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Excursions in Public Schools Procedures

procedure

These procedures must be read in conjunction with the Duty of Care for Public School Students Policy.

2. Scope

These procedures apply to all principals and Department of Education employees in public schools.

3. Procedures

3.1 All excursions

Principals must:

  • authorise a Department employee or a representative of an Approved Provider to be the Excursion Leader for any excursion undertaken by the school;
  • confirm that a proposed excursion has an educational purpose;
  • not endorse an excursion where activities or locations pose a safety risk;
  • in the event of cancellation of an excursion, advise the school community to what purpose monies raised through fundraising will be redirected;
  • establish processes for the School Council or Board to approve the costs of all optional activities (including school camps and excursions); and
  • comply with the Department’s insurance requirements.

Guidance

From the perspective of cultural understanding and respect, when planning an excursion, consider the following:

  • whether or not it is appropriate to acknowledge the traditional lands being visited; and
  • is the site culturally significant to Aboriginal people, and does this mean Aboriginal students may not be able to visit dependent on gender or if they have gone through lore.

Accounting guidelines to assist with costing camps and excursions are available for schools on the Finance for Schools (staff only) website. If an excursion is cancelled, any fees paid should be refunded to families. However, if fundraising has occurred and it is not possible to identify individual contributions, then the funds may be used at the discretion of the Principal, with communication to the school community to that effect.

Locations of potential environmental or safety risk include Wittenoom Township or locations near the Wittenoom mining area or overseas locations with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) warning: Do Not Travel. All other DFAT warnings should form part of the risk assessment process to be taken into consideration prior to endorsing a proposal.

Principals must confirm that the authorised Department excursion leader or representative of an Approved Provider has complied the following:

  • prepared and submitted the required proposal and approval forms to the principal in accordance with one of the following documents:
  • take all documentation attached to the Proposal for Excursion on the excursion; 
  • confirm that all external providers have minimum levels of insurance of $20 million public liability insurance and if appropriate, $5 million professional liability insurance; and
  • confirm that the following information is current, updated in school records and accessible to staff during the excursion:
    • approvals;
    • permissions/consents; and
    • medical and emergency information.

Guidance

Excursions are affected by a number of other mandated policies and legislative requirements and the excursion documents support employees in addressing all requirements.

Records may be carried by excursion supervisors on electronic devices, but should not rely on internet access to be accessible.

Principals must inform Department employees or a representative of an Approved Provider that they must not sign waivers, indemnities, disclaimers or other documents which absolve an excursion venue or other external provider from liability for their own negligent acts or omissions; or require volunteers, parents or students over the age of 18 years to sign such documents.

Guidance

Excursion Leaders and staff should be aware that disclaimers or waivers may be obscured within certain terms and conditions of sale. Many excursion venues are prepared to give up or amend their waivers to enable schools to access their activity and the excursion leader should suggest this option to the provider. 

3.2 Local area excursions

Principals must only approve a Proposal for Local Area Excursion that has been prepared in accordance with the document Local Area Excursions.

Guidance

The principal is the Excursion Approval Authority for all local area excursions.

Local Area Excursions are those that occur within relatively close proximity to the school, i.e. held within the same town/city/locale or district. Examples of local excursions include, but are not limited to: attending the local town oval, zoo, cultural precinct, theatres or shopping centres. These excursions do not require extensive travel or overnight accommodation.

Excursions by remote schools across the Northern Territory or South Australian borders are considered:

- Local Area Excursions if they do not involve an overnight stay; or

- Local Area Excursions with Overnight Stay Including Camps.

Recurring excursions are regularly timetabled classes that occur offsite, and may be approved for the same group of students, through one Proposal for Local Area Excursion.

3.3 Local area excursions with overnight stay including camps

Principals must only approve a Proposal for Local Area Excursion with Overnight Stay Including Camps, that has been prepared in accordance with the document Local Area Excursion with Overnight Stay Including Camps.

Guidance

The principal is the Excursion Approval Authority for all local area excursions with overnight stays including camps.

Local Area Excursions with Overnight Stay Including Camps are those that occur within Western Australia, requiring accommodation for any period of time. These include, but are not limited to, extended educational trips, sporting tours and camps. Travel to and from Christmas and Cocos Islands is considered to be travel within Western Australia.

3.4 Interstate excursions

Principals must:

  • only approve a Proposal for Interstate Excursion that has been prepared in accordance with the document Interstate Excursions; and
  • complete and endorse an Approval of Interstate Excursion.

Guidance

The principal is the Excursion Approval Authority for interstate excursions.

3.5 International excursions

Principals must:

  • confirm that the international excursion activities cannot be undertaken in Australia;
  • only approve an International Excursion: Application for Approval and Plan that has been prepared in accordance with the document International Excursions;
  • prior to the school advising students or parents and any exchange of money, at least ten months prior to the date of the planned excursion, the International Excursion: Application for Approval form must be forwarded by the principal via the Director of Education, who will forward it to the Deputy Director General, Schools in order to reach the Minister for Education at least nine months prior to the proposed departure date. Any excursion that requires a longer lead time should be submitted for approval by the Minister earlier while the planning is conceptual; and
  • at least four months prior to the proposed departure date, submit the International Excursion: Plan with approved International Excursion: Application for Approval to their Director of Education, to obtain agreement that arrangements are compliant.

Guidance

The Minister for Education is the Excursion Approval Authority for all international excursions.

4. Definitions

 

Any student-learning activity conducted off the site of the school, at which the student is enrolled, that:

  • has an educational purpose;
  • is organised or managed by a member of staff employed by the Department of Education or a representative of an Approved Provider;
  • involves any associated costs being paid directly to the school, not to a third party;
  • is insured by the Department of Education; and
  • has gained the appropriate approval(s).

A member of staff employed by the Department of Education or a representative of an Approved Provider authorised by the principal to be in charge of an excursion

An outcome linked to students’ educational programs, Western Australian Curriculum outcomes and/or the total educational program of the school.

5. Related documents

6. Contact information

Policy manager:

Director, Teaching and Learning Services

Policy contact officer:

Principal Consultant, Teaching and Learning Services

T: (08) 9402 6130

Any school excursion operational matter should be referred to the Coordinator of Regional Operations.

7. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Policy version no.
4 February 2014
Major review undertaken and policy split into policy and procedures. Endorsed by Corporate Executive 2 December 2013.
4 February 2014 27 February 2014
Minor changes to Appendices and update to contact details. D14/0061889
4 February 2014 9 April 2014
Minor changes to Appendix B - point 32, Appendix C – documents attached and Appendix D – regarding additional approval for interstate excursions. D14/0158355
4 February 2014 12 August 2014
Minor changes to Appendices A and E D14/0355782.
4 February 2014 28 August 2014
Minor changes to Appendices B to F regarding insurance provisions D14/0416237
4 February 2014 18 November 2014
Update to contact details and link D14/0510227
4 February 2014 26 May 2015
Changes regarding public liability and professional indemnity insurance D15/0195602.
4 February 2014 4 February 2016
Minor change to Appendix B – removal of School Excursions website D16/0123310.
4 February 2014 5 August 2016
Updated contact information D16/0508024.
4 February 2014 25 August 2017
Minor change to Appendix D & E D17/0360809
4 February 2014 21 March 2018
Updated contact information D18/0119506
4 February 2014 31 August 2018
Minor changes to include reference to Public Schools D18/0151652.
28 April 2020
Major review undertaken. Endorsed by the Director General on 16 January 2020 D20/0043706.
16 February 2021
Major changes endorsed by Director General 24 November 2020 D20/0615218 and re-alignment of Excursions in Public School Procedures under Duty of Care for Public Schools Policy endorsed by Director General on 11 February 2021 D21/0074488.
16 February 2021 31 March 2021
Minor change to include definition of Excursion. D21/0172483