EDUCATIONAL VISITS GUIDANCE MAY 2021
Posted on 11th May 2021 at 10:03
On 10 May 2021 the government updated its guidance to schools on educational visits that take place during "Step 3" of England's Recovery Roadmap. We have summarised the key points, and you can find the full guidance from DfE HERE.
Domestic Residential Education Visits
Domestic Residential Education Visits can be undertaken from 17 May 2021, conducted in line with relevant COVID-19 guidance and regulations in place at that time.
The number of children and staff that can be accommodated on a domestic residential visit in England is dependent on the accommodation of the provider, but requires:
separate bubbles of circa 30 children, at no time mixing with other bubbles
schools can take more than 1 bubble on a visit as long as they are kept separate at all times.
a recommended maximum of 6 pupils per room, but fewer if rooms are smaller, with 2 metre plus spacing and good ventilation.
individual bedrooms for staff members.
Schools with domestic residential educational visits booked this summer term are advised to have detailed discussions with their provider/accommodation about accommodation arrangements to determine if domestic residential visits can be accommodated, and to then check that all risk assessments including COVID-19 measures are in place.
We will contact all of our summer bookers directly. You can see a table of the revised capacity at Sandwell's residential centres on our Covid Response Page.
You should follow these principles when establishing your visit bubbles:
bubbles should be formed from existing school bubbles such that residential visit bubbles only have pupils from a single existing bubble
form bubbles no larger than circa 30 children - where possible aim to establish smaller bubbles
only teachers and members of the school workforce already part of the established school bubble should accompany pupils on the visit as they are already part of the existing school bubble - they do not count towards the bubble size
parents, carers or volunteers should not accompany the group to maintain the integrity of the bubble
Schools may take multiple bubbles on a visit, as long as the integrity of the separate bubbles can be maintained.
Overnight sleeping arrangements place children and staff at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. As a consequence, if the educational visit contains more than 6 people it is strongly recommended that the bubble is broken down into smaller groups for sleeping and room sharing is limited as far as possible. You should speak to your accommodation provider about sleeping arrangements in advance of the visit. It is also recommended that members of school staff have their own single room and do not share with other members of school staff. The accommodation provider risk assessment should amongst other things manage the numbers in each room overnight, space between beds, space between groups of beds and reflect the HSE standards on the quality of ventilation.
Visits to other parts of the UK
Educational visits to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are covered by guidance applying in those parts of the UK, not by this guidance. We will update guidance linked to Plas Gwynant Outdoor Education Centre as soon as it is released, and update our Covid Response page.
The government advises against overseas visits until at least 6 September 2021.
Educational Day visits
Educational Day Visits were able to resume from 12 April 2021, conducted in line with relevant COVID-19 guidance and regulations in place at that time. This continues to be the case. Schools should undertake risk assessments as usual - including COVID-19 risk assessments - and ensure that day visit providers have COVID-19 risk assessments and control measures in place.
All of our centres are able to offer day visits, and you can read more about them HERE.
With further easing of restrictions from 21st June, it is possible that guidance around overnight stays will be updated again in the coming weeks.
For now though, we are extremely grateful to our colleagues around Sandwell Council for helping our service to navigate the current situation. From Public Health, to Educational Visit Advisors, to ideas and resources from Educational Psychology; we are confident in our capacity to deliver overnight visits safely, and deliver the most impactful programmes to help our groups to recover.
We will stay in close contact with our partners; our risk assessments and operational procedures covering activities, transport, accommodation and food will take full account of the latest Covid-19 guidance, and we will update our Safety and Care pages.
Our priority is ensuring the wellbeing of our team, visitors and partners, and making sure that we are able to deliver the same high standards of learning, arts and outdoor adventure in whatever circumstances we are presented with.
Tagged as: Coronavirus
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