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Educational Visits: New Guidance

Guidance for the Management of Outdoor Learning, Off-Site Visits, and Learning Outside the Classroom.

School Leaders are required to follow any guidance that may be issued by their employers [LA or Governing Body, depending on the type of school] in managing Outdoor Learning, Off-Site Visits, and Learning Outside the Classroom. Previously, many employers will have incorporated into their guidance the1998 DfEE publication “Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits” [HASPEV]. This was withdrawn by the DfE in 2011, along with its various supplements, such as Group Safety at Water Margins.

In its place, the Outdoor Education Advisers Panel [OEAP] has written and published its own guidance for employers to adopt as their policy and for their staff to use.

NAHT fully endorses the OEAP’s guidance, which was developed from the HASPEV material and has benefited from the undisputed expertise of panel members.

Employers who adopt this guidance should have a policy document that directs staff to use the OEAP “National Guidance” and also sets out their specific arrangements for staff training, access to advice, notification or approval of visits, and monitoring. Advice about these issues is included in the guidance.

Employees should be sure that their employer has adopted this guidance before relying on it.

The complete guidance maybe accessed via: http://oeapng.info, but those documents of particular relevance to school leaders are accessible from the following menu:

Roles and Responsibilities

·       3.4g Head teacher

·        3.4h Manager of an establishment other than a school

·        3.3b Head or Manager Check List

Basic Essentials

·        1c Status Remit and Rationale

Legal Framework and Employer Systems

·        3.1b Requirements and Recommendations for Establishments

·        3.2a Underpinning Legal Framework

·        3.2b Monitoring

·        3.2c Charges for off site actvity

·        3.2d Assessment of Competence

·        3.2e Inclusion

·        3.2g Vetting and CRB Checks

Good Practice

·        4.1a Critical Incident Management for Visits

·        4.2a Group management and supervision

·        4.3a Good practice basics

·        4.3b Ratios and effective supervision

·        4.3c Risk management

·        4.3d Consent

Policies, Planning and Evaluation

·        5.1b High Quality Outdoor Education Publication


Using the OEAP Website to access the “National Guidance”

The Guidance is presented in easy to find format.

Search for your role:

  • look on the right hand side of the home page, where roles are listed.

For specific visit information about different activities:

  • Go to the contents tab and select the Specialist Activity Folder to find detailed information.

  • Alternatively use the ‘Google Search’ box for key words

OEAP is committed to improving the website and the guidance it contains.
From time to time OEAP will add new documents, or amend existing documents.
Whenever substantial changes are made, this will be stated at the “Updated Documents” tab, which you will find at the top of home page, and where a link to a log of all the changes made will also be provided.

  • None of the guidance in this website constitutes red tape.

  • National guidance is about how to plan your visit or activity so that those taking part are able to enjoy a valuable learning experience where the risks are properly managed.

  • Where the guidance recommends record keeping, this is to help with your planning and/or audit trails. The guidance can also help employers to simplify their systems if these are over-bureaucratic.

Page Published: 05/10/2011