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Government confirms ‘Schools can undertake safe COVID-19 day visits.’

By Tom Sanderson
Last updated: October 2020
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The Government confirms school trips are still able to go ahead. However, domestic residential and abroad trips are still banned.

The announcement follows a petition to Government and the Department of Education (DfE) to allow overnight educational visits. The petition has received over 14,000 signatures. However, the Government responded that they ‘advise against the resumption of domestic overnight and overseas educational visits at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.’

The introduction of the ‘three-tier system’ across the country has led to further confusion about whether school trips to museums, galleries and attractions can still go ahead.

However, the DfE has reconfirmed that ‘Schools can undertake safe COVID-19 day visits’ and still encourages trips as part of their guidance.

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The latest government advice on taking school trips

School trips are still able to go ahead as long as they:

  • Stay within the country
  • Do not include an overnight stay
  • Are always COVID-secure
  • Adhere to the usual health & safety measures

Below is the latest advice from the Department of Education on taking school trips:

We continue to advise against domestic (UK) overnight and overseas educational visits. This advice remains under review.

In the autumn term, schools can resume non-overnight domestic educational visits. These trips should include any trips for pupils with SEND connected with their preparation for adulthood (for example, workplace visits or travel training). This should be done in line with protective measures, such as keeping children within their consistent group, and the COVID-secure measures in place at the destination. Schools should also make use of outdoor spaces in the local area to support the delivery of the curriculum. As normal, schools should undertake full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits to ensure they can be done safely. As part of this risk assessment, schools will need to consider what control measures need to be used and ensure they are aware of wider advice on visiting indoor and outdoor venues. Schools should consult the health and safety guidance on educational visits when considering visits.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced information on travel insurance implications following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you have any further questions about your cover or would like further reassurance, you should contact your travel insurance provider.

Read the full advice from the DfE on taking school trips.

You can also find the latest advice in your area from National Guidance

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Taking a COVID-secure school trip

For those schools that are planning school trips, there are still some brilliant options out there. Museums, galleries and attractions have created loads of new workshops, redesigned so your students can get the most out of the educational visit whilst still being COVID-secure.

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) is also there to help. The CLOtC are champions of promoting learning outside the classroom and support schools all across the country.

Their national accreditation badge is given to venues that recognise effective risk management and quality of education. There are 100s of accredited providers across the UK including museums, visitor attractions, parks, farms and activity centres – and it’s recommended by the Department for Education.

You’ll also find all the latest information, guidelines and more to help you plan.

Find out more about the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.

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Bringing school trips into the classroom

Even following this announcement, many schools will still be unable to book off-site school trips.

Luckily though, arts & cultural venues across the country have created innovative new virtual school trip ideas that you can beam directly into your classroom.

To help you find the best virtual session for you, we’ve added a new Virtual School Trip Ideas section to the site.

Here we’ll feature all the things you can do to bring school trips into the classroom. We include everything from online exhibitions and online performances to virtual tours and virtual sessions.

See all of our Virtual School Trip Ideas.

Our Teaching Resource Library also includes hundreds of education packsworksheetseducational videoseducational games and more – all of which you can download and use for FREE!

They’re a brilliant way to still connect with museums, galleries, attractions and theatres to find fun teaching ideas and activities.

Our resource library is split by subject and Key Stage, plus you can also search for a particular topic. And if there’s something particular you’re looking for – do get in touch!

See our Free Teaching Resource Library.

Summary

School trips to museums, galleries and attractions are still able to take place, and you can find the latest advice from the below sources:

However, for those that are still unable to book an educational visit, there are still loads of options to help you bring school trips into the classroom.

Do take a look at our Free Teaching Resource Library and our new Virtual School Trip Ideas section to find some great alternative options.

If you’re looking for something in particular, please do get in touch – we’re here to help! We can help you find suitable trips, virtual sessions and resources based on specific subjects, topics and more. You can email us at any time or get in touch through the chat feature on the site.

If you haven’t already, also subscribe to our weekly newsletter as a quick round-up of all the latest news, guidance, ideas and resources you can use to bring school trips into the classroom.

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter.

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