A competent person should be designated as the Leader of an activity. This is a key role and schools and other organisations should ensure that leaders receive appropriate professional development and their work is subject to appraisal.
Good practice for Group Leaders
Leaders need to decide if the planned activities involve any significant chance of harm. If they do, then the Leader should make sure that risks are managed effectively by reading and making themselves familiar with their school or organisation’s Generic Risk Assessments or Risk Management Plan before undertaking the activity, regardless of where the activity is planned to take place. The Leader should take the following factors into consideration when assessing risks:
- the type of visit/activity and the level at which it is being undertaken
- the location, routes and modes of transport
- the competence, experience and qualifications of staff
- the ratio of teachers/workers to young people
- the group members’ age, competence, fitness and temperament and the suitability of the activity
- the special educational or medical needs of the young people
- the quality and suitability of available equipment
- seasonal conditions, weather and timing
- emergency procedures
- how to cope if a young person becomes unable or unwilling to continue the need to monitor the risks throughout the visit.
Where Category 3 activities are being led by a member of staff for the first time, a pre-visit should be made and included in the risk management process. Guidance on best practice can be found in the Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits (1998) guidance.
You may find the checklists below helpful. However, check with your head of establishment and/or employer first, as they may have alternative forms that they would prefer you to use.
Off-site swimming pools should be audited before use. View the Department for Education website for more detail.
Dealing with money
The Group Leader should ensure that parents/carers have early written information about the costs of the visit, how much will come from funds, and how much each young person will be asked to contribute. Parents/carers should be given enough time to prepare financially for the visit. It may be useful to break down the costs into subheadings such as travel, meals etc. Financial management should normally be delegated to a suitable member of staff. The head teacher or project head should ensure that banking arrangements are in place to separate the visit’s receipts from other funds and from private accounts. The head teacher/ group leader should reach a pre-agreement with parents/carers on whether any funds left surplus after the visit will be returned to them or retained for further visits.
Below you can find a Money Management Excel Spreadsheet together with an individual tracking card template to help the activity administrator and parents/carers to manage the finances of the visit. (See charging policy for further information).
Download this useful Managing Money Excel Spreadsheet and Pupil Tracking Card Template