To explain to our school community the processes and procedures Frankston Special Developmental School (Frankston SDS) will use when planning and conducting camps, excursions and adventure activities for students.
This policy applies to all camps, excursions and adventure activities organised by Frankston SDS, regardless of whether or not they take place on or off school grounds.
This policy is intended to complement the Department’s policy and guidelines on excursions, camps and adventure activities which all Victorian government schools are required to follow.
Frankston SDS will follow both this policy, as well as the Department’s policy and guidelines when planning for and conducting camps and excursions.
This policy does not apply to student workplace learning or intercampus travel.
For the purpose of this policy, excursions are activities organised by the school where the students:
- are taken out of the school grounds (for example, a camp, day excursion, school sports);
undertake adventure activities, regardless of whether or not they occur outside the school grounds;
sleep over on school grounds.
Camps are excursions involving at least one night’s accommodation (including school sleep-overs).
Local excursions are excursions to locations within walking distance of the school and do not involve adventure activities.
Adventure activities are activities that involve a greater than normal risk. Further information and examples of adventure activities are available on the Department’s website under Adventure Activities, at the following link: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/safety/pages/adventure.aspx
Camps and excursions can provide a valuable educational experience for our students which are complementary to their learning, as they provide access to resources, environments and expertise that enhances and builds upon school-based learning.
For all camps and excursions, including adventure activities, our school will follow the Department’s School Policy and Advisory Guide: Excursions and Activities. For camps and excursions requiring school council approval, our school will also follow the Department’s School Policy and Advisory Guide: Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors.
Planning process for camps and excursions
All camps and excursions will comply with Department planning requirements.
Part of this planning process includes conducting risk assessments, to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to minimise the risks associated with each proposed camp or excursion. Frankston SDS’ risk assessment will include consideration of arrangements for supervision of students and consideration of the risk of bushfire activity in the excursion location. In the event of a Code Red Day being announced, excursions or camp activities in effected locations will be cancelled or rescheduled. Planning will also cover arrangements for cancelling, recalling or altering the camp or excursion for any other reason.
Frankston SDS is committed to ensuring students are provided with an inclusive camps and excursions program and will work with families during the planning stage, as needed, to support all students’ attendance and participation. There are circumstances when despite all reasonable and necessary supports a student might still be considered too high risk to attend camp. The Principal/Assistant Principal and teacher will work closely with families in determining this outcome. In the even that this occurs a suitable learning program will be provided at school.
Frankston SDS follows the Department’s guidelines in relation to supervision of students during excursions and camps.
All excursion staff (including parent volunteers) will be familiar with supervision requirements and the specific procedures for dealing with emergencies on each camp and excursion.
All school staff will be aware that they retain overall responsibility for the supervision and care of students throughout all camps and excursions (including adventure activities), regardless of whether or not external providers are managing the activity.
Families may be invited to assist with camps and excursions. School staff will notify families of any costs associated with attending. School staff are in charge of camps and excursions and family volunteers are expected to follow teachers' instructions. When deciding which family members will attend, the organising teacher will take into account: any valuable skills those individuals have to offer (e.g. bus licence, first aid etc.) and the special needs of particular students.
Volunteer and external provider checks
Frankston SDS requires all volunteers and all external providers working directly with our students to have a current Working with Children Check card.
For all camps and excursions, other than local excursions, Frankston SDS will provide families with a specific consent form outlining the details of the proposed activity.
For local excursions, Frankston SDS will provide an annual Local Excursions Consent Form at the start of each school year or upon enrolment if students enrol during the school year.
Frankston SDS will also provide advance notice to of an upcoming local excursion through Flexibuzz.
Cost of camps and excursions, refunds and support
Families are required to cover the cost of attendance at all camps and excursions unless alternative arrangements have been agreed upon by the Principal prior to the excursion. All families will be given sufficient time to make payments for all activities. Consent forms will have clearly stated payment amounts and payment finalisation dates.
Students who have not finalised payment by the required date will not be allowed to attend unless the Principal determines exceptional circumstances apply.
Frankston SDS will make all efforts to ensure that students are not excluded for financial reasons. Families experiencing financial difficulty are invited to discuss alternative payment arrangements with the classroom teacher, Principal or Assistant Principal. The Business Manager/Principal/Organising Teacher can also discuss family eligibility for the Department’s Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF), which provides payments for eligible students to attend school activities, including camps and excursions. Applications for the CSEF are open to families holding a valid means-tested concession card or temporary foster parents and are facilitated by the school. Further information about the CSEF and the application form are available at Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund.
If a camp or excursion is cancelled or altered by the school, or a student is no longer able to attend part or all of the camp or excursion, our school will consider requests for partial or full refunds of payments made by families on a case-by-case basis taking into account the individual circumstances. Generally we will not be able to refund payments made for costs that have already been paid where those funds have already been transferred or committed to a third party and no refund is available to the school. Where possible, we will provide information about refunds to families at the time of payment.
Families need to ensure the school has up-to-date student health information prior to camps and excursions. A member of staff will be appointed with responsibility for the health needs of the students for each camp/excursion. Teachers will administer any medication provided according to our Medication policy and the student’s signed Medication Authority Form. To meet the school’s obligations relating to safety, a first aid kit and mobile phone will be taken by teachers on all camps and excursions. All medication travelling with students on camp must be stored in a WEBSTER PACK. Please see your pharmacist for assistance with this prior to camp.
It is the responsibility of families to ensure their children are in good health when attending excursions and camps. If a student becomes ill during a camp and is not able to continue at camp it is the family’s responsibility to collect them and cover any associated costs. If the Principal approves a student joining a camp late, transport to the camp is the family’s responsibility.
Students participating in camps and excursions are required to cooperate and display appropriate behaviour to ensure the camp or excursion is a safe, positive and educational experience for all students involved.
If on a camp or excursion the Teacher in Charge considers an individual student's behaviour does not meet required standards, then the Principal or their nominee may determine that a student should return home during the camp or excursion. In these circumstances the family is responsible for the collection of the student and any costs associated with this.
Disciplinary measures apply to students on camps and excursions consistent with our school’s Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy, Student Code of Conduct and Bullying Prevention Policy.
Accident and Ambulance Cover
Any costs associated with student injury rest with families unless the Department is liable in negligence (liability is not automatic).
Unless otherwise indicated, Frankston SDS and the Department do not provide student accident or ambulance cover. Families may wish to obtain student accident insurance cover and/or ambulance cover, depending on their health insurance arrangements and any other personal considerations.
Links Policy: Excursions and Activities, Emergency and Risk Management, Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors, Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund, Code Red Days
Author Assistant Principal
Reviewed May 19
School Council Approval n/a All schools are required to follow DET guidelines
Next review date May 23
References DET Excursions and Activities, DET Risk Assessment