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Guidance for School Visits and Day Trips - Scotland Updated 16/04/2021

Published on 16 April 2021

Guidance for School Visits and Day Trips - Scotland Updated 16/04/2021

Short local excursions which promote outdoor learning

As per previous guidance, short local excursions which promote outdoor learning (such as a short visit to a local park or green space) can take place as long as these excursions are appropriately risk assessed. The appropriate size of any group travelling off site to undertake outdoor learning should also be considered.

Schools should exercise judgement as to what constitutes a short local outdoor excursion and what constitutes a more substantial day visit. More substantial school day visits should only be undertaken in line with the guidance set out in the section below.

Day Visits

School day visits (i.e visits which go beyond a local excursion and that do not include an overnight stay) can recommence in the summer term subject to a further Scottish Government review of Covid-19 related data in the week commencing 3 May 2021 and the following conditions:

Date

Conditions

From April 2021 

 

Planning for day visits can continue but delivery should be delayed in line with the phased approach outlined below.

 

From 10 May 2021
(subject to confirmation that virus suppression continues to be sufficient)

All school day visits can recommence subject to:

  • appropriate risk assessments being carried out;
  • any travel arrangements follow latest guidance as set out in the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools; and
  • adherence to Covid protocols at the destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential Visits

Some aspects of residential educational activity (i.e visits that contain at least one overnight stay) can recommence in the summer term subject to a further Scottish Government review of Covid-19 related data on week commencing 3 May 2021 and the conditions set out below. It is advised that schools work with residential visit providers to ensure that the mitigating actions outlined below are put in place.

The table below provides guidance in relation to the safe resumption of outdoor residential expeditions (such as those associated with The Duke of Edinburgh Award or similar) and residential visits to outdoor education centres. Residential visits of these types have been longstanding features of Scottish education as they allow young people to undergo a more immersive educational experience and develop skills for life such as resilience and independence. The overnight aspect is therefore seen as integral to the learning experience and can resume subject to mitigating actions.

Date

Conditions

From April 2021

Planning for outdoor residential expeditions or residential visits to outdoor education centres can  continue but delivery should be delayed in line with the phased approach outlined below.

 

From 10 May 2021
(subject to confirmation that virus suppression continues to be sufficient)

Residential outdoor expeditions can recommence subject to:

  • Maximum group size of 9 including the expedition leader.
  • Any travel arrangements follow latest guidance as set out in the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools.
  • Relevant school Covid-19 protocols are maintained during the expedition.
  • Zero interaction with others outside the expedition group.
  • Individuals sleeping in single person tents outdoors.
  • Washing and toilet facilities reserved for single person use at any one time.

 

From 31 May 2021
(or at least three weeks after the commencement of day visits and outdoor expedition activity and subject to confirmation that virus suppression continues to be sufficient)

School residential visits to outdoor education centres can recommence subject to:

  • Visits only allowed when virus prevalence is equivalent to new Covid-19 Protection Levels 0, 1 and 2 at both the school and destination*.
  • Single school occupancy only - except for Protection Level 0 (at both school and destination) where a maximum of two school groups may attend.
  • Any travel arrangements follow latest guidance as set out in the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools.
  • Relevant school Covid-19 protocols are maintained during the visit.
  • Individuals sleeping in either single rooms indoors or single person tents outdoors.
  • Washing and toilet facilities reserved for single person use at any one time.
  • Enhanced cleaning in between visits.

*School groups may travel through areas subject to higher protection levels but should make every effort not to stop in a higher level area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schools and local authorities have autonomy in planning residential visits, however educational visits that necessitate an overnight stay but where the residential aspect is not central to the learning experience are not advised in the summer term.  

International Educational Visits

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) continues to advise against all non-essential international travel. In addition, the UK Government’s strategic plan for easing Covid restrictions states that no international travel should take place before 17 May 2021 (subject to some exemptions).  This is subject to review, and the most up to date FCDO guidance should be consulted at any time.

Furthermore, the risk of taking a group of learners and teachers abroad and potentially having to remain in that country for longer than planned, or undertake quarantine on return, should not be underestimated. Such an outcome would impact significantly, not just on learners but on teaching staff who would be unable to attend work. It is also unlikely that travel insurers would currently provide cover in respect of Covid-19 disruption for any new or pre-planned international visits. 

As a result, the Scottish Government advises that schools do not undertake international visits at this time.  This guidance on international visits is kept under review, is therefore subject to change and will in any case be fully reviewed by the start of the new academic year in August 2021.

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