Excursions and Principal-endorsed activities

School excursions are a great opportunity for students to practise safe behaviours in real life environments and reinforce the key road safety messages.

Policy and procedures

School excursions are defined as:

  • structured learning experiences
  • provided by, or under the auspices of the school
  • conducted external to the school site.

Key road safety requirements from the Excursion Policy Implementation Procedures are:

  • safe transport or a safe walking route is to be organised
  • bus, rail and ferry services should be used wherever appropriate
  • attempt to hire buses or coaches with seatbelts wherever practicable, particularly for long distance travel outside urban areas
  • seatbelts must be worn on buses and coaches when they are available
  • follow guidelines and use appropriate travel consent forms
  • transporting students by car can be used when other options are not available.

When planning any school excursion, refer to the:

Transporting students on Principal-endorsed activities - quick reference guide

Transporting students - quick reference guide pdf

Definitions used in this guide
means any school business or activity endorsed by the school or department (including excursions)
Fleet vehicle
means a motor vehicle that is part of a school’s own fleet or department’s fleet (sometimes called a pool vehicle)
Motor vehicle
means a car and any other kind of motor vehicle suitable for safe transportation (note that a motorcycle is not considered suitable
Private vehicle
means any privately owned motor vehicle (i.e. not a school or department fleet vehicle)

Key points

Safe vehicles: vehicles must be registered, roadworthy and suitable for the purpose (motorcycles are not suitable)

Suitable drivers: only teachers, parents/carers, students licenced as drivers and school community members. The general public are not suitable.

Suitable vehicles: private vehicles (other than motorcycles), buses, fleet vehicles (school staff only)

Consent: obtain parent/carer consent to the method of transportation (vehicle type and driver)

Child protection: drivers must have a current WWC check (unless the driver is a student).

  • school staff, parents/carers, students and school community members may be suitable
  • learner drivers and the general public (other than school community members) are not suitable drivers
  • only the owner of the vehicle, or another person who has the owner’s consent, may drive
  • P1 licenced drivers cannot have more than 1 passenger aged under 21 during the hours between 11:00pm and 5:00am
  • P1 and P2 licenced drivers cannot have more than 1 passenger if they’ve previously been disqualified

Legal information bulletin #24 - Cars at work (DoE)

Licence conditions for provisional drivers (TfNSW)

Licence classes –Who can drive different vehicle types (TfNSW)

Children aged 4 to 6 (or older children too small to be secured with a regular seat belt) must be secured in a forward-facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness, or an approved booster seat.

Child restraint (seat belt) rules (TfNSW)

  • the driver must hold a light rigid (LR) class driver licence or higher (a normal C class licence is not allowed)
  • where possible, particularly for long distance travel outside urban areas, ensure students always wear available seatbelts
  • check how many passengers the bus is licensed to carry (seated + standing) and try to ensure no students have to stand

Check the number of seats on the bus before hiring to ensure correct capacity as no standing is allowed on minibuses.

All registered vehicles must have compulsory third party personal injury insurance.

While there is no requirement that a private vehicle must have third party property damage or comprehensive insurance, staff can’t claim an allowance for use of their own vehicle unless they have comprehensive insurance. Third party property damage insurance only covers damage that the driver causes to another person’s car or property. Comprehensive insurance covers that plus damage/theft of the car itself.

Legal information bulletin #8 – Claims for motor vehicle damage (DoE)

Legal information bulletin #24 - Cars at work (DoE)

Legal information bulletin #39 – Reporting accidents (DoE)

Important child protection risk-mitigation measures include:

  • having more than one adult present in the motor vehicle wherever possible
  • ensuring that any changes to the departure and arrival times are immediately communicated to senior school staff and parents/carers

Other risk mitigations can include:

  • transporting students in groups rather than singly or in pairs.
  • directing students not to sit next to the driver

All drivers (and anyone else accompanying the students) who are not school staff are considered to be volunteers and must have a current WWCC.

Working With Children Check (DoE)

Sample consent forms

These sample consent forms are for schools to use and localise to meet the needs of their school community when students are travelling on school endorsed activities.

Further information:

Safe car travel advice (DoE)

Best practice driver and passenger safety guide for transporting students on school-endorsed business

Fleet vehicle operation (DoE)

Legal information bulletin #24 - Cars at work (DoE)

Legal information bulletin #8 – Claims for motor vehicle damage (DoE)

Legal information bulletin #39 – Reporting accidents (DoE)

School excursions policy (DoE)

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