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Offsite visits: further advice and guidance

Last updated on 05 May 2022

PGL and Ofsted

Statement on PGL and Ofsted - October 2021

Guidance on educational visits

Please see below link to the gov.uk website which provides updated guidance on educational visits.

Gov.UK: Covid-19 operational guidance for schools - educational visits

Travel bonds for trips

In these financially less certain times it may be worth checking what provisions are in place to protect the group's money if the tour operator you have organised your trip with goes bust. The provider should comply with the Package Travel Regulations, including bonding to safeguard customers' money in case of provider's financial failure.

There are six bonding organisations currently recognised by the Secretary of State which are: ABTA, PSA, CPT, FTO, AITO and ABTOT.

There is some useful guidance to be found at:

The package travel regulations: Question and answer guidance for organisers and retailers (pdf) 

(see especially question nos. 39 and 36. See also question no. 35)

Packages involving a flight element may also require an Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) see question no. 48.

n.b.The DTI has now been replaced by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

Where an insurance policy is offered in place of a bonded fund, the insurance company may have the right to cancel the policy because of a 'material non-disclosure' about the arrangements for that holiday or trip.

Overseas visit organisers in schools should check to find out exactly what bonding arrangements their tour operator has in place. If the arrangement is through an insurance policy rather than a bonded fund, the school should ensure there is no likelihood of any default in payment should the tour operator or any of its contractors go bust.

Schools which organise their own overseas trips and take out additional insurance as bonding against insolvency by a travel company involved in their trip, should be clear as to any specified conditions laid down by the insurers under which they reserve the right to cancel the policy after bookings have been made.

Schools organising their own trips must therefore be absolutely scrupulous in ensuring that any and all information provided about a trip is complete and accurate and not put themselves in a situation where the insurer can say they will not pay out.

Such bonding arrangements are not acceptable under the terms required for achieving a CLOtC Quality Badge. Tour operators that have achieved their Quality Badge will not be affected by any of this.

Further guidance can be found at:

National Guidance: Self-organised visits and the package travel regulations

General guidance 

Keeping children safe in out-of-school settings (October 2020)

Information for providers, parents and carers on keeping children safe in community activities, after-school clubs, tuition, sports training and other out-of-school settings.

DfE: Keeping children safe in out-of-school settings

Getting it right – guidance for schools

Help to plan and manage out-of-school activities from the Health and Safety Executive:

Halth and Safety Executive: School trips

Young people's exchange visits - OEAP

National Guidance: Exchanges and home stays

Guidance for overseas expeditions edition

This document is a good practice guide which sets out minimum standards expected for expeditions going out from schools and other establishments in Hertfordshire. The guidance has been widely adopted by members of the Expedition Providers Association (EPA). Any provider being used for an overseas expedition should be expected to supply a written statement of compliance with this document prior to an establishment entering into a contract with them.

National Library: Guidance for overseas expeditions edition 4 (2014)

Outdoor education advisers' panel

The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) website:

National Guidance: Outdoor learning, educational visits and adventurous activities

Booster cushion seat requirements

The legislation requires that children under 1.35m (4'5") or 12 years and under, being transported in private cars, are provided with booster cushions or seats.

This has implications for establishments planning to use cars, including people carriers, as their chosen means of transport for offsite visits or to and from sports fixtures.

You will need to consider how you will implement the new requirements in your establishment. There are different alternatives, including:

  • asking the children's parents to ensure they bring their booster seat/cushion with them if they own one
  • buying a (small) supply of booster cushions/seats for use in cases where parents have not provided them and the child's participation in a trip is likely to be jeopardised - some high street suppliers are offering special discounts to schools
  • having a 4'5" (1.35m) marker clearly available in your establishment.

Sensitivity may be required for those children in Year 7 who have not reached their 12th birthday and who may fall foul of the height requirement.

E Coli and open farms

The Health Protection Agency do not advise against touching animals but is advising all visitors to open farms to ensure good basic hygiene is maintained. For example washing hands frequently with soap and water immediately after touching animals and before any eating or drinking.

Further advice on farm visits is available at:

National Guidance: Farm visits

Public Health England: Avoiding infection on farm visits (pdf)

The National Archives: Health Protection Agency factsheet

First published 06 November 2020 - Last updated on 05 May 2022