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Educational Visits Policy

Co-op Academy Swinton

Educational Visits

Version |  January 2023



At Co-op Academy Swinton we see the benefits to learning outside the classroom and educational visits to be crucial to the ‘Catch Up’ and recovery to learning post pandemic. We have seen real disruption to our routine, and the traumas faced by students, parents and staff have affected us all in very different ways. The opportunities to rebuild trust and relationships are often greater whilst out of the classroom. Being outside also encourages physical activity following a period where some of our school community have been housebound.


Learning outside the classroom activities and educational visits are used as teaching and learning tools for the delivery of elements of Co-op Super School’s Statement of Intent.


Learning outside the classroom activities and educational visits have clear and measurable aims which link to Co-op Super School’s statement of intent/curriculum intent. The impact contributes to pupils’ attainment and progress. Co-op Super School’s approach to the evaluation of activities and visits is set out in this policy.


We believe that educational visits are an integral part of the entitlement of every pupil to an effective and balanced curriculum. Appropriately planned visits enhance learning and improve attainment, and so form a key part of what makes Co-op Academy Swinton a supportive and effective learning environment. The benefits to pupils of taking part in visits and learning outside the classroom include, but are not limited to:

  • Improvements in their ability to cope with change.
  • Increased critical curiosity and resilience.
  • Opportunities for meaning making, creativity, developing learning relationships and practicing strategic awareness.
  • Increased levels of trust and opportunities to examine the concept of trust (us in them, them in us, them in themselves, them in each other).
  • Improved achievement and attainment across a range of curricular subjects. Pupils are active participants not passive consumers, and a wide range of learning styles can flourish.
  • Enhanced opportunities for ‘real world’ ‘learning in context’ and the development of the social and emotional aspects of intelligence.
  • Increased risk management skills through opportunities for involvement in practical risk-benefit decisions in a range of contexts, i.e. encouraging pupils to become more risk aware as opposed to risk averse.
  • Greater sense of personal responsibility.
  • Possibilities for genuine team working including enhanced communication skills.
  • Improved environmental appreciation, knowledge, awareness and understanding of a variety of environments.
  • Improved awareness and knowledge of the importance and practices of sustainability.
  • Physical skill acquisition and the development of a fit and healthy lifestyle.


Any visit that leaves the school grounds is covered by this policy, whether as part of the curriculum, during school time, or outside the normal school day.

This Educational Visits Policy should be read in conjunction with:

  1. The Co-op Academies Trust policy document ‘Educational visits statement’ (available to all staff via Evolve).
  2. National Guidance

Co-op Academy Swinton uses EVOLVE for off-site activities beyond the local learning area and uses EVOLVE for all educational visits.

All staff are required to plan and execute visits in line with school policy (i.e. this document), Co-op Academies Trust policies and National Guidelines. Staff are particularly directed to be familiar with the roles and responsibilities outlined within the guidance.

Types of Visit and Approval

There are three ‘types’ of visit:

  1. Visits/activities within the ‘School Learning Area’ that are part of the normal curriculum and take place during the normal school day
    These follow the ‘School Learning Area’ Operating Procedure (Appendix 1).
  2. Other non-residential visits within the UK that do not involve an adventurous activity
    These are entered on EVOLVE by the visit leader and submitted to the EVC for checking. The EVC then submits to the Head for approval
  3. Visits that are overseas, residential, or involve an adventurous activity
    As above, but the Head authorises and then submits to the Trust for approval.


Co-op Academy Swinton uses the Evolve system to plan, manage and record educational visits.

Visit Leaders should plan and prepare visits allowing time for internal and external vetting and approval as required. Normally this will mean that visit plans should be submitted to the EVC by the following deadlines:

  • 3 to 6 months before departure for Overseas Visits
  • 5 weeks before departure for Residentials
  • 5 weeks before departure for Adventure Activities
  • 2 weeks before departure for other types of visit

If for any reason these deadlines cannot be met, clarification and approval should be sought from the EVC.

Roles and Responsibilities

Visit leaders are responsible for the planning of their visits, and for entering these on EVOLVE (where required). They should obtain outline permission for a visit from the Head Teacher or EVC prior to planning, and certainly before making any financial commitments. Visit leaders have responsibility for ensuring that their visits will comply with all relevant guidance and requirements.

The Educational Visits Coordinator (EVC) is Felicity Fagan, a member of SLT who is supported by Kristie Conroy, the Office Manager, who will support and challenge colleagues over visits and learning outside the classroom (LOtC) activities. The EVC is the first point of contact for advice on visit related matters, and will check final visit plans on EVOLVE before submitting them to the Head. The EVC sets up and manages the staff accounts on EVOLVE, and uploads generic school documents, etc.

The Headteacher has responsibility for authorising all visits and for submitting all overseas, residential or adventurous activity visits to the Trust for approval, via EVOLVE.

The Governing Body’s role is that of a ‘critical friend’ and it will:

  1. Adopt and periodically review this policy, as required.
  2. Ensure there is a competent Educational Visit Coordinator (EVC) in place who meets the requirements outlined in ‘National Guidance’ and has completed the Employer’s EVC Training Programme and any updates as required.
  3. Review the range of visits provided by the school via a report submitted twice a year by the EVC.

Co-op Academies Trust is responsible for the final approval (via EVOLVE) of all visits that are either overseas, residential, and/or involve an adventurous activity.


When evaluating the impact of a visit, as long as usual assessment methods we look at the following:

  • Photographs/Video
  • Specific processes such as; measuring, data collection, data recording, use of creative language, sequencing etc
  • Student Voice
  • Develop questionnaires to capture physical activity levels & happiness
  • Look at other measures (eg attendance, behaviour)
  1. The arrangements (eg risk assessments, value for money, lessons learned)

Staff Competence

Co-op Academy Swinton recognises that staff competence is the single most important factor in the safe management of visits, and so we support staff in developing their competence in the following ways:

  • An apprenticeship system, where staff new to visits assist and work alongside experienced visit leaders before taking on a leadership role.
  • Supervision by senior staff on some educational visits.
  • Support for staff to attend training courses relevant to their role, where necessary.

In deciding whether a member of staff is competent to be a visit leader, the Headteacher will take into account the following factors:

  • Relevant experience.
  • Previous relevant training.
  • The prospective leader’s ability to make dynamic risk management judgements, and take charge in the event of an emergency.
  • Knowledge of the students, the venue, and the activities to be undertaken.

Emergency Procedures

A critical incident is any incident where events go beyond the normal coping mechanisms and experience of the visit leadership team.

The school has an emergency plan in place to deal with a critical incident during a visit (see Appendix 2). All staff on visits are familiar with this plan and it is tested at least bi-annually and following any major staffing changes.

When an incident overwhelms the establishment’s emergency response capability, or where it involves serious injury or fatality, or where it is likely to attract media attention then assistance will be sought from Co-op Academies Trust.

Educational Visits Checklist

Co-op Academy Swinton’s Educational Visits Checklist forms part of the risk management process for visits and off-site activities. This has been adapted from the National Guidance generic checklist. A visit should usually only go ahead if the answer to all relevant questions is ‘YES’. Co-op Academy Swinton’s  Educational Visits Checklist may be downloaded from EVOLVE Resources.  

Parental Consent

Consent is not required for activities within the School Learning Area that are part of the normal curriculum during normal school time.

The school obtains blanket consent at the start of each year for certain other routine activities, eg. after school fixtures, etc.

Specific, (ie. one-off), parental consent must be obtained for all other visits. For these visits, sufficient information must be made available to parents (via letters, meetings, etc), so that consent is given on a ‘fully informed’ basis.


Co-op Academy Swinton is committed to inclusion and will include all students in our offsite activities wherever this is reasonably practicable. If students cannot afford to attend an educational trip the academy will look into this on a case by case basis in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.


We follow the Co-op Academies Trust guidance. Students are counted on and off the transport and students are supervised on the transport.

Use of staff cars to transport students - Please refer to the Co-op Academies Trust’s guidance document.


Visits are normally covered under policies arranged through Co-op Academies Trust.

Dismissal of students

  • All students must be checked against the attendance list on arrival at the destination and on return to the academy. Students must return to the academy and be dismissed from there

Use of volunteers

  • Volunteers for any trips must be identified on the Evolve document and have DBS.

Sports Fixtures

  • Sports fixtures must have a first aider and follow evolve protocols. If a staff member is refeering a fixture, another member of staff must be available in case of an injury or emergency.  

DofE and similar expeditions 

  • Any activities that are designated as ‘adventurous’ must adhere to the guidelines outlined on Evolve. These must be agreed by the trust

Overseas Visits 

  • Any overseas trips must be agreed by the Trust. Guidelines for overseas trips are outlined on Evolve.

Appendix 1 : Emergency Procedure

Our plan in an emergency is:

We will follow the key factors outlined below. Please see link to the Co-op Academies Trust Emergency plan for Co-op Academies.

The school’s emergency response to an incident should be based on the following key factors:

  1. There is always a nominated emergency base contact for any visit (during school hours this is the office).
  2. This nominated base contact will either be an experienced member of the senior management team, or will be able to contact an experienced senior manager at all times.
  3. For activities that take place during normal school hours, the visit leadership team will be aware of any relevant medical information for all participants, including staff.
  4. For activities that take place outside normal school hours, the visit leadership team and the emergency contact/s will be aware of any relevant medical information and emergency contact information for all participants, including staff.
  5. The visit leader/s and the base contact/s know to request support from Co-op Academies Trust in the event that an incident overwhelms the establishment’s emergency response capability, involves serious injury or fatality, or where it is likely to attract media attention.
  6. For visits that take place outside the School Learning Area, the visit leader will carry an emergency response sheet.
  7. This Emergency Procedure is tested through both desktop exercises and periodic scenario calls from visit leaders.

Co-op Academies Trust 

8th Floor 

Angel Square 


M60 0AG 

Co-op Academies Trust (CAT)

Model Emergency Plan for Major Incidents on Educational Visits

 Updated November 2022

This document provides guidance for CAT schools related to Incidents, Emergencies, Critical Incidents and Major Incidents on educational visits. Forms should be personalised for individual school use.

This document should be read and used in conjunction with the CAT Business Continuity Plan.



National Guidance definitions and terminology


Recommended response protocols




On Receiving a Call - steps to be taken by the headteacher or senior staff


Possible Actions        


Practical Arrangements for your establishment


Responsibilities of the Regional Director


Responsibilities of the Headteacher


Responsibilities of Chair of Governors


External Communications and the Media


Activating the Emergency Plan


Developing your school plan


Further guidance and advice


Incidents related to terrorism


Appendix 1 Emergency Card – visit leader         


Appendix 2 Emergency Card (School Base Contact / out of hours contact)


National Guidance provides the following hierarchy of emergencies on educational visits:

1. Incident: a situation that is dealt with by the visit leadership team. This may, perhaps, involve some communication back to the establishment (e.g. a school) or to parents, and some support from the establishment, but the Visit Leader remains in control and is able to cope.

2. Emergency: an incident which overwhelms the coping mechanisms of the visit leadership team and which requires the establishment’s Emergency Plan for offsite visits to be initiated. This may, perhaps, involve some communication with the employer and support from it, but the establishment takes control of the situation and is able to cope.

3. Critical Incident: an incident which overwhelms the coping mechanisms of both the visit leadership team and the establishment, and which requires the employer's Critical Incident Plan* to be initiated in addition to the establishment's Emergency Plan. The employer takes control of the situation and supports the establishment and the visit staff and participants. Where the establishment is also the employer, or where the employer has limited capacity to provide support, the establishment’s Emergency Plan should include alternative support arrangements to increase its resilience, e.g. through clusters of schools, which should be agreed in advance.

4. Major Incident: an incident which (if in the UK) is declared as a major incident by the police, who will take control, and where the relevant Local Authority’s Major Incident Plan is initiated, or where (if outside the UK) the relevant authorities take control. Both the establishment’s Emergency Plan and the employer’s Critical Incident Plan* will be required in order to coordinate with the police or other authorities.

* The Co-op Academy Trust Model Critical Incident Plan document can be found on Evolve in the Resources / Co-op Trust policies section. This document is entitled ‘Business Continuity Management Plan’.

It is recommended that key staff undertake OEAP Management of Visit Emergency (MoVE) Training which can be arranged with the Educational Visits Adviser.

Recommended response protocols





Visit staff are able to manage and resolve the incident without outside support

The school is able to support the visit staff to resolve the emergency without additional back up or support

Co-op Academy Trust central team are able to support the school management team and visit staff to manage and resolve the critical incident

Police / Emergency Services or other relevant authority takes control of the management of the incident.

CAT central team, school SMT and visit staff coordinate with the Police.

Actions taken by visit staff

Emergency services called?

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School contact notified?

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Actions taken by base contact and other school staff

School SMT alerted?

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Governing body notified?

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Regional Education Director notified?

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Co-op Trust alerted?

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School/ Trust insurer notified?

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Tour operator / contractor contacted?

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Terminology: In different documents and contexts the person responsible for receiving an emergency call from visit staff may be called the Emergency Contact, Home Contact, Base Contact or Out of Hours Contact. They may or may not all be the same person – but they should all meet the requirements set out on Page 8 of this document.

On Receiving a Call - steps to be taken by the headteacher or senior staff

In the event of being alerted to a Critical Incident on an off-site visit:

  • ASK for details of the incident;
  • THINK about the actions you need to take and the people you need to contact to help you (see Possible Actions below);
  • DECIDE what immediate help you need and contact those people;
  • TAKE CHARGE as Incident Controller until you clearly hand over to someone else;
  • It is essential that one person is designated as Incident Controller and that it is clear to all who this is;
  • Agree the protocol for keeping communications open;
  • Agree who will keep in contact with the group in difficulty.
  • RECORD all information you receive and actions you take;
  • DELEGATE tasks, as possible/appropriate, to allow you to manage the situation and to allow for ‘concurrent’ activity.

Possible Actions

Depending on the circumstances, you may need to do some or all of the following in liaison with other senior staff:

  • Establish a Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), which may need to include the following roles (combine if insufficient staff are available – some roles could be shared with the establishment):
  • Incident Controller;
  • Communications (a number of people dealing with different aspects?)
  • Resilience team/emergency planning officer
  • Press/media officer;
  • Logistics – arranging transportation, accommodation etc. for group and any travelling team;
  • Resources – e.g. office space, IT, reception for any visitors (parents, media etc), refreshments/food;
  • Expert advice – e.g. Outdoor Education Adviser; Health and Safety Officer;
  • Travelling Team leader;
  • Record/log keeper.
  • Establish a control room with unrestricted internet access and multiple telephone lines and/or mobile phones (capable of calling overseas if necessary);
  • Consider other means of communication such as WhatsApp, email, text, amateur radio nets (secure methods may not always be practicable during an emergency). [give practical details for your school here or below];
  • Agree a protocol for contacting the group and for maintaining links with emergency services, media, tour operators, insurance companies etc. - as necessary;
  • Keep a log of all actions, communications and decisions including people involved and times;
  • Inform key Trust staff (refer to Response Protocol on Page 3);
  • Consider whether a Travelling Team is needed to provide support at the scene (e.g. Senior staff member, counsellors, translator/linguist);
  • For an overseas incident - inform the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Consular Assistance team;
  • If you need support, consider contacting other CAT schools near yours – or the British Red Cross – see;
  • Make arrangements for the return or onward travel of the group;
  • Arrange for the travel of parents (including provision of a suitable escort) to the scene/hospital;
  • Control communications and flow of information to the affected group, parents, establishment staff (beware of staff, parents and young people inadvertently starting rumours circulating).You should consider the appropriateness of different forms of messaging to ensure that it is appropriate to the message, the format and the recipient.
  • Control information to the media via CAT Head of Brand and Engagement
  • Make arrangements for meeting the group on its return to base and for returning children to parents;
  • Consider the possible need for future emotional support and care for anyone involved (don’t forget other staff, young people and the CIRT as well as those directly involved).

Practical Arrangements for your establishment:

[Insert here details such as:

  • Location of control room (and back-up location);
  • which office/phones/computers etc. to use during an emergency;
  • out-of-hours information (e.g. arranging emergency access, locks, alarms, heating)
  • location of equipment (e.g. mobile phones, laptop, printer);
  • how to access relevant visit information;
  • how to access cash or credit card for emergency use;
  • how to obtain refreshments/catering.]

Responsibilities of the Regional Director:

  • Contact the headteacher/service head and support in the execution of his/her responsibilities;
  • Access full details of the visits from the Evolve system and any supporting documents or files.
  • Contact the Property and Health & Safety Officer and initiate incident investigation if required.
  • Brief CAT Chief Executive Officer
  • Brief Head of Brand and Engagement;
  • Contact other senior CAT staff as required
  • Refer to CAT Business Continuity Plan

Responsibilities of the Headteacher:

  • Liaise with Regional Education Director and Chief Executive Officer if / as required.
  • Access full details of the visits from the Evolve system and any supporting documents or files.
  • Liaise with the Base Contact / out of hours home contact;
  • Agree with the Base Contact how when and where parents/carers should be informed;
  • Agree with the Visit Leader (via the Base Contact) how, when and where young people can initially communicate with parents/carers;
  • Contact school senior staff and brief as appropriate;
  • Authorise emergency funds if required, emergency deployment of staff, access to premises out-of hours etc as required (refer to list of additional actions / support the Base Contact or school may provide above).
  • Employ school emergency plans as appropriate;
  • In consultation with the Head of Brand and Engagement, deal with any media enquiries.
  • Identify dedicated telephone numbers to maintain communications; Refer to Emergencies and Critical Incidents Guidance (Business Continuity Plan) for Establishments

Responsibilities of Chair of Governors

  • Support the head teacher in carrying out their responsibilities
  • Brief the Governing Body
  • Draw on additional support from Governors as necessary
  • Ensure that Governors are aware that they should not speak to the media
  • Refer to Emergencies and Critical Incidents Overview (Business Continuity Plan)

External Communications and the Media

There is likely to be intense pressure from the media. This may be directed at the establishment itself, the employer, the group and family and friends of those involved.

It is strongly recommended that there is control over indiscriminate and potentially damaging use of mobile phones by group members. (Where appropriate, parents / guardians should be notified prior to the visit that in the event of an incident during a visit, the visit leader may decide to temporarily restrict the use of pupils’ mobile phones).

It is essential that any information given to the media, or the public should contain accurate information, under the control of the establishment, in consultation with the CAT Head of Brand and Engagement.

Inaccurate or thoughtless comments may have wide repercussions, including causing distress to those affected by the incident, possibly affecting any legal process or insurance claim, and damaging the reputation of the establishment and the Trust.

Establishment heads/managers should:

  • Nominate a person (e.g. a governor or senior manager) who can be called upon to assist in responding to the media;
  • Instruct all other staff not to give interviews or comment on any written or printed material, and make it clear no such material should be handed out to the media;
  • Make sure that staff know where they should direct any requests for information.

Activating the Emergency Plan 

The Emergency Plan should include one or more Emergency Contact phone numbers to allow any leader (or participant) to alert the establishment to an Emergency. These must be available at any time that off-site visits could be in progress, including out of office hours, overnight and during weekends and holiday periods.

Any member of staff who might by chance receive a message in the event of an Emergency should know how to alert the Emergency Contact.

The Emergency Contact number(s) should always be answered by someone who knows how to respond. It should therefore not be a number that can be engaged for any length of time by other business, nor one that goes to an unmonitored answering service. If it is a mobile phone, the phone should be charged and never turned off (nor sound turned off) while an off-site visit is in progress.

There should be one or more Emergency Contacts nominated for the full duration of any visit, 24 hours a day. An Emergency Contact should be:

  • Either a senior experienced member of staff who can immediately take charge of the incident;
  • Or someone is trained in how to respond to a call, including alerting a senior experienced member of staff without delay, either directly or using an appropriate method such as a call-out list, group message or paging;
  • Immediately available – i.e. their availability is not dependent upon arranging childcare or dealing with other commitments.

An Emergency Contact should have:

  • A range of experience of practical visit leadership;
  • Sufficient status within the organisation to guide the working practice of visit leaders in difficulty and to access support;
  • Competence to make difficult decisions that will be backed by others in authority;
  • Resilience – to be unflappable, organised and personally able to take control;
  • The ability to reassure – to provide a calm, authoritative voice when others may be close to panic.

Guidance should be provided for anyone who may act as an Emergency Contact. The Emergency Contact telephone number(s) should be available to all those who might be required to use them, including:

  • All members of the visit leadership team;
  • Participants in visits that involve remote supervision;
  • Heads/managers and management teams;
  • Education Visits Coordinators (EVCs). For telephone communications to remain effective, it is strongly recommended that under no circumstances should anyone make these telephone numbers available to parents – who might otherwise over-burden and compromise the system.

For more detail on:

  • scenario training
  • testing and practice
  • first aid
  • counselling training
  • media training
  • reviewing the emergency plan etc

refer to:

National Guidance: 4.1 Emergencies and Critical Incidents - Guidance for Establishments    and

Department for Education guidance document: Emergency planning and response

When developing your school plan, it is good practice to:

  • Recognise that a climate of support and trust among staff will strengthen the response at a time of crisis;
  • Devote a staff meeting or part of a staff development session to the plan - this should happen in the initial stages and again once the plan is complete;
  • Identify key staff - being involved in an Emergency can be very demanding, and it is important to ensure that the staff selected for this role are competent and able to function and make sound decisions in an unexpected and stressful situation;
  • Recognise that any particular member of staff might not be available at the time of an Emergency, or might be limited because of commitments such as childcare;
  • Provide appropriate training (e.g. OEAP Management of Visit Emergencies);
  • Adapt and ‘personalise’ checklists, crib cards, etc. in this document to support staff during an Emergency;
  • Recognise that there may be a need for support, and identify ways of obtaining it: in addition to assistance from the Trust, you may need to develop links with other local establishments and with agencies and professionals (e.g. the emergency services, the Local Authority, counsellors, social services, voluntary groups, your insurers, legal advice);
  • It is highly likely that you will need alternative/additional telephone lines during an Emergency or Critical Incident – one or more spare mobile phones could be kept for this purpose (kept charged and checked regularly to ensure that they are active and have sufficient credit).

Keep up-to-date lists of contact telephone numbers and addresses, including contact details of members of staff who have specific functions within the Emergency Plan:

  • Contact lists should be readily accessible in more than one place (e.g. in the office, at home, on your smartphone): keep them in hard copy as well as electronically, unless electronic systems are robust enough to cope with loss of power and internet;
  • Have a record of where lists are kept so that any changes are made to all copies;
  • Have a robust system for keeping records of the names and other details of staff and participants and staff taking part in every visit, including medical information and emergency contact details of parents/next-of-kin (these should be available to the Visit Leadership Team, the Emergency Contacts and establishment managers) – see OEAP National Guidance document 4.4j Participant Information and Data Protection.

Further guidance and advice:

This document is based on the OEAP National Guidance. Further details on emergency planning is available in National Guidance Good Practice – Emergencies section – 4.1a to 4.1i 

Incidents related to terrorism

These incidents will usually fall into the category of Major Incidents as outlined on Page 3 of this document. National Guidance includes useful advice to help visit leaders and managers prepare for the possiblility of a terrorist incident affecting an educational visit. See: Terrorism 4.4e

Appendix 1 Emergency Card – visit leader

The sequence of actions depends upon the nature of the emergency.

Immediate Action

  1. Ensure your own safety.
  2. REMAIN CALM - Assess the situation.
  3. If possible, delegate actions to other leaders and participants so you can keep an overview, and to allow concurrent activity.
  4. Ensure the safety of the group. Make sure everyone is accounted for and adequately supervised.
  5. Call relevant emergency services if necessary (see phone numbers below).
  6. Where appropriate, carry out first aid to the best of your abilities (if possible, delegate this to competent first aider

Contact your School Emergency Contact / Base contact / Office

They could need the following information:

  • The number you can be called back on;
  • The nature of the emergency and details of the incident;
  • What help you need;
  • Whether the emergency services are involved;
  • How many casualties there are and their status;
  • The number of people in your party;
  • Your location, and whether you plan to move.
  • Agree with the School Emergency Contact who will contact the parents/carers of the casualty/ies. This should normally be the School Emergency Contact; 

Further steps (as required)

  • Seek further and full details of the incident, how and why it happened so far as can be established at this stage. Write down all relevant facts and witness details and preserve any vital evidence. Maintain a detailed written log of all actions taken and conversations held, together with a timescale;
  • Prevent group members from using telephones or mobiles, or going on-line until such time as this has been agreed by the Headteacher;
  • Refer all press or media enquiries to the Headteacher / CAT Head of Brand and Engagement;
  • Contact the British Consulate/Embassy if abroad (your school base contact may do this for you).

Liaise with, and take advice from, the emergency services if they are involved.

(This form is extracted from National Guidance 4.1c Emergencies and Critical Incidents - Guidance for Leaders – more detail is available here.

Emergency Card – visit leader


Visit Leader

Assistant Leader

Establishment Emergency Contact

Establishment – alternative numbers

Employer Emergency Contact

Employer – alternative numbers

Emergency Services in UK

999 or 112

You can text 999 if you have previously registered to do this

Emergency Services in countries to be visited
in some countries there are different numbers for different emergency services)

Foreign Office Consular Assistance

+44 20 7008 1500

Travel Insurance Emergency Assistance

Other useful numbers

Appendix 2 Emergency Card (School Contacts)

This ‘card’ must be available to the school emergency contact(s) at all times. The School Emergency Contact(s) should have access to all visit information, including itinerary, venue details, names and emergency contact details for all participants including staff, etc.

In the event of being contacted by the Visit Leader (or other member of staff involved in a visit), remember that the caller might be very stressed. You should:

1. Remain calm;

2. Reassure the caller;

3. Ask the following questions and record all key information, double checking when necessary:

  • Who is calling?
  • What number can we call you back on should we be disconnected?
  • Which visit does this relate to?
  • What has happened? What is the nature of the emergency?
  • What is your role in the group (e.g. Visit Leader, Assistant Leader, Participant)?
  • What is the number and status of any casualties?
  • Are the emergency services involved?
  • What is your current location?
  • What is the group’s current location?
  • What is the total number of people in the group?
  • Is the group staying where they are or moving? If they are moving where to?
  • What help do you require?
  • What time did the accident happen? What time is it now? If the group is outside the UK, what is the time difference?
  • Reassure them and thank them. Tell them that you will inform the appropriate people and that they will be called back as soon as possible.
  • Confirm that the school will deal with contacting parents.

If you receive a call (e.g. from a journalist or parent) asking about an incident rather than providing information, refer them to the Head teacher or CAT Head of Brand and Engagement as appropriate.


Contact the headteacher (if this is not you);

  • Take steps to provide the required support or assistance if possible;
  • Seek further advice or pass on details to other school contacts who may be able to assist.
  • Access visit details via Evolve
  • After consultation with headteacher, take steps to contact parents. You may need to make school facilities available;
  • Liaise with the Trust (numbers below) and school Governors;
  • Notify the Provider or Tour Operator if appropriate;
  • Notify your insurers, especially if medical assistance is required;
  • The Trust may make personnel available to assist as necessary;

All media enquiries should be referred to the Head teacher or CAT Head of Brand and Engagement as appropriate.

Emergency Card (School Contacts)                                 

Numbers to contact (depending on the nature of the incident / emergency)




Deputy headteacher

Additional members of SMT / Critical incident management team…

Site manager / caretaker

(in case out of hours access is required)

Depending on the nature of the incident contact one or more of the Trust staff below (refer to Response protocol chart):

Karine Hendley

Chief Education Officer (West Yorkshire)


Nick Lowry

Chief Education Officer (Stoke Staffordshire 



Ian Burchett 

Chief Education Officer (Greater Manchester Hub)


Carol Mitsi 

Property and Health and Safety Manager


Chris Tomlinson 

CEO Co-op Academies Trust


Danika O’Connor

Head of Marketing and Engagement

07928 512863

Emergency Card (School Contacts)                                 

Examples of additional actions / support the Base Contact or school may arrange:

  • Calling the emergency services;
  • Informing parents;
  • Informing the Trust;
  • Informing senior managers, governors, etc.;
  • Sending staff to the scene of the incident to support the group;
  • Arranging food/drink/shelter/accommodation/transport as necessary;
  • Making emergency funds available – for example, for overnight accommodation, repatriating a group or for staff and/or parents to travel to the scene of an incident;
  • Addressing any safeguarding issues, and alerting social services if necessary;
  • Appointing a member of staff to act as a contact point and liaison person for parents etc.;
  • Arranging counselling and practical support for those affected directly or indirectly – there may be a need for this both immediately and in the long term;
  • Informing insurers;
  • If the incident happens overseas, communicating in different languages and translating documents;
  • Practical arrangements for the group travelling back to base and being reunited with parents etc.;
  • Dealing with the media.

(This form is extracted from National Guidance 4.1f Emergencies and Critical Incidents - Guidance for First Contact – more detail is available here.

Further information is available from National guidance in these documents:

4.1b Emergencies and Critical Incidents – Overview Contents | (

4.1d Emergencies and Critical Incidents - Guidance for Establishments Contents | (

4.1e Emergencies and Critical Incidents - Guidance for Employers Contents | (

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