content-left-bg.png
content-right-bg.png

School excursions procedure

Version number 8.0 | Version effective 17 June 2022
PublishingPageContent
School excursions 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 for students in Prep to Year 12 to destinations within Australia.

For guidance about state school excursions to destinations outside Australia, refer to the International school study tours procedure.

Overview

School excursions allow students to participate in off-site activities that can enhance their learning and development. Excursions 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 activities that occur during school hours, overnight (e.g. camps), on weekends and/or in school holidays.

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

Activities conducted off the school site are likely to pose different risks to activities conducted on the school site. Schools must be able to demonstrate that excursions have been thoroughly planned to ensure that students, staff and others will be safe while undertaking the activity. Any reasonably foreseeable risks must be identified and managed. Planning should include reasonable adjustments, training for staff and supervision required, to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, all students can access and participate.

An excursion plan must be completed for all school excursions and approved by the school principal (OneSchool Level 1 user) or delegate, using the OneSchool Excursion Planner (DoE employees only). When more than one school is involved, each school must approve their own students' participation.

Student participation in an excursion is dependent upon the provision of appropriate consent.

Responsibilities

Principals

  • Ensure all relevant staff are aware of, and comply with, this procedure.
  • Ensure OneSchool Excursion Planners submitted for approval are complete (with all relevant documentation included).
  • Ensure all participating staff and volunteers satisfy working with children authority (blue card) requirements, including obligations in relation to a restricted person. For further information, refer to the Working with children authority procedure.
  • Ensure vaccination requirements for volunteers are communicated and implemented as required.
  • Ensure excursion planning has considered the needs of vulnerable students, including out-of-home care students.
  • Ensure liaison has occurred 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, health and participation needs of all students have been considered and reasonable adjustments implemented to support access and participation in the excursion.
  • Consult with the Parents and Citizens' Association (e.g. raise at a General Meeting) regarding the conduct of any activity or provision of any good/s or service/s that attract a fee.
  • Document and disclose fees applicable to excursions to the school community annually in accordance with the User charging procedure.
  • Ensure that school excursions are only given final approval in OneSchool by a user with Level 1 access (e.g. Principal, Executive Principal, Head of School, Head of Campus); or by a delegated user with Level 2 access (e.g. Deputy Principal).
  • When more than one school is involved, each school must approve their own students' participation. 

Staff

Parent/Carer

  • Complete and return the Excursion consent form and payment (if applicable) by the due date.
  • Note that the department does not have personal accident insurance cover for students. It is up to parents/carers to decide the types and level of private insurance they wish to cover their child.
  • Comply with any COVID-safe requirements while participating in a school excursion.

Process

Schools must use the OneSchool Excursion Planner (DoE employees only) to record excursion details, risk assessments, consent, transport and accommodation arrangements, and relevant approvals.

COVID-safe excursions

Schools are to plan excursions considering the advice related to the current COVID operational status.

An image of a flowchart showing the process for the planning and delivery of a school excursion. 1. Pre-excursion planning. 2. Excursion delivery. 3. Post excursion recording and reporting.

Flowchart: School excursion process

Pre-excursion planning

1. Plan excursion

  • Staff plan the following excursion elements:
    • venue/s
    • types of activities
    • student involvement
    • supervision
    • duration (part-day/single-day/overnight/multi-day)
    • transport
    • accommodation
    • cost.
  • Staff plan the excursion with consideration for the current COVID operational status.

2. Conduct risk assessments and due diligence

At a minimum, school staff must assess risks associated with the following excursion elements:

Venues:

  • assess the suitability of the destination and venues, including access for students with disability. If a pre-visit is not possible, obtain advice from the venue itself, regional offices, other schools or entities that have used the venue
  • identify location and contact details of medical support (in relation to the venues).

Activities:

Student involvement:

Supervision:

  • identify and arrange sufficient adult supervision to manage all activities and situations safely and in a way where students' diverse needs are supported, ensuring:
    • a registered teacher is appointed to maintain overall responsibility for the activity
    • staff are able to respond to emergency situations
    • staff are well-placed to supervise and support students of all sexes and gender identities
    • at least one supervisor holds a current First Aid certificate (refer to the Managing first aid in the workplace procedure) and appropriate first aid kits/resources are available for the activities being undertaken (including transport and venue/s).
  • all volunteers hold a current working with children authority (blue card) (for further information, refer to the Working with children authority procedure), unless an exemption applies, and have completed all departmental induction and mandatory training
  • the supervisory group has effective communication tools (e.g. mobile phones, handheld radios) on hand for the duration of the excursion
  • the supervisory group has the necessary training, knowledge and skills to support students with any known medical conditions (including the administration of required medication and specialised medical procedures such as gastrostomy feeding) or other support needs.

Duration:

  • overnight excursions will require additional planning (e.g. accommodation, student health information, dietary information).

Transport:

Use of a bus charter service

  • obtain and record evidence that a bus charter service operator has a current operation accreditation number (which in Queensland is required to be displayed on the back of the vehicle and preceded by the letter Q)
  • as applicable, ensure the bus operator has approved safety mechanisms for securing mobility devices (e.g. wheelchairs).

Use of a school-owned bus or hired bus driven by a DoE employee

  • obtain and record evidence that the operation of a school owned bus or leased bus complies with requirements of Heavy Vehicle National Law HVNL (as per the department's HVNL best practice guide, e.g. journey plan, National Drive Work Diary, DoE Daily Heavy Vehicle Checklist).

Use of private vehicles

  • implement the following safeguards:
    • persons offering to transport students in private vehicles have completed an Offer to provide transport in a private vehicle form, providing proof of vehicle registration, driver’s licence, working with children authority (blue card) (if required).
    • written consent has been provided for student to travel in a privately-owned vehicle, using the private transport consent form.
    • parents/carers and students are informed about supervision arrangements in place during travel.
    • persons transporting students in private vehicles are advised to travel directly to the activity location and not to carry passengers other than those organised by the school.
    • ensure requirements of the Working with children authority procedure are met for all adults travelling in private vehicles transporting students (NOTE: a parent (as defined by the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000) volunteering to work at a school, does not require a blue card unless they are a restricted person who cannot rely on this exemption).

Use of a commercial water vessel

Accommodation:

  • homestay is not permitted.
  • obtain and record evidence that all accommodation has appropriate COVID-safe measures in place.
  • hotel or accommodation establishment quote/s should be obtained and attached to the OneSchool Excursion Planner.
  • assess risk and/or review suitability, including venue security and ability to supervise and support students.

Cost:

  • Staff calculate the cost of the excursion in accordance with finance requirements for excursions and camps (DoE employees only), including the running costs of school-owned or leased buses, referring to the User charging procedure.
  • Staff manage financial assistance for students experiencing financial hardship.
  • Staff comply with the Purchasing and procurement procedure when arranging transport and accommodation.

3. Complete documentation

  • Staff complete the OneSchool Excursion Planner, attaching all mandatory documentation and any other relevant details.
  • Staff obtain and record evidence of:
    • contacts with relevant environmental agencies (e.g. local firefighting authority to check restrictions on lighting open fires).
    • any relevant risk management documentation (e.g. emergency directions, standard operating procedures) already developed by the venue, transport or accommodation provider.
    • prior permission from property owners where private property is traversed.
    • any other approvals required for excursion activities.
  • Staff seek approvals in relation to 'Curriculum' and 'Finance' (only required if these were selected in the excursion details section of the OneSchool Excursion Planner), and submit for 'Final approval'.

4. Approve excursion

  • Principal (Level 1 OneSchool user or delegate) reviews the Excursion Planner in OneSchool considering:
  • Principal (Level 1 OneSchool user or delegate) approves the Excursion Planner, or returns it to staff for amendment and resubmission as necessary.

5. Communicate details, seek consent and health information

  • Following final excursion approval, staff provide the parents/carers/students with the excursion consent form containing all relevant excursion details.
  • At a minimum, the consent form should outline:
    • excursion description, activity description/s, date/s, time/s, location/s and cost (including refund policy)
    • behaviour code and dress code
    • educational aim/learning outcomes of the excursion
    • supervision arrangements
    • information relevant to students with disability, health conditions and/or support needs
    • requirement to comply with Queensland Chief Health Officer's public health directions
    • an explanation of risk level/s; and any risk management strategies
    • transport arrangements throughout the excursion.
  • Staff obtain and retain written consent for the student to participate (refer to the Information asset and recordkeeping procedure).
  • If the school does not have the relevant consent (via the excursion consent form, or by other means) that will allow the school and venue to comply with Queensland Chief Health Officer's public health directions (e.g. contact information), the student will be unable to participate.
  • 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).
  • When seeking consent, staff may also request relevant student health and medical details which may affect the student's full participation in the excursion using the optional Student health information - excursions form.
  • Staff consider all consent and health information to determine required reasonable adjustments to excursion elements.
  • Parents/carers are provided with appropriate contact information should they need to contact the excursion group during the excursion (e.g. mobile number of supervising teacher/s, phone number of the accommodation venue).
  • Parents/carers are advised that students who are unwell should not participate in the excursion or be sent to school.

6. Recover costs

  • Staff invoice the relevant customer (e.g. parent, carer, student) for those students that have consent to participate in the excursion.

Excursion delivery

  • Principals ensure that appropriate supervision and/or instruction is provided for students remaining at school for the duration of the school excursion.
  • Staff brief students on appropriate behaviour and expectations including dress code (e.g. hats, uniforms, protective clothing, name badges).
  • Staff ensure all participating staff and volunteers are provided with explicit instructions about responsibilities and expectations.
  • Staff brief participating students, staff and volunteers on relevant aspects of the emergency plan, safety protocols and injury management processes.
  • Staff are required to take relevant student information with them, including student medical details report (DoE employees only) from OneSchool and/or any health plans, on the excursion and ensure that it is easily accessible and allows for fast and efficient contact with the school, venue, parents, medical authorities, transport company and/or drivers of private vehicles, and other personnel if required.
  • Staff supervise all students during the excursion and cannot delegate this responsibility to others (e.g. venue operator, accommodation provider).
  • Staff respond to any health, safety or wellbeing incident in accordance with the Health, safety and wellbeing incident management procedure.
  • Staff and principals report any suspected student harm in accordance with the Student protection procedure.
  • Staff ensure first aid protocols outlined in the Managing first aid in the workplace procedure are followed in the event of a medical emergency.
  • Staff ensure the privacy of students by appropriately securing documentation containing sensitive student personal information to prevent unauthorised access, use and disclosure, and report any breaches to the principal.
  • Staff ensure that, when travelling on buses which are fitted with seatbelts, passengers are wearing seatbelts.
  • Staff ensure that passengers are not permitted to stand on buses travelling on notified roads.

Post-excursion recording and reporting

  • Staff report any incidents that occur during the excursion to the principal (e.g. damage to property by a student, breach of student privacy).
  • Staff complete all relevant incident report forms in relation to any incidents and/or near miss events 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 for assistance.
  • Staff reconcile activity and provide refunds in relation to students who were unable to participate (dependent upon refund policy outlined in the excursion consent form).
  • Staff process claims for fuel costs reimbursed (DoE employees only) by the providers of private vehicles (if applicable).
  • Staff review and document processes and practices for future excursions and provide feedback to the principal (if applicable).
  • Principal manages any incidents in accordance with departmental policy.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Accommodation establishment

Accommodation which can include hostels, lodges, B&Bs, holiday rentals advertised on travel websites such as Airbnb, Stayz, Expedia.

Curriculum activity

Any activity conducted with students to support the delivery of the curriculum from Prep to Year 12.

Delegate

For the purposes of this procedure, the principal can delegate the responsibility to provide final approval of an excursion plan to a Deputy Principal (OneSchool Level 2 User) who has the capability and capacity to fulfil the responsibilities of the principal in relation to this procedure. This delegation is to be documented appropriately.

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, 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 planned school activity that is conducted outside of the school grounds that aims to maximise students’ learning and development. Excursions can include curriculum and non-curriculum activities. The school maintains responsibility/duty of care for the students during an excursion.

Excursions do not include students travelling off-site to participate in work experience placements, vocational education and training (VET), and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs).

Homestay

Where students stay (or are billeted) in the home of a local family.

Mandatory documentation

For part-day, single-day or multi-day excursions, the following completed items must be attached to/included in the OneSchool Excursion Planner:

  • proposed/draft excursion consent form
  • risk assessments.

For overnight excursions, in addition to the above, the following completed items must be attached to/included in the OneSchool Excursion Planner:

  • detailed itinerary
  • parent/carer communication
  • flight quotes (if applicable).

Multi-day excursion

An excursion that is repeated regularly with little change to details (e.g. weekly swimming lessons conducted for students at a local pool, twice weekly visit to local supermarket for a particular class to purchase ingredients for a cooking lesson). 

Non-curriculum activity

These are activities organised by the school for their students, but the activities do not specifically support the delivery of the curriculum. Such activities include, but are not limited to, enrichment activities (e.g. school ski trips, performance trips, leadership camps, non-representative sport, Duke of Edinburgh Award) and operational activities (e.g. transport, accommodation).

OneSchool Access Levels

An aggregation of user access privileges necessary and sufficient for the performance of the functions of a specific job (e.g. classroom teacher, Head of Curriculum, Business Manager, principal, etc.).

OneSchool Access Levels are assigned to school, corporate and regional based staff according to their position and role requirements. An assigned access level should be appropriate and proportionate to the key tasks of the role

Level 1 - This user access level would be suitable for Principals, Executive Principals and Heads of Campus.

Level 2 - This user access level would be suitable for Deputy Principals.

Parent

For the purposes of working with children authority (blue card), refer to section 390 of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000, otherwise refer to section 10 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006.

Reasonable adjustment

An adjustment is a measure or action taken to assist a student with disability to participate in education on the same basis as other students. An adjustment is reasonable if it achieves this purpose while taking into account the student's learning needs and balancing the interests of all parties affected, including those of students with disability, the education provider, staff and other students.

Students with disability

As defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cwth). The definition of “disability” used in the DDA is broad. It includes physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological and learning disabilities. The DDA covers disabilities that people have now, had in the past, may have in the future or which they are believed to have.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

COVID-19 information:

Curriculum activity risk assessment (CARA) resources:

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

17 June 2025
Attribution CC BY
PageFeedback_BottomLeft
Was this page useful?
SocialMedia_BottomRight