse.
  • Greater sense of personal responsibility.
  • Possibilities for genuine team working including enhanced communication skills.
  • Improved environmental appreciation, knowledge, awareness and understanding of a variety of environments.
  • Improved awareness and knowledge of the importance and practices of sustainability.
  • Physical skill acquisition and the development of a fit and healthy lifestyle.


Any visit that leaves the school grounds is covered by this policy, whether as part of the curriculum, during school time, or outside the normal school day.

This Educational Visits Policy should be read in conjunction with:

  1. The Co-op Academies Trust policy document ‘Educational visits statement’ (available to all staff via Evolve).
  2. National Guidance

Co-op Academy North Manchester uses EVOLVE for all educational visits.

All staff are required to plan and execute visits in line with school policy (ie this document), the Co-op Academies Trust policies and National Guidelines. Staff are particularly directed to be familiar with the roles and responsibilities outlined within the guidance.

Types of Visit & Approval

There are three ‘types’ of visit:

  1. Activities within the school grounds that are part of the normal curriculum and the wider curriculum that take place during the normal school day for example, PE fixtures, guest speakers.

These follow the ‘School’ Operating Procedure (Appendix 1).

  1. Other non-residential visits within the UK that do not involve an adventurous activity.

These are entered on EVOLVE by the visit leader and submitted to the EVC for checking. The EVC then submits to the Head for approval.

  1. Visits that are overseas, residential, or involve an adventurous activity.

Are as above in (2), but the Head authorises and then submits to the Trust for approval.


Co-op Academy North Manchester uses the Evolve system to plan, manage and record educational visits.

Visit Leaders should plan and prepare visits allowing time for internal and external vetting and approval as required. Normally this will mean that visit plans should be submitted to the EVC by the following deadlines:

  • 3 to 6 months before departure for Overseas Visits
  • 5 weeks before departure for Residentials
  • 5 weeks before departure for Adventure Activities
  • 2 weeks before departure for other types of visit

If for any reason these deadlines cannot be met, clarification and approval should be sought from the EVC.

Roles and responsibilities

Visit leaders are responsible for the planning of their visits, and for entering these on EVOLVE (where required). They should obtain outline permission for a visit from the Head Teacher or EVC prior to planning, and certainly before making any financial commitments. Visit leaders have responsibility for ensuring that their visits will comply with all relevant guidance and requirements.

The Educational Visits Coordinators (EVC) are Rachel Hepworth (Vice Principal) and Leanne Watkins (Head of PE) , who will support and challenge colleagues over visits and learning outside the classroom. The EVC is the first point of contact for advice on visit related matters, and will check final visit plans on EVOLVE before submitting them to the Principal.

The Head Teacher has responsibility for authorising all visits and for submitting all overseas, residential or adventurous activity visits to the Trust for approval, via EVOLVE.

The Governing Body’s role is that of a ‘critical friend’ and it will:

  1. Adopt and periodically review this policy, as required.
  2. Ensure there is a competent Educational Visit Coordinator (EVC) in place who meets the requirements outlined in ‘National Guidance’ and has completed the Trust’s EVC Training Programme and any updates as required.

  1. Review the range of visits provided by the school via a report submitted twice a year by the EVC.

The Co-op Academy Trust is responsible for the final approval (via EVOLVE) of all visits that are either overseas, residential, and/or involve an adventurous activity.


Set out how your school evaluates your activities and visits. If you are using the evaluation tool on Evolve, ensure that the evidence base is clear, which might include:

  1. The impact on learning; in addition to usual assessment methods, we use
  • Photographs / Video
  • Of specific processes –measuring, data collection, data recording, use of creative language, sequencing etc
  • Pupil Voice
  • Look at other measures (eg attendance, behaviour)
  1. The arrangements (eg risk assessments, value for money, lessons learned)

Staff Competence

Co-op North Manchester recognises that staff competence is the single most important factor in the safe management of visits, and so we support staff in developing their competence in the following ways:

  • An apprenticeship system, where staff new to visits assist and work alongside experienced visit leaders before taking on a leadership role.
  • Co-op Supervision by senior staff on some educational visits.
  • Support for staff to attend training courses relevant to their role, where necessary.

In deciding whether a member of staff is competent to be a visit leader, the Head Teacher will take into account the following factors:

  • Relevant experience.
  • Previous relevant training.
  • The prospective leader’s ability to make dynamic risk management judgements, and take charge in the event of an emergency.
  • Knowledge of the pupils, the venue, and the activities to be undertaken.

Emergency procedures

A critical incident is any incident where events go beyond the normal coping mechanisms and experience of the visit leadership team.

The school has an emergency plan in place to deal with a critical incident during a visit (see Appendix 2). All staff on visits are familiar with this plan and it is tested at least annually and following any major staffing changes.

When an incident overwhelms the establishment’s emergency response capability, or where it involves serious injury or fatality, or where it is likely to attract media attention then assistance will be sought from Co-op Academies Trust.

Educational Visits Checklist

Co-op Academy North Manchester's Educational Visits Checklist forms part of the risk management process for visits and off-site activities. This has been adapted from the National Guidance generic checklist. A visit should usually only go ahead if the answer to all relevant questions is ‘YES’.Co-op Academy North Manchester Educational Visits Checklist may be downloaded from EVOLVE Resources.

Parental Consent 

Consent is not required for activities within the School Learning Area that are part of the normal curriculum during normal school time.

Co-op Academy North Manchester obtains blanket consent at the start of each year for certain other routine activities, eg. after school fixtures, etc.

Specific, (ie. one-off), parental consent must be obtained for all other visits. For these visits, sufficient information must be made available to parents (via letters, meetings, etc), so that consent is given on a ‘fully informed’ basis.


Co-op Academy North Manchester is committed to inclusion and will include all pupils in our offsite activities wherever this is reasonably practicable. Where necessary support is put in place for  pupils with additional needs through Teaching Assistants. As an academy we are part of the Manchester Schools PE association, this provides an inclusive competition offer throughout the year.  

Charging / funding for visits

For some activities Co-op Academy North Manchester asks for a voluntary contribution and many of our visits are subsidised to ensure the widest participation. Pupil Premium money is also accessible should the trip / visit require a voluntary contribution towards the cost and many of our trips are subsided to ensure the widest participation.


Co-op Academy North Manchester has two minibuses that are used for educational activities and visits. Staff within the academy hold the MIDAS qualification and take part in regular training.

All trips must have 2 adults on the minibus, one of which will be first aid trained.

External coach companies are used on larger trips / visits where the number exceeds the minibus capacity. Coach companies used will be on the approved travel list. This includes DBS approved drivers.

Taxis may be used to transport smaller groups of pupils, one member of staff will accompany the pupils in the taxi to and from the venue.

It is the responsibility of the driver to carry out some initial checks of the vehicle before each visit. Members of the site will do regular full checks. Any problems will be reported.

Use of staff cars to transport pupils – Refer to the Co-op Academy Trust’s guidance document. 


Insurance is provided by the Co-op Academies Trust for all trips and visits.

Other topics

Dismissal of pupils

  • Co-op Academy North Manchester requires pupils to return to the academy after all trips/visits unless prior arrangements are made for pupils to be picked up from the venue.  Pupils will  be dismissed from the academy upon arrival.  Staff will ensure that all pupils have left the academy grounds before they leave.  The parental consent form sent out prior to the visit asks parents & carers to indicate how their child will be getting home and contact with home will be made if necessary to ensure their safe return.

Use of Volunteers

  • When using volunteers it is essential that they meet the requirements for the role that they have been assigned (Visit leader, activity leader, assistant leader, helper).  The engagement of any volunteer must involve an appropriate level of vetting and induction. Volunteers will  have DBS where necessary. They must be sufficiently competent and confident to carry out their responsibilities. The level of competence and thoroughness of the engagement process will depend upon the role that the volunteer is to take and the degree to which they will be working independently or under supervision. Where they are working independently it should be to the same standard as would be expected of an employee or contractor taking on the role.

Sport Fixtures

  • Co-op Academy North Manchester will take part in fixtures and competition throughout the year. Staff will be sufficiently competent and confident to carry out their responsibilities at these events. Staff will follow the SOP for fixtures and competitions throughout. Where possible 2 staff will accompany all trips one of which will be first aid trained. It may be deemed appropriate for one member of staff to accompany the group to specific events e.g. athletics where first aid is provided at the venue. Ratios will however not exceed the statutory guidance. Please refer to the ’Standard Operating Procedure for Fixtures’.

Swimming Lessons

  • Co-op Academy North Manchester may offer swimming lessons in addition to their PE lessons. Pupils will be taken off site to take part in swimming to a local authority run pool. Staff will be suitably competent to teach the lesson and a Qualified Lifeguard will be present at all times. Activities will be deemed suitable for the pupils taking part and consideration will be given to the depth of water and the pupil:teacher ratio.

DofE and similar expeditions

  • Co-op academy North Manchester currently runs the The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE). The aim is to give young people the chance to develop skills for work and life, fulfil their potential, and have a brighter future. The academy recognises the need for staff to be suitably qualified to lead the expedition element of the course.
  • When planning expeditions staff will follow the trust and OEAP national guidance to ensure safe delivery.
  • Expeditions or adventurous activities that are beyond the qualifications of academy staff will be run by external agencies e.g. Ghyll Head. Staff will be suitably qualified for the activities on offer and the necessary risk assessments will be provided prior to the activities taking place. Pupil information will be shared with the organisation prior to the expedition to ensure that leaders are fully prepared for any medical/behavioural requirements.

       (refer to document 7k)

Overseas Visits (refer to document 7r)

Overseas expeditions (refer to document 7q)

Appendix 1 – Activities within the school grounds


Visits/activities within the ‘School Learning Area’ that are part of the normal curriculum and take place during the normal school day follow the Operating Procedure below.

These visits/activities:

  • do not require parental consent unless:
  • They are of a sensitive nature
  • a high risk event/activity
  • go beyond the school day
  • do not normally need additional risk assessments / notes (other than following the Operating Procedure below).
  • do not need to be recorded on EVOLVE


The boundaries of the School Learning Area are shown on the attached map 

Operating Procedure for School Learning Area

The following are potentially significant issues/hazards within our School Learning Area:

  • Road traffic.
  • Other people / members of the public / animals.
  • Losing a pupil.
  • Uneven surfaces and slips, trips, and falls.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Activity specific issues when doing environmental fieldwork (nettles, brambles, rubbish, etc).

These are managed by a combination of the following:

  • The Head, Vice Principal or EVC must give verbal approval before a group leaves. Only staff judged competent to supervise groups in this environment are approved. A current list of approved staff is maintained by the EVC and office.
  • The concept and Operating Procedure of the ‘School Learning Area’ is explained to all new parents when their child joins the school, and a synopsis is in the School Prospectus.

There will normally be a minimum of two adults. In some cases there will be one member of staff, this will depend on the venue/event supervision and staff competence and size and nature of the trip

  • Staff are familiar with the area, including any ‘no go areas’, and have practised appropriate group management techniques and the needs of the pupils attending.
  • Pupils have been trained and have practiced standard techniques for road crossings in a group.
  • Where appropriate, pupils are fully briefed on what to do if they become separated from the group. Where necessary check points/meeting points will be set up.
  • All remotely supervised work in the School Learning Area is done in ‘buddy’ pairs as a minimum.
  • Pupils’ clothing and footwear is checked for appropriateness prior to leaving school.
  • Staff are aware of any relevant pupil medical information and ensure that any required medication is available.
  • Staff will deposit in the office a list of all pupils and staff, a proposed route, and an estimated time of return.
  • A school mobile is taken with each group and the office have a note of the number.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment is taken when needed (eg gloves, goggles)

Co-op Academy North Manchester’s emergency response plan is:

If an accident happens, the priorities are to:

  •  assess the situation;
  •  safeguard the uninjured members of the group;
  •  attend to the casualty;
  •  inform the emergency services and everyone who needs to know of the incident.

Who will take charge in an emergency?

The group leader would usually take charge in an emergency and would need to ensure that emergency procedures are in place and that back up cover is arranged. The group leader should liaise with the representative of the tour operator if one is being used.

Pre-arranged school/home contact.

The Academy contact’s main responsibility is to link the group with the Academy and the parents, and to provide assistance as necessary. The named person should have all the necessary information about the visit.

Emergency procedures framework

All those involved in the Academy trip, including supervisors, students and their parents, should be informed of who will take charge in an emergency, the named back up cover and what they are expected to do in an emergency.

Emergency procedures framework during the visit

If an emergency occurs on an Academy visit the main factors to consider include:

  • establishing the nature and extent of the emergency as quickly as possible;
  • ensuring  that all of the group are safe and looked after;
  • establishing the names of any casualties and getting immediate medical attention for them;
  • ensuring that all group members who need to know are aware of the incident and that all group members are following the emergency procedures;
  • ensuring that a teacher accompanies casualties to hospital and that the rest of the group are adequately supervised at all times and kept together;
  • notifying the police if necessary;
  • notifying the British Embassy/Consulate if an emergency occurs abroad;
  • informing the Academy contact. The Academy contact number should be accessible at all times during the visit.


Details of the incident to pass on to the Academy should include: nature, date and time of incident; location of incident; names of casualties and details of their injuries; names of others involved so that parents can be reassured; action taken so far; action yet to be taken (and by whom).

Other actions include:

  • notify insurers, especially if medical assistance is required (this may be done by the Academy contact);
  • notify the provider/tour operator (this may be done by the Academy  contact);
  • ascertain telephone numbers for future calls. Mobile phones, though useful, are subject to technical difficulties, and should not wholly be relied upon;
  • write down accurately and as soon as possible all relevant facts and witness details and preserve any vital evidence;
  • keep a written account of all events, times and contacts after the incident;
  • complete an accident report form as soon as possible. Contact HSE or local authority inspector, if appropriate;
  • Clear protocol to pupil’s using their own mobile phones in the event of an emergency.
  • Parents and relatives will naturally be anxious to establish what is happening, but do NOT let party members (staff or young people) telephone home until after you have made contact with the Principal and EVC and this has been agreed.
  • No-one in the group should speak to the media. Names of those involved in the incident should not be given to the media as this could cause distress to their families. Media enquiries should be referred to the EVC/Principal in the home area.
  • No-one in the group should discuss legal liability with other parties.

Appendix 2 – Emergency Procedure

Prior to the activity or trip taking place all relevant phone numbers must be collected and given to all members of the Visit team. The list of phone numbers to gather below is a guide but may include others depending on the nature of the trip/ activity:

  • Visit Leader
  • Other members of the Visit team
  • Co-op Academy North Manchester main school number
  • The Principal
  • Other members of SLT as appropriate
  • EVC
  • Emergency services in the UK
  • Emergency services in the countries to be visited
  • Foreign Office Consular assistance (+44 20 7008 1500)
  • Travel Insurance emergency assistance

All trips must include a first aider, if a third party provider is being used to deliver the activity then staff and students must be aware of who the first aider is, this may still be academy staff in the first instance in addition to the provider. The medical details of all participants in the event (including staff and volunteers) must be collated beforehand and plans for any specific needs in place. The visit leader/s and the school knows to request support from the Co-op Academy Trust in the event that an incident overwhelms the establishment’s emergency response capability, involves serious injury or fatality, or where it is likely to attract media attention. The visit leader will always carry an emergency response sheet and the emergency procedures are tested through both desk top exercises and periodic scenario calls from visit leaders

If during the trip or activity a pupil or member of the team fall ill, are injured or an incident occurs the procedures below should be followed.

The sequence of actions depends upon the nature of the emergency. In the event of the

Immediate Action

  1. Ensure your own safety.
  2. REMAIN CALM – Assess the situation.
  3. If possible, delegate actions to other leaders and participants so you can keep an overview, and to allow concurrent activity.
  4. Ensure the safety of the group. Make sure everyone is accounted for and adequately supervised.
  5. Call relevant emergency services if necessary (see phone numbers below).
  6. Carry out first aid to the best of your abilities.

First Aid

The aims of first aid are to

  • Preserve life:
  • Casualties need to be able to breath – if they are unconscious put them into a safe airway position.
  • Try to find and stop any serious external bleeding.
  • Prevent the condition worsening:
  • Protect the casualty from the environment – keep them warm and dry.
  • Monitor their condition.
  • Promote recovery:
  • Talk to them, reassure them, hold their hand and provide emotional support.

Urgent Action

Take stock and plan, delegating where possible.

Call the Principal  and EVC if any of the following apply (phone numbers will be provided once the activity or trip is approved):

  • You need support;
  • The emergency services are involved;
  • The incident is serious;
  • The press/media are involved.

They could need the following information:

  • The number you can be called back on;
  • The nature of the emergency and details of the incident;
  • What help you need;
  • Whether the emergency services are involved;
  • How many casualties there are and their status;
  • The number of people in your party;
  • Your location, and whether you plan to move.

Liaise with, and take advice from, the emergency services if they are involved.

Address the urgent needs of the group:

  • Ensure adequate supervision;
  • Ensure they understand what to do to remain safe;
  • Physical needs, e.g. shelter, food and drink, transport;
  • Emotional needs, e.g. remove them from the scene, provide reassurance and emotional support (they can often do this for each other), give them useful things to do, protect them from intrusion.

Control communications – prevent group members from using phones or social media unsupervised or until approval is given.

Start a written log of actions taken and conversations held, with times.

Further Actions and Follow-Up

Take stock again and re-plan the next phase – what have you forgotten?

Deal with any casualties who are in the care of the emergency services:

  • Accompany them to hospital;
  • Keep track of who is where.

Consider the needs of yourself and fellow leaders – are you/they coping?

Liaise with your establishment or employer – hand over what you can to them, to reduce the stress on you.

Continue the written log with all details of the incident of the actions taken, including names and contact details of any witnesses.

Address the further needs of the group, for example:

  • Toilets, washing facilities, clean/dry clothes;
  • Transport;
  • Accommodation;
  • Contact with home.

Refer all media, parental or other enquiries to the Head Teacher.

Contact relevant agencies as necessary (via Co-op Academy North Manchester if possible), for example:

  • Tour operator/travel company/activity provider/accommodation provider;
  • Travel insurance emergency assistance;
  • Social services;
  • Consular Assistance Team (if overseas).