A Guide to Safe Practice in Art & Design

4.14   0utside Visits and Work Away from School

In addition to work experience, there is an increasing emphasis on Learning Outside the Classroom (LoTC) - education work that takes place outside the school (for example, visits to exhibitions, galleries, museums, art, craft and design studios, factories and other places of interest). Detailed information can be found at Out and About Guidance. This experience is a valuable part of education, but the possible hazards should be carefully considered. Teachers should ensure they are fully aware of the potential hazards in any activity proposed for pupils and that adequate safety precautions are in place. To this end, schools may consider making a prior visit to the intended place of study to assess potential risks. The employers' guidelines for visits should be followed and consideration should be given to the appropriate pupil-teacher ratio. The teacher is in loco parentis; he or she must take all reasonable care and brief pupils accordingly. In certain circumstances additional insurance cover might be advisable.

Work experience, work simulations, community service and conservation activities may require special arrangements to ensure the safety of participants and to give protection to others. A designer, maker or provider of materials or components has a responsibility to ensure as far as possible that recipients and users will be aware of any possible hazards. Pupils engaged in work experience schemes are bound by the legislation applicable to employees of a similar age.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families publishes a number of guidance documents and these can be accessed at: www.teachernet.gov.uk/visits. These include the 1998 good practice guide Health & Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits. A three-part supplement to the good practice guide was produced in 2002:

  • Standards for LAs in Overseeing Educational Visits sets out good practice for local authorities in overseeing educational visits carried out by schools. Schools, youth services and others may find the principles set out here useful too.
  • Standards for Adventure is aimed at the teacher or youth worker who leads young people on adventure activities.
  • A Handbook for Group Leaders is aimed at anyone who leads groups of young people on any kind of educational visit. It sets out good practice in supervision, ongoing risk assessment and emergency procedures.

Group Safety at Water Margins is aimed at anyone who organises learning activities that take place near or in water, such as a walk along a riverbank or seashore, collecting samples from ponds or streams, or paddling or walking in gentle, shallow water.

Further guidance is available on all aspects of organising and leading school visits is listed by the Health and Safety Executive at: www.hse.gov.uk/education/visits.htm

Further advice on work experience and guidance for work placement organisers, produced by the Health and Safety Executive include:

The right start: work experience for young people: health and safety basics for employers

Work place-based activities for school pupils under 16

Managing health and safety on work experience guide for organisers