Last updated:
11 August 2016

School trips and educational visits

Find out about attendance, getting help with the costs and legal issues surrounding school trips.

The many off-site activities and visits arranged by our schools, colleges and youth facilities form an important part of the educational programme for young people in West Sussex. They offer exciting and motivating opportunities that raise achievement in children and young people of all abilities. In particular, they are able to stimulate and reinforce a positive attitude towards education.

Children are expected to attend visits for educational purposes and as part of the national curriculum. Many schools have visits which form the basis for a substantial amount of classroom work.

  • Trips during the school day - If the visit is part of the national curriculum children will be expected to accompany the visit.
  • Residential trips - This is a significant learning experience that is highly recommended. If you are in some doubt about your child’s attendance on a school residential visit please talk to your child's class teacher.

If you have any queries or concerns about educational visits, contact your child's school.

Paying for educational visits

  • Voluntary contribution - Schools can request a voluntary contribution towards an educational visit. If the majority of the visit is out of school hours it can be considered an 'optional extra' and parents can be asked to pay for the opportunity.
  • Hardship cases - If a parent is in receipt of Universal Credit or certain other benefits, they may be exempt from paying for board and lodging. You are encouraged to talk with your child's school to see if help is available.
  • Trips abroad - Schools will try to help by arranging an opportunity for parents to pay by instalments. They may have access to non-public funds that could be used to support certain children and young people.

Future classwork will often be based on the experience children gain from educational visits.

Legal issues

  • Transport - If schools have taken responsibility for organising the transport for an educational visit, they are expected to check the insurance documents of anyone providing this transport in a private car.
  • Security checks - All helpers who regularly have unsupervised access to children must have undergone a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Staff to pupil ratios - for educational visits the local authority states the following:
    • Under 8s (Years 1-3) - Maximum number of children to 1 adult = 6
    • Under 12s (Years 4-6) - Maximum number of children to 1 adult = 15
    • Over 11 (Years 7+) - Maximum number of children/young people to 1 adult = 20 
 

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