Before you begin planning your trip, it is important to seek out guidance from the various sources with jurisdiction over your school district, such as the Department of Education and the LEA, as well as your school and other authorities.
We have provided you with many of the forms you will need when planning your school trip abroad on our “Help With Documentation” page.
The following information from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is also helpful advice for teachers needing to manage and control the health and safety risks associated with taking pupils out of school. Additional information and resources, including a School Trip Checklist can be found on the RoSPA website.
- Travel documentation: Allow plenty of time to organise travel documentation. Take advice from your LEA, and/or Home Office Immigration and Nationality Department if you are unsure about any aspect of obtaining correct documentation. Refer to our “Help With Documentation” page.
- Foreign Language: At least one adult member of the party should be fluent in the language of the country to which you are travelling, and it is ideal if everyone knows the basics of the language.
- Foreign Culture: Encourage the students to sample the country’s cuisine before the visit and provide them with the opportunity to learn about the country’s culture, customs and laws before departing.
- Health, fitness and general safety: Be familiar with any potential health and safety risks. Everyone must have the proper vaccinations, if they are required for the areas to which you will be travelling. Be sure to bring a basic first aid kit. Know how to prevent sunburn and de-hydration. Inform the students about rabies and advise them that on no account should a student venture out alone while abroad. Everyone in the group should know what to do in the event of an emergency, accident or illness.
- Hotel and recreational facilities: As many checks as necessary should be made to ensure that the facilities are suitable.
- Identification of group members: It is recommended that each student be given a badge or other distinguishing item to wear and each should carry a card with the address of the group’s accommodations written in the language of the country being visited.
- Luggage: Students should be advised to pack as little and as lightly as possible, and luggage should have shoulder straps or secure handles.
- Embassy and Customs: Know where the nearest Embassy is situated in relation to where you will be staying and know how to get through Customs with groups of young people.
- Leader’s Information: The lead teacher will need to carry the notarised documents recommended on our “Help With Documentation” page: Parental Consent For Minor Children To Travel Form; Medical Release and Insurance Information Form; and contact information of both the school of attendance, and the student accommodation in France.
- Insurance: Make sure that your insurance coverage is appropriate for your visit.
Copies of the school trip itinerary and all recommended documentation should be retained at the school while the visit is in progress.