OEx - Application pack

DRAFT CONTENT - FOR TESTING ONLY

This section details the requirements for planning and seeking approval for overseas excursions attended by NSW Government schools students.

1. Overseas excursion proposal

Organising school uses the Proposal form to describe the excursion's planned destinations and activities.

Learn more about how to prepare a proposal for and obtain approval to plan the overseas excursion.

2. Roundtable planning meeting

Organisers and approvers discuss and document mitigations for any concerns raised by the proposal.

Organisers and approvers use the Roundtable checklist form to document their agreed actions.

Learn more about this step and view examples of completed forms.

3. Detailed planning

Organisers and approvers use the forms below to plan the overseas excursion in detail.

The application should be prepared and submitted in the order set out below.

For assistance, please speak to your Director, Educational Leadership or assigned principal network staff.

For further information, contact:

The Application for overseas excursion form serves as the cover sheet showing endorsements and approvals. Each item must be attached as tabs as listed in the form.

The following must also be attached to the completed form:

  • Signed overseas excursion proposal
  • Agreed roundtable meeting checklist
  • Confirmation from the WHS Consultant that the Risk Assessment and Management Plan has been examined and is complete.

For excursions that involve multiple schools, the  Application for additional school joining an overseas excursion­­ form will also need to be completed.

Planning

See section 7 of Excursion planning and management <link> for information on supervision requirements.

Use the Staff detail form to collect information from staff attending the excursion

Male and female staff supervisors may be a consideration for overnight supervision. Schools make appropriate risk management judgements based on the needs of the student cohort and staff.

Ensure staff are aware of their duty of care and supervision responsibilities, noting the following.

  • Children (other than those in the cohort) or partners of staff members will not be allowed to attend the excursion as overseas excursions are a work-related activity and staff are on duty as employees of the department.
  • Staff will remain with the cohort at all times. Staff will not be approved to extend their stay overseas or to leave the planned excursion for personal reasons unless there is an emergency.

Consent must be provided in accordance with section 11.1.5 of the Enrolment Planning and Management <add link> procedures.

Complete the Staff summary form using information collected from staff.

Application

Attach the completed Staff summary form for the excursion and the indiviual Staff detail form in your application as TAB 1.

Student information collection is a critical aspect of excursions planning. The organiser teacher may plan for students enrolled at the school at the time of the excursion.

Planning

Many schools organise a briefing session for participating students, parents and volunteers to disseminate information efficiently and to facilitate the data collection process.

The following documents will need to be customised for the school's overseas excursion and sent to parents/carers for completion:

Where applicable, the following forms will also need to be completed:

  • Medication request form - for students with specific needs such as prescription medication.
    • Check that medications are able to be brought into the country being visited. The embassy for the relevant country should be contacted to confirm in writing the medication can be brought into the country.
  • Medical information form - for students with medical conditions that may need to be managed during the excursion.
    • Students requiring medications for a health condition, including mild allergies, require a doctor's letter.
    • An individual health care plan (current at the time of the excursion) must be provided for students with asthma, type 1 diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylaxis. Translations may be required for the country being visited.
    • On each health plan, add the Emergency Services number for each country being visited, for example 112, 119, 120, and 911 etc. Note: the international emergency number 112 does not function in all countries.
  • Swimming advice form - if there are swimming and/or water activities as described in the Sport Safety Guidelines included in the itinerary (such as swimming, free time in water, surfing, kayaking).
    • Ensure that the proficiency of students has been assessed. This must be conducted even where parental consent is granted. Provide evidence of completion for each student taking part.
    • Whilst not in the Sport Safety Guidelines, activities on water such as gondola rides are considered a to be a specific risk and will require consent and advice for you to complete your risk assessment and management plan. Please see information below.
    • Please note that swimming and/or water activities DO NOT INCLUDE:
      • water transportation such as ferries
      • activities close to water but not taking place in or on water such as walking by a canal.
  • Water advice form- if there are activities on water proposed which are not water transportation such as ferries. Gondola rides are an example of this. If both swimming and water activities are proposed - use only the Swimming advice form.

Students will remain with the cohort at all times. They may not leave the excursion early or not return with the excursion group.

Consent must be provided in accordance with section 11.1.5 of the Excursion Planning and Management <add link> procedures.

Application

Attach the following as TAB 2:

  • the student information summary which provides a fast lookup of student details. If multiple schools are participating in the excursion, the summary and coversheet must state the school that the student attends.
  • for each student listed in the summary, attach the Student details form completed by the parents/carer and the following documents.
    • Copy of the student's passport (expiry date must be a minimum of six months from the return date of the excursion)
    • Re-entry visa if travelling on a passport issued by a country other than Australia or New Zealand
    • Relevant visa for excursion destination (if required)
    • Consent and information form
    • Swimming/water activity form (if required).

Volunteer adults may accompany students on the excursion to assist in student supervision.

Planning

Section 7.1 of the Excursion planning and management <link> refers to parents and volunteers as supervisors. Brief volunteer adults on their role and responsibilities.

Accompanying adults must have a necessary, non-supervisory role as regards their attendance at the excursion. Requests for spouses and children to accompany teaching staff will not be approved as overseas excursions are a work-related activity.

Students are not to subsidise the travel costs of accompanying adults unless approved by the Director Educational Leadership.

When a volunteer provides a WWCC clearance number, the school should verify the clearance via e-CPC.

  • The Principal's delegate must 'request a screening check'. In the position field, select 'volunteer' and enter the person's details, including their WWCC clearance number.
  • Click on the 'Screen Employee' box on the bottom left of the e-CPC 'Request Screening Check' page.
  • The school will need to check that the employee has been cleared and provide a copy of the verification by searching for the person.
  • A green bar will appear as per below:

Confirm the screening is clear for each accompanying adult (screen shots will be accepted). If the screening is not clear, the volunteer cannot accompany the excursion.

Application

Attach the following completed forms as TAB 3:

  • Volunteer adult summary form - a cover sheet that list all volunteer adults accompanying the excursion. Adults not on the list are not to attend the excursion.
  • Volunteer adult detail form - a detailed coversheet completed by each volunteer adult with all required attachment

 

Where air travel is involved, appropriate travel insurance is mandatory.

Planning

It is recommended that a single group travel insurance policy is obtained by the school. A single copy of the proof of group insurance should be attached to the application. 

A school may elect to have parents and caregivers obtain insurance. Advice to parents must be provided in the correspondence section. Where individual insurance has been obtained, proof of insurance is to be attached to the student details form.

Refer to section 13.3.3 (Travel insurance - Students, parents and volunteers) of the Excursion planning and management <add link> for further information.

The following must be considered when selecting insurance cover.

  • The insurance policy must clearly state the activities covered. Activities in the itinerary must be covered by the policy.
  • The insurance policy must cover pre-existing medical conditions for students, staff and volunteer adults.
  • Consider exclusions under the policy. Ensure parents are informed of the areas not covered by the policy, eg terrorism or some pre-existing conditions, and are advised to obtain their own insurance for areas not covered.

Application

Attach the completed Insurance coversheet form as TAB 4.

Include a copy of the policy or policies including list of people covered. Ensure that all activities on the itinerary are covered and all excursion attendees (staff, students and volunteers) are covered.

Check that the names on the insurance policy match the names on passports.

Correspondence to parents and carers is vital in ensuring that probity requirements are met.

Planning

Correspondence to parents can be by way of email, letter or handouts. It is not necessary for correspondence to be on the school letterhead so long as there is evidence that the correspondence is given on behalf of the school (ie sent address as per an Outlook printout).

Example of correspondence to be documented in the coversheet are: 

  • the cost of the excursion and disclosure of any student subsidy for participating teachers
  • advice that students have not subsidised accompanying adults, other than DoE staff, unless determined as appropriate by the Director Educational Leadership
  • the names of supervising teachers and accompanying adults
  • the itinerary and accommodation contact details
  • notification that the excursion deposit is non-refundable
  • advice to parents/guardians that approval for the excursion may be cancelled at any time on the basis of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) travel advice
  • advice to parents that they may register their child individually with DFAT
  • the contact details of the supervising teacher for use in an emergency.

Application

Attach the completed Correspondence coversheet as TAB 5.

Correspondence must be arranged in chronological order with a covering list.

A detailed itinerary is a critical component in any excursion planning.

Planning 

A detailed itinerary must include the details listed below. If a travel agent is engaged, schools should request the travel agent provide an itinerary that includes all of the below details. If the itinerary provided by the travel agent does not contain this information, a complying itinerary on school letterhead is to be provided. This should also be provided to parents.

Please note that alternative arrangements for students, staff and volunteers on the excursion such as leaving the excursion early or not returning with the excursion group will not be approved.

This itinerary should be used as a guide for developing the risk assessment.

Details will include:

  • name of airline/s
  • flight numbers
  • departure/arrival times of flights and other significant transportation
  • initial and final meeting places including how students will travel to and from the airport
  • list of all activities on each and every day including estimated timeframe. This will include formal activities and items such as 'free time'. Please use the 24 hour time format.
  • Accommodation location and contact details including:
    • name of the accommodation
    • contact phone number
    • address
    • email address
    • hotel rooming arrangements including the location of staff in relation to student rooms (if available).

Note that swimming and water activities are as defined in the Sport Safety Guidelines. This does not include activities such as travel by ferry or walking along a boardwalk or jetty.

It is understood that rooming options in hotels/hostels may not be available until arrival at accommodation locations. Managing rooming options in hotels/hostels for students and teachers is to be addressed in the risk assessment and management plan.

Supervision for activities and overnight stays will be addressed in the Risk assessment and management plan.

Changes to itinerary

If changes to the itinerary are required in order to manage risks arising during the application process, an amended itinerary/risk assessment and management plan will need to be submitted to the Executive Director as soon as possible.

Application

Attached the completed Detailed itinerary form as TAB 6.

Billeting has an important role in overseas excursions. It is not requried but it can make the excursion more affordable and accessible for families. 

Planning

If billeting is part of the accommodation offered on the excursion, informationas to accommodationd etails for the billeting stay must be included in this form. All other accommodation details are included in the itinerary. 

Billeting must be conducted in accordance with the Good Practice in Billeting guidelines.

Use the Billeting Details form to provide information on billeting.

Parents must be provided with full details of billeting arrangements including rooming details and contact details of the families before providing consent. In addition to the Billeting Details form, you will need to provide evidence of parent/carer consent which contains details for the student as per the Billeting Details form.

For billeting requirements, see section 8.1 of the General Implementation procedures.

Please note if it is difficult to arrange screening for billeting accommodation, alternative accommodation may be more appropriate. Suitable alternative accommodation must be arranged if there are not enough families volunteering to host the visiting students.

All reasonable attempts to obtain local versions of Working with Children Checks (mandatory for host family stays of three weeks and over, recommended for stays under three weeks) must be undertaken.

Please note that if these are not available, this condition will not be a requirement for approval.

Ensure that safety, welfare and wellbeing concerns which may occur in a billeting environment are addressed in the risk management plan including alternative arrangements for students should any issues arise and communication of same to parents.

Note that if students with medical conditions which may require an emergency response (such as anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes or epilepsy) are to be placed with a host family, emergency response must be addressed in the risk assessment. This may include training.

Application

Attach the completed Billeting details form as TAB 7. 

Include the completed Acknowledgement of billeting conditions form for each host family. 

Principals have the responsibility for ensuring that staff organising excursions have undertaken all steps as far as reasonable to ensure that all foreseeable risks are identified, assessed and appropriate departmental management and risk mitigation strategies developed, communicated and implemented.

The local WHS Consultant is an excellent resource when preparing the risk assessment and management plan. These trained consultants will check and suggest improvements to your plan.

Planning

Refer to section 3.1 of the procedures. The risk management process consists of well-defined steps to identify potential harm or damage to people and/or property within our working environment.

Health & Safety Directorate has a number of resources to assist in assessing and managing risks. Refer to the Risk Guidelines provided by Health & Safety.

The risk assessment should examine, but not be limited to, the following:

  • type and aims of the activity or program
  • child protection issues
  • age and experience of the participants
  • special factors such as participants with medical conditions or disabilities
  • level of adult supervision and support required
  • level of skills and training required by adult support
  • level of resourcing needed to support the activity
  • department policies or procedures relevant to the excursion activity
  • type of information required by participants and their families
  • method of communication required, e.g. interpreters
  • potential risks and known dangers associated with the activity or program
  • potential risks and known dangers associated with travel to the location including terrorism (DFAT concerns)
  • availability of support services in the locality where activity is occurring
  • contingency plans for addressing potential accidents or injury
  • the venue used has public liability cover
  • type of communication required if English is not the primary language spoken or read by students' families

Information gained from this examination would comprise the first step of the risk management process: risk identification.

Risks identified then need to be analysed and evaluated in terms of their potential impact for students and staff undertaking the excursion.

The risk assessment matrix will assist in analysing management.

Where any excursion involves swimming or water activities as described in the Sport Safety Guidelines, principals must comply with the requirements under the Guidelines.

Risk assessment and management plan

Ensure that the risk assessment and management plan is provided and explained to all attending teachers, volunteer adults and any other interested parties.

Your Risk assessment and management plan may include:

  • Transport, pick up and drop off areas. Arrive at airport at least three hours prior to departure.
  • Contingency for late or lost students
  • Safety issues
  • Reference to alternate itinerary if travelling in a DFAT Level 2+ zone
  • Zoo visits must refer to Health and Safety directorate safety information
  • Risks identified by DFAT such as pollution, unsafe drivers, mosquito-borne illnesses, outbreak of infectious diseases and other safety and cultural issues.
  • All activities in the itinerary. Repeated activities such as coach transport need only be assessed once.
  • Management of water activities (where appropriate), please note water based transport (such as a ferry) and activities near water (such as those near a harbour or on a bridge) are not considered water activities.
  • Management of students without permission to participate in certain activities
  • Regardless of medical requirements, the inclusion of an EpiPen in your first aid kit.
  • All students, staff and accompanying adults with health plans or other health concerns as indicated in the doctor's letter. This will include those on prescribed medication and those on over-the-counter medication. Risk assessments should reference health care plans rather than replicating the information.
  • The form of overnight supervision, for example 'After lights out staff will undertake regular random/rostered patrols of the hotel/accommodation'.
  • Supervision of students at all times
  • The Emergency Services number e.g. 112, 119, 120, 911, 999 etc., for each country being visited. Note: the international emergency number 112 does not function in all countries.

Details required will depend upon the nature of the destination and activities being undertaken. High risk activities will need to be examined step by step.

Application

Attach the excursion's Risk assessment and management plan which has been checked by the local WHS Consultant as TAB 8.

Planning

In addition to gathering the required items in th efirst aid kits, organising teachers may need to contact the relevant embassies to confirm any requirements in relation to bringing medication, including the general use auto injector, into their country. 

Contact the local WHS Consultant to organise a standard letter to accompany the adrenaline auto injector to be taken on to the airplane cabin. 

Application

Attach the completed First aid form as TAB 9.

Include a copy of any confirmation emails from embassies or consulates and carry these with the first aid kit.

Staff are requried to demonstrate transparency and accountability for excursion costs. The breakdown of excursion costs must be provided to parents/carers.

Application

Prepare an itemised breakdown of costs per student. This will include:

  • Individual costs of flights and other transport
  • Individual costs of accommodation
  • Individual costs of meal allowances
  • Individual costs of activities
  • Insurance costs
  • Disclosures of subsidies or free tickets

If the excursion is booked as a package deal, the final costs and inclusions need to be listed and broken down into the per student price. Also include complimentary tickets and the provider.

A cost breakdown by a travel agent may be included as a supporting document.

Refer to Finance in Schools Handbook (FISH) section 6.5.3 Estimating anticipated expenditure.

Refer to section 13 of Excursion Management and Planning <add link> for further information.

Application

Attach the completed Itemised excursion costs spreadsheet as TAB 10.

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