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Educational Visits Policy 2023-2024

Co-op Academy Nightingale 

Educational Visits Policy



At Co-op Academy Nightingale we aim to prepare pupils for life outside of the classroom. School is a massive part of our pupils lives and we strive to provide them with the best possibility of success. Therefore, we recognise that this can also be achieved by providing pupils with rich opportunities to learn outside the classroom. As a school with a high number of disadvantaged pupils, we understand how key it is to provide these opportunities to pupils whilst they are in attendance at our school. We want our pupils to leave Co-op Academy Nightingale as a well-rounded member of society and this can be achieved by giving them access to real-life experiences. Our educational visits are linked to the learning within the classroom in a variety of subjects, particularly to our half-termly projects that focus on introducing pupils to their new project through a memorable experience that captures and engages their thirst for knowledge.

Through our educational visits we aim to:

  • Provide real-life experiences that cannot be replicated in the classroom
  • Develop pupil’s personal and social skills
  • Extend pupil’s knowledge and understanding of the world beyond the classroom
  • Widen pupil’s interests and experiences to give them a clear understanding of the world


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 Nightingale a supportive and effective learning environment. Educational visits are carefully timetabled so that each class has an in-school and an out of school experience each year linking to the projects that are covered across the curriculum. Other educational visits take place as well, such as visiting places of worship which links to RE and also local trips around the area that cover a range of subjects.  


At Coop Academy Nightingale we aim to provide pupils with a range of fun, engaging and challenging educational experiences outside of the classroom. Pupils will leave our school equipped with amazing memories, necessary skills and a keen desire to learn about the world around them.

By the end of KS2, children will have:

  • Improved achievement and attainment across a range of curricular subjects. Pupils are active participants not passive consumers, and a wide range of learning styles can flourish.
  • A greater sense of personal responsibility
  • Gained an increased amount of curiosity and resilience towards new experiences
  • An enhanced opportunity for ‘real world’ ‘learning in context’
  • Developed their social and emotional intelligence
  • 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.
  • An improved appreciation, knowledge, awareness and understanding of a variety of environments.
  • Opportunities for meaning making, creativity, developing learning relationships and practicing 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).
  • Possibilities for genuine team working including enhanced communication skills.
  • Physical skill acquisition and the development of a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Planning Procedures

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. 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. All visit information will be kept for a minimum of six years. Staff are particularly directed to be familiar with the roles and responsibilities outlined within the guidance.

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 Nightingale uses EVOLVE for off-site activities and all educational visits.

Planning a visit:

  1. The Visit Leader will inform the EVC (Nicole Springer) of their trip and the EVC will add it to the School Visit Request Form (G-drive - Evolve) stating where and when the visit will take place.
  2.  If the trip is approved by the Executive Headteacher; the cost implications of the visit will need to be fully considered. The Visit Leader/EVC will book the venue. The School Office will arrange to book the transport.
  3.  The Visit Leader should make sure that the visit is put on the EVOLVE system – N Springer will provide technical support if necessary.
  4. The School Office will inform the Kitchen staff if lunches are needed and confirm with the EVC that this has been done. Pupils entitled to free school meals will be provided with a packed lunch.

Before the visit, the Visit Leader must make sure:

 1.                Appropriate pre-visits have taken place.

 2.         Send parental consent letters out far enough in advance (at least 4 weeks prior to the visit) to give parents the opportunity to pay the voluntary contribution.

 3.         Ensure that adults going on the visit know the necessary details.

 4.         Complete a risk assessment for the visit and ensure all adults read and sign it. Risk Assessments can be found in the EVOLVE folder on the G-drive and need to be amended to suit your specific visit. Copy of risk assessments to be given to EVC.

5.                Complete a trip on Evolve for the EVC and Executive headteacher to check and sign off.

Class teachers / LSA’s to ensure that any reply slips are recorded on a class list and ensure that all pupils have permission before attending the trip. If a situation arises, where a pupil does not have a permission slip, ‘verbal consent’ may be a practical way to manage a problem on the morning of departure.  It is far from ideal and should be regarded as a last resort. A note should be made of the time and date of the phone call, who made it and who gave consent.

All voluntary contributions should be sent to the office daily. Please make sure the office signs to confirm they have received this. When all the money has been collected the final total must be tallied and the class list given to the office.

On the day: 

1. Leave a copy of the group list of pupils going on the visit and itinerary in the office.

2. The Visit Leader must carry a signed copy of the risk assessments, list of children, group lists, medical lists, itinerary, trip details, emergency contact details, permission slips and a mobile phone during the visit.

3. All adults must carry a copy of the risk assessment, group list, itinerary and a mobile phone.

4. First Aid Kit and medication must be carried by the appropriate/nominated member of staff.

5. Give a copy of the signed risk assessment to the EVC.

After the visit:

 1. Fill in the Educational Visit Evaluation on Evolve.


 A pre-visit must be carried out by a member of staff prior to the visit if they have not been there in the last 12 months prior to the visit. Even if the venue has been visited in the last 12 months the leader must check there have been no major changes. The group leader must complete the necessary risk assessments and attach them on EVOLVE. Once the risk assessments have been checked by the EVC they are to be printed and signed by all the adults (incl. adult helpers) going on the visit. Copies of these must be carried by the group leader during the visit, and one copy should be given to the EVC to be kept in the Educational Visits file.

If the visit is in Category 3 (requires an overnight stay), permission must be given by the Regional director and Executive Headteacher and the Chair of the Governors must be informed before the visit can go ahead. The visit must be submitted for authorisation at least 4 weeks before the date of the visit.

The Education Director and Governing Body must be notified formally of all high risk and /or overnight trips or visits. This should be done through Governing Body Meetings and at Termly Review meetings.

If safety is in doubt the visit must not take place.

Stopping an activity or visit

If, during the course of the visit, the level of risk to any pupils is assessed as being unacceptable, the group leader must stop the activity. If the level of risk is unacceptable and the group leader is reluctant to stop the activity, other adults must overrule the group leader. This must be reported to the Headteacher.


The following items must be taken on the visit:  

  • Risk assessments  
  • Group Lists with the name of Group leader
  • Itinerary
  • Medical lists and medication needed by individual children – including inhalers  
  • Mobile phone with school contact number (if visit is outside school hours, contact numbers for a member of the Leadership Team must be carried).  
  • First aid kit  
  • Permission slips
  • Contact details of the parents/carers (only to be used if contact cannot be made with school)

In case of emergency the Visit Leader should contact the School/member of the Leadership Team, and emergency services if necessary. Direct contact with the parents/carers should only be made by the group leader if contact cannot be made with school or member of the Leadership Team. If the group plan to split up as part of the activities, all adults in charge of a small group must have the Leader and Deputy Leader’s mobile contact details, and carry a mobile phone themselves.


When deciding on staffing, the overriding factor must be the safe supervision of children. All visits must have at least two members of school staff in attendance.

The number of adults needed for the visit will be determined by the age/needs of the group and the type of visit.

Below is a guide and should be used as a starting point for consideration and are not definitive – ratios should be determined through risk assessment:

 (For trips in the Foundation Stage ensure all Early Year Statutory Guidance is adhered to).

Nursery 1:4

Reception 1:5

Years 1/2/3 1:6

Years 4/5/6 1:10

There is additional guidance available for regular local trips – the ratios for these do not have to be as high. Please refer to national guidelines as appropriate

The decision will be made by the class teacher in conjunction with the EVC and the Headteacher when planning the visit. All adults will need to have signed the risk assessment to state they have been read and understood.

Role of the group leader

During the visit the Group Leader has overall responsibility for everyone in the party. They have responsibility for doing the following:

 Carry the relevant documents such as risk assessments, maps, tickets, list of children at all times

Do a head count at regular intervals during the visit

Ensure that the children are supervised by an adult at all times  

Remove children from the activity if they are acting in a way which puts safety at risk. If this then reduces the required level of supervision then the activity must be stopped. This may involve changes to the risk assessment.


No child is ever prevented from attending a visit because their parents/carers have not made a contribution.


Occasionally it may not be appropriate, on the grounds of safety, for some children to attend a particular visit. This decision will be made by the EVC/Visit Leader in consultation with the Headteacher during the planning stage of the visit. Parents will need to be informed.

Children with special educational needs in relation to behaviour, emotional or a medical condition may need individual support during the visit. Extra adults must be planned for in advance and the risk assessment must include this.



  • Coaches will only book coaches from providers used by LCC or other Trust Schools  
  • Only 1 child per seat, i.e. 2 children per double seat, is permitted  
  • Seatbelts must be worn at all times  
  • Children may not sit on the middle seat at the back, next to the emergency exit or on the 2 front seats  
  • An adult must sit near the emergency exit(s)


  • Drivers must be approved by the Trust and fully MIDAS trained  
  • A member of staff must sit in one of the rear seats  
  • Only one child per seat  
  • Seatbelts must be worn at all times

Cars (Please ensure that the Driving at Work Policy is fully adhere to).


  • The member of staff must be insured to carry children (business use)
  • Full booster seats must be used by children who are under the height of 135cm (approximately 4ft 5ins)  
  • Seatbelts must be worn at all times
  • The appropriate form for use of a private vehicle must be completed and a relevant risk assessment carried out.


  • A member of staff should be at the front and the back of the line.
  • Any other adults should be spread out amongst the children.
  • Children should walk in pairs or in single file. When crossing a road, if the traffic must be stopped, the adult should wait for a safe break in the traffic or until the traffic has stopped. Children should cross in their lines.

Medical Needs  

If there is a need to administer medicine during the trip this will be done in line with Medicines in School Policy.  

Where a child has significant medical or care needs an individual risk assessment and /or care plan will be put in place to ensure all needs are appropriately met.


Residential visits must be planned and organised by the EVC and the designated Group Leader. The visit must be submitted and authorised 4 weeks before the date of the visit.

Parental consent forms, medical information, emergency contact details, copies of documents and risk assessments must be taken on the residential visit by the group leader.

Types of Visit & Approval

There are three ‘types’ of visit:

  1. Curriculum based activities that take place during the normal school day, e.g. swimming, local walks, place of worship visits etc

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. Day visits, e.g. Museum visits, Aquarium visits etc.

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.

As above, but the Head authorises and then submits to the Trust for approval.


Co-op Academy Nightingale 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
  • 4 weeks before departure for Residential
  • 4 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 Coordinator (EVC) is (Nicole Springer), who will support and challenge colleagues over visits and learning outside the classroom (LOtC) activities. 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 Head. The EVC sets up and manages the staff accounts on EVOLVE, and uploads generic school documents, etc.

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 Employer’s EVC Training Programme and any updates as required.
  3. 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.


Visit leaders are responsible for evaluating their visits using the evaluation tool on Evolve. Visit leaders should refer to:

  1. The impact on learning
  2. The arrangements (eg risk assessments, value for money, lessons learned)

Staff Competence

Co-op Academy Nightingale 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 1). All staff on visits are familiar with this plan and it is tested at least bi-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 the Co-op Academy Trust.

Parental Consent

Parental consent must be obtained for all visits (including local visits). Parents must be given information about the visit 4 weeks prior to pupils attending the visit.  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 Nightingale is committed to inclusion and will include all students in our offsite activities wherever this is reasonably practicable. 

Any individual risk assessment, behaviour/care plan should inform the planning process. Appropriate levels of supervision and staff with the necessary competences/training should be in place (e.g. intimate care/ feeding; manual handling; team teach/ restraint; administering rescue meds etc). If a decision is taken to exclude a young person (e.g. if the necessary reasonable adjustment(s) would unduly impinge on the learning outcomes for the rest of the group) then:

  • • All relevant parties must have been consulted throughout the process
  • • there must be a clear rationale
  • • the process should be carefully recorded with a clear evidence / audit trail.


Visits are covered under policies arranged through the Co-op Academies Trust.

Appendix 1 – Co-op Academy Nightingale Emergency Procedure

Our plan in an emergency is:

  • The nominated emergency base contact for any visit is our main office - 0113 235 9164
  • The main office will then contact a member of the senior leadership team to inform them of the incident
  • For activities that take place during normal school hours, the visit leadership team will be aware of any relevant medical information for all participants, including staff.
  • For activities that take place outside normal school hours, the visit leadership team and the emergency contact/s will be aware of any relevant medical information and emergency contact information for all participants, including staff.
  • The visit leader(s) and base contact will 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.
  • For visits that take place outside the School Learning Area, the visit leader will carry an emergency response sheet.
  • This Emergency Procedure is tested through both desk top exercises and periodic scenario calls from visit leaders.

The following should be in place for all visits:

1. Carried by Visit Leader & all accompanying staff:

• Group list

• All contact details (these may be held in school for local visits during school hours)

• Visit Leader Emergency Action Card

• Mobile phone

• Group first aid kit(s)

2. Held by Emergency Base Contact (e.g. head teacher/ senior leader back at school):

• Group list

• All contact details

• Emergency Action Cards:

  • Visit Leader Emergency Action Card
  • Base Contact Emergency Action Card (e.g. head/senior leader back at school)

• 24/7 access to all visit details

Reviewed September 2023