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School excursions and international school study tours procedure

​On 11/07/2022 this procedure will be separated into the School excursions procedure and the International school study tours procedure. You can preview the content in the Upcoming version section below.​

Version number 7.9 | Version effective 18 January 2022
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School excursions and international school study tours procedure

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

This procedure outlines the responsibilities and processes for principals and school staff involved in the planning and delivery of school excursions and international school study tours (SSTs) that occur both during and outside of school hours.

Overview

School excursions and SSTs enhance students’ learning by providing opportunities for students to participate in curriculum-related activities outside the normal school routine. They vary in terms of the number of students involved, duration of the planned activity and venue/s where they are to occur. They may include both regular activities and one-off events that occur during school hours, overnight, on weekends and/or in school holidays.

To ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff, schools are required to proactively manage all aspects of excursions. The school’s duty of care to students extends to school excursions (including camps) and SSTs which are part of students’ educational programs.

Activities conducted away from schools may increase risks and therefore the standard of care required must reflect the increase in identified risks. Schools must be able to demonstrate that activities have been thoroughly planned to ensure that students, staff and others will be safe while undertaking the activity. Any reasonably foreseeable risks must have been identified and managed and there must be a planned response in case of an emergency. Documentation need not be excessive.

An excursion plan must be completed for all school excursions, either using the OneSchool Excursion planner or Excursion planner template. For SSTs the OneSchool Excursion planner must be used. Excursion plans are approved by the school principal. When more than one school is involved, principals of all participating schools approve the excursion.

Responsibilities

Principals

  • Ensure all relevant staff are aware of and comply with this procedure.
  • Approve school excursions and SSTs noting that when more than one school is involved, all relevant principals must approve.
  • Ensure a register of approved school excursions is maintained. If excursions are planned using the OneSchool Excursion Planner then OneSchool will be the register. Otherwise the register should contain:
    • times, date/s, venue and itinerary
    • number and year levels of participating students
    • names of supervising teachers and other assistants
    • transport, accommodation, meal and first aid/emergency arrangements
    • arrangements for students not participating
  • cost per student
    • copies of relevant approvals and permits.
  • Ensure all volunteers satisfy Blue Card requirements.
  • Ensure liaison with the relevant child safety service centre for students in out-of-home care, allowing sufficient time for the provision of consent and funding approvals (if required).
  • Ensure the access and participation needs of all students have been considered and reasonable adjustments implemented to reduce barriers identified in the planning of excursions and SSTs.
  • Consult with the Parents and Citizens' Association regarding the conduct of any activity or provision of any good/s or service/s that attract a fee.
  • Clearly detail (annually) to the school community the fees that are to apply to excursions and/or SSTs in line with the User charging procedure.

Staff

  • Undertake a risk assessment for the excursion or SST, adhering to the Managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure for all activities that will occur during the excursion.
  • Plan, manage, monitor and review the excursion or SST to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of students and others.
  • Ensure international SSTs are:
  • Seek and record approvals, consent and relevant permits/permissions for the excursion or SST.

Regional Directors

  • Approve SSTs where a state school principal is travelling with the SST.

International Travel Unit

  • Provide advice and support to schools regarding SSTs.
  • Progress approvals to the Minister for Independent Public School SSTs where the principal is travelling.

Process

Planning

Staff

  • Conduct risk assessments that:
  • Consult with other school staff (e.g. nurses, therapists, support staff) and with the Regional Senior Health and Safety Consultant as appropriate to identify any access and participation needs and additional support required for participating students.
  • Identify and arrange sufficient adult supervision to manage the activity safely (including in emergency situations).
  • Arrange an educational program for students remaining at school for the duration of the school excursion.
  • When excursions involve overseas travel, follow the Guidelines for international school study tours, and international travel insurance requirements (DoE employees only).
  • For SST’s teacher gender balance is to be appropriate for the student group, there should be:
    • male teachers where there are male students (teachers are separate from supervisors); and
    • female teachers where there are female students (teachers are separate from supervisors).
  • Complete an excursion plan, either in OneSchool or using the Excursion planner template for school excursions. For SSTs the OneSchool Excursion Planner must be used.

Permissions and approvals

  • Principals approve excursions and SSTs, considering:
    • educational aims, curriculum relevance and impact on the total learning program
    • safety of students, staff and supervisors
    • student needs
    • Managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure  
    • supervision
    • reasonable adjustments required to ensure adherence to the Disability Standards for Education 2005
    • school resources
    • fees and associated costs to participants (e.g. entry fees, visas, insurance)
    • appropriateness of the itinerary and detailed activity planning, including any Smartraveller information (if relevant)
    • community perceptions of the activity
    • transport arrangements.
  • If the principal is travelling as part of the SST, principals progress the excursion planner for further approval in accordance with the Guidelines for international school study tours (DoE employees only).
  • Staff give timely advice to parents and students of planned excursion details, including anticipated learning outcomes, dates and breakdown of costs. (GST or Fringe Benefit Tax information for school excursions or study tours is available to departmental employees). 
  • Staff obtain and retain written consent according to the Information asset and recordkeeping procedure. As a minimum, the consent form should outline:
    • activity description/s, date, time, location and cost
    • educational purpose of the activity
    • supervision arrangements
    • transportation arrangements to, during and from the excursion
    • dress code
    • behaviour code
    • explanation of risk level
    • information relevant to students with medical requirements.
  • Staff liaise with the relevant child safety service centre to facilitate consent and any necessary funding approvals for students in out-of-home care (if required).
  • Staff organising school excursions obtain and record evidence of:
    • contacting relevant environmental agencies (e.g. local firefighting authority to check restrictions on lighting open fires) 
    • prior permission from property owners where private property is traversed
    • any other approvals required for excursion activities.
  • Staff register SSTs with Smartraveller.

Transport arrangements

  • Staff obtain and record evidence that:
  • Staff ensure that passengers are not permitted to stand on buses travelling on notified roads.
  • Principals approve the use of private vehicles, if relevant, ensuring the following safeguards have been implemented by staff:
  • Principals approve reimbursement of fuel costs (DoE employees only) to providers of private vehicles transporting students on school excursions.

Homestay accommodation arrangements for SSTs

  • Principal ensures a thorough risk management plan has been developed for students who will be undertaking an in-country homestay.
  • As part of the risk assessment process staff obtain and record evidence from educational partners in-country that families who will be undertaking a homestay:
    • (preferably) have children attending the in-country school linked with the homestay visit; and
    • usually reside in the local area and provide proof of residential address; and
    • have undergone appropriate criminal history screening or working with children checks (or equivalent); and
    • confirms the family is known to the host school and are assessed as suitable (this may be through face-to-face interview).

Final planning for excursions and SSTs

Staff

  • Update risk assessments as new information or circumstances come to hand, and review immediately prior to the excursion/SST.
  • Access student’s OneSchool Student medical information form to identify any relevant medical details and ensure these forms are readily available to supervising staff during the activity.
  • Update student medical information in OneSchool based on advice received from parents.
  • Plan the collection, secure transportation and administration of routine and emergency medications to students participating in the excursion/SST, in accordance with the Administration of medications in schools procedure and Guidelines for the administration of medications in schools. Note: A checklist for camps and excursions is included in the guidelines.
  • Select suitable supervisors (staff and/or volunteers) to meet the needs of the participants and the activities being undertaken, providing explicit instructions about responsibilities and expectations.
  • Develop a current contact list to allow fast and efficient contact with the school, venue, parents, medical authorities, transport company and/or drivers of private vehicles (where applicable), and other personnel if required.

During excursions and SSTs

  • Principals ensure that appropriate supervision and/or instruction is provided for students remaining at school for the duration of the school excursion.
  • Staff brief accompanying parents/volunteers/staff prior to departure regarding their roles, hazards that may be encountered, precautions to be taken and student protection measures.
  • Staff brief students on appropriate behaviour and expectations including dress code (e.g. hats, uniforms, protective clothing, name badges) and consequences of non-compliance.
  • Staff provide active and visible supervision of all groups during the school excursion.
  • Staff and principals report any suspected student harm in accordance with the Student protection procedure.

After excursions and SSTs

  • Staff report any adverse events that occur during the excursion to the principal (e.g. damage to property by a student).
  • Staff complete all relevant incident report forms in relation to any incidents that occur during a school excursion in accordance with the Health, safety and wellbeing incident management procedure or contact the relevant Regional Senior Health and Safety Consultant.
  • Staff process claims for fuel reimbursement by the providers of private vehicles if relevant.
  • Staff review and document processes and practices for future excursions, and provide feedback to the principal as relevant.
  • Staff complete an international travel report (sample available in Guidelines for international school study tours (DoE employees only)) and submit for principal’s approval within four weeks of returning to duty from an SST.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Duty of care

The legal obligation imposed on the department to provide a standard of reasonable care while undertaking activities that could foreseeably cause harm to others. For excursions and SSTs, schools must take all reasonable steps to manage foreseeable risks to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of its students, for example:

  • conducting risks assessments of all activities
  • making sure that activities are safe and appropriate for the students’ ages and abilities
  • ensuring students are properly instructed and prepared for the activities
  • ensuring all equipment is in a safe condition
  • providing adequate supervision.

Excursion

A well-planned curriculum-related activity that is conducted outside of the school grounds that aims to maximise students’ learning experiences. The school maintains responsibility for the students during an excursion.

In-country homestay (SST)

In-country homestay is accommodation for students undertaking SSTs. It is organised by the educational partner to ensure accommodation is appropriate to the student’s safety and wellbeing.

In-country homestay families (SST)

In-country homestay providers are recommended by in-country educational partners to host overseas student/s in their home for school study tours: also known as Host Family.

In-country educational partners (SST)

In-country homestay families are selected by the in-country educational partner. They contribute child safety and other local information regarding the in-country homestay for the Principal to include in the travel risk management plan.

International school study tour (SST)

An excursion involving international travel for activities including, but not limited to, a curriculum-related activity, language immersion program, sporting exchange/activity or a sister-school arrangement.

Parent

As defined in the legislation governing schooling in Queensland ( Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) Section 10 “Meaning of parent”).

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Curriculum activity risk assessment templates:

Other relevant information/documents

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

7.0 School excursions and international school study tours

Review date

16 January 2021
Attribution CC BY
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