Emergency procedures for off-site visits

Emergency procedures form an essential part of planning a trip. They should be clearly set out in written policies for educational visits, and every group leader should have a checklist for immediate action in an emergency.

If an overnight stay is involved, the fire safety and evacuation plan for the building should be checked. Consider carrying out a fire drill shortly after arrival.

Checklist in the event of an accident

The immediate action checklist for group leaders during a visit should cover:

  • establishing the nature and extent of emergency promptly

  • ensuring that everyone in the group is safe

  • establishing the names of casualties and arranging immediate medical attention

  • ensuring a teacher/lecturer accompanies casualties to hospital, providing doctors with any relevant medical information

  • notifying the police if necessary

  • informing the school or college contact and provider/tour operator (someone at the school or college should be available on the telephone at all times during the trip)

  • contacting the school or college with the following information: the nature, date and time of the incident; where it happened; names of casualties and information about their injuries; what has been done so far and action yet to be taken

  • notifying the British Embassy or Consulate if an incident occurs abroad

  • ensuring that the school/college notify parents and, normally, insurers

  • writing down what happened promptly, noting witnesses and preserving vital evidence, ascertaining phone numbers for future calls

  • keeping an account of events, times and contacts after any incident

  • completing an accident report as soon as possible (serious accidents or incidents involving violence may need to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive)

  • referring any media enquiries to a named contact in the LA or at the school/college

  • avoid discussions about legal liability

  • keeping receipts of costs incurred in the emergency (for the insurers).

Need further advice?

Your first point of contact is your ATL rep in your school or college. Your local ATL branch is also available to help with queries, or you can contact ATL's member advisors on tel: 020 7930 6441 or email us. Please have your membership number to hand when telephoning and include it with any correspondence - this will help us to answer your query more quickly.

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