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8.3 Supervision of children on outings and visits


Policy statement


Children benefit from being taken outside of the premises on visits or trips to local parks, or other suitable venues, for activities which enhance their learning experiences. We ensure that there are procedures to keep children safe on outings; all staff and volunteers are aware of these and they follow the procedures as laid out below.




  • All off site activity has a clearly identified educational purpose with specific learning and development outcomes.

  • There is a designated lead for each excursion who is clear about their responsibility as designated lead.

  • We ask parents to sign a general consent form on registration too allow their children to be taken out on local short outings as a part of the daily activities of the setting.

  • We always ask parents to sign specific consent forms before major outings; and the risks are assessed before the outing takes place.

  • Children with allergies or other specific needs have a separate risk assessment completed i.e. child with allergies visiting a supermarket.  Appropriate medication is taken on outings.

  • An excursion will not go ahead if concerns are raised about its viability at any point.

  • Any written outing risk assessments are made available for parents to see, and we also obtain risk assessments from the venues we are visiting.

  • Our adult to child ratio is high, normally one adult to two children, depending on their age, sensibility and the type of venue, as well as how it is to be reached.

  • A minimum of two staff accompany children on outings. Unless the whole setting is on an outing, a minimum of two staff also remain behind with the rest of the children.

  • Children are specifically allocated to each member of staff/volunteer; they are responsible for supervising their designated children for the duration of the excursion.

  • Staff frequently count their designated children and ensure hands are held when on the street and crossing the road.

  • Parents who accompany us on outings are responsible for their own child and a maximum of one other.

  • Parents who have undergone vetting as volunteers may be included in the ratio.  

  • Parent helpers and staff are requested not to use their mobile phones whilst on an outing, unless authorised by the manager or deputy.

  • Outings are recorded in an outings record book kept in the setting, stating:

  • The date and time of the outing.

  • The venue and mode of transport used.

  • The names of the staff members assigned to each of the children.

  • The names of parents who are helping, and the children that are assigned to them.

  • The estimated time of return.

  • Any parents who are helping are informed of the medical needs and allergies of the children in their care.  They are also made aware of our confidentiality guidelines.

  • We take a mobile phone on outings, as well as supplies of tissues, wipes, spare clothing and nappies, medicines if required for individual children, a mini first aid kit, snacks and water. The amount of equipment will vary and be consistent with the venue and the number of children, as well as how long they will be out for.

  • Parents are requested to apply an all-day sun cream to their child before an outing if appropriate, and they  understand that staff will not be applying sun cream during the day. 

  • Parents are asked to ensure that children are dressed appropriately for the type of outing and weather conditions.

  • We take a list of children with us with contact numbers of parents/carers, as well as an accident book and a copy of our Missing Child Policy.

  • We only hire coaches from reputable companies to transport children on outings.

  • We ensure that seat belts are worn whilst travelling in vehicles and that booster seats and child safety seats are used as appropriate to the age of the child.  If booster seats are required, these are supplied by the parents.

  • As a precaution, we ensure that children do not eat when travelling in vehicles.

  • We ensure that contracted drivers are from reputable companies, do not have unsupervised access to the children and are not included in the ratios.

Risk assessment

  • Risk assessment is completed prior to the outing and signed off by the setting manager and all staff taking part. Existing risk assessments are reviewed/amended as required.

  • Children with specific needs have a separate risk assessment if necessary.

Outing venue (larger outings)

  • Venues used regularly are ‘risk assessed’ and an initial pre-visit is made to look at the health and safety aspects. If pre-visits cannot be made, risk assessment is achieved by calling the venue and asking for their risk assessment.


  • If coach hire is required for an outing, only reputable companies are used.

  • The setting manager ensures that seat belts are provided on the coach and that booster seats and child safety seats are used as appropriate to the age of the children.

  • The maximum seating capacity of the coach or minibus is not exceeded.

  • Contracted drivers are not counted in ratios.

  • Public transport should always be ratio of 1-2 (unless agreed with the setting manager).

Where transport is provided by the setting

  • Records are kept including insurance details and a list of named drivers.

  • Drivers using their own transport should have adequate insurance cover.

Forest School and Beach School sessions (not on site)

  • A separate risk assessment is conducted, and Forest/Beach School standard procedures are followed.

  • The sessions always have a level 3 trained forest school or beach school practitioner.

Farm and zoo visits

Staff are aware of the risks posed by infections such as E.coli being contracted from animals. They are also aware of toxic substances used on farms that could be hazardous to health. Staff are vigilant of the natural dangers presented by a farm or zoo visit and conduct a risk assessment prior to the visit.

  • The venue is contacted in advance of the visit to ensure no recent outbreaks of E.coli or other infections. If there has been an outbreak the visit will be reviewed and may be postponed.

  • Hands are washed and dried thoroughly after touching an animal.

  • Nothing is consumed whilst going round the farm. Food is eaten away from animals, after thoroughly washing hands.

  • Children are prevented from putting their faces against animals or hands in their own mouths.

  • If animal droppings are touched, hands are washed and dried immediately.

  • Shoes are cleaned and hands washed thoroughly as soon as possible on departure.

  • Staff or volunteers who are or may be pregnant, should avoid contact with pregnant ewes and may want to consult their own GP before the visit.

  • Farmers have a responsibility to ensure that hand washing and drying facilities are available and are suitably located, that picnic areas are separate and clean, and that all other health and safety laws are fully observed.

For further guidance, refer to the insurance provider.

Larger outings checklist

There is an identified lead person for the outing.

The outing has an educational purpose and has been agreed with the setting manager.

Risk assessments completed/updated and shared with every staff, student/volunteer accompanying the children.

Staff understand the potential risks when they are out with children and takes all reasonable measures to remove minimise risks.

The designated lead practitioner is the last to leave the venue, or transport being used.

The designated lead conducts a ‘safety sweep’ before during and after the outing.

Further guidance

Daily Register and Outings Record (Early Years Alliance 2021)

Good Practice in Early Years Infection Control (Pre-school Learning Alliance 2009)

Not on my Watch! (Early Years Alliance 2018)                                      

Preventing Accidents to Children on Farms (Health and Safety Executive 2013)

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