HSE: School Trips and Outdoor Learning Activities: Tackling the health and safety Myths

Dear Colleague

School Trips and Outdoor Learning Activities: Tackling the health and safety Myths

In July this year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published a statement "School Trips and Outdoor Learning Activities: Tacking the health and safety myths" to address perceptions that health and safety law is a barrier to school trips. HSE also agreed to produce a number of case studies to illustrate and encourage proportionate responses to the planning and delivery of school visits. The purpose of this note is to ask if you, or your colleagues, can assist HSE in sourcing suitable material to produce case studies for publication on HSE's website.

The statement sets out HSE's position of wishing to ensure that mistaken and unfounded health and safety concerns and unnecessary bureaucracy do not create obstacles to enabling innovative learning. The statement reinforces the message that a common sense and proportionate approach should be taken by those planning and organising school trips. This is the message that we wish to reflect in the example case studies.

Ideally, we would like to produce a variety of case studies - from simple scenarios, e.g. a visit to a museum or a local site of scientific interest, to higher risk activities like a residential adventure activities trip. We would also be interested in examples where a school's experience has been unsuccessful e.g. perhaps if things went wrong, or it was perceived that there was so much bureaucracy involved that this resulted in teachers withdrawing support for an activity.

If you have any potential material that you think would fit the bill, and would be willing to work with us to develop a case study please can you let me know (my contact details are at the foot of this letter). To help me select the strongest examples it would be helpful if you could let me have brief details as set out below:

  • what was the visit/activity?
  • why was the trip organised?
  • what was the age group of the children attending‘?
  • how were the risks managed and dealt with?

If you are able to provide me with an example by the end of September 2011 that will help ensure that we are able to follow up the statement with some helpful case studies as quickly as possible. Many thanks in anticipation of your help.

Yours faithfully

June Cairns

Policy Adviser

Public Services Sector Team

HSE, Belford House, 59 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3UE

Tel: 0131 247 2063