How to cope with school trips

Questions to ask before they go

1. What’s the contact number/address?

The teacher should have a mobile phone on them.

2. What time will you get there/come back?

Organise a telephone tree (a system for parents phoning other parents) so you’ll know when the group has arrived or be informed of delays.

3. What is the staff-to-pupil ratio?

The Department of Education gives these guidelines:

Under-fives: more than one teacher (no specific number stated) to six pupils.
Years One to Three: one teacher per six pupils.
Years Four to Six: one per 10 to 15 pupils.
Year Seven upwards: one per 15 to 20 pupils.

4. Will teachers carry a First-Aid kit?

Also ask if they’ll have a rendezvous point and whether insurance is provided?

5. What safety procedures will be followed?

Don’t be fobbed off. If they’re camping, what kind of cooking equipment will they use? The leader should be an experienced camper.

6. If they’re going to an outdoor activity centre, what safety standards does it offer?

Is there a first-aid expert on site? Is equipment safe? Is there an established accident and emergency procedure?