St. Conleth’s Policy on School Tours and Day Trips

1. Objectives

When St. Conleth’s organises tours or day trips, the essential objective is to provide for the educational, cultural, intellectual and social development of the students where such benefits cannot be provided for in-school activities alone. School tours and day trips are intended as an extension and reinforcement of classroom activities and should be designed to include the maximum number of pupils in a class.  They should enhance the learning process of as many pupils as possible by providing educational experiences that the classroom alone cannot provide.

This policy applies to all activities both during and outside of normal school hours.  It applies where students are clearly identified or identifiable as pupils and in the care of St. Conleth’s College.

2. Planning and Consultation

St. Conleth’s adheres to the Department of Education and Science Circular on School Trips. Day trips are sanctioned by the School Principal, and parental request is sought in advance.  In relation to school tours, the final decision rests with the School Manager on the advice of the Principal.  When a tour is in its planning stage, it is best planned in consultation with parents, preferably before the start of the school year and well in advance of the tour dates. The full cost of the tour should be communicated to parents at the planning stage.  This will have the added advantage of facilitating financial preparation with a view to allowing maximum pupil participation.

Parents/guardians will be notified in advance of all tours and both parents and pupils should sign the appropriate consent form.  In this way, pupils and teachers enter into a partnership promoting good and appropriate behaviour at all times.  Details on the consent form will include any known medical conditions and allergies as well as contact details and contact phone numbers of the next of kin.  Permission should also be given to the group leader from St. Conleth’s College to seek medical attention for a student if required and to keep parents informed by telephone.  This practice will be identified on the school outings permission slip.

3. Selection of Pupils

On occasions, a school tour may be oversubscribed and the organisers will determine the most appropriate method of selection of pupils, be it on a first-come first-served basis, or confined to a particular class or age group etc.  Before a pupil is accepted for a tour, his/her behaviour in school will be taken into consideration.   A record or poor and/or inappropriate behaviour before or after the selection process may result in the exclusion of a student from tours and day trips. (Cf. withdrawal of privileges in School Policy on Behaviour.  Note that in certain circumstances where a student is not permitted to attend a trip, or is sent home from a trip due to bad behaviour, monies may be lost if paid in advance.

4. Insurance

St. Conleth’s College will ensure that adequate insurance cover is in place and that written parental approval is obtained for each pupil to take part in the tour.  Such written approval must not seek to devolve any liability to the parent for any aspect of the tour

5. Tour Documentation

The onus is on pupils and their parents to ensure that they have all the necessary up-to-date documentation well in advance of the tour. If a passport is required for the tour, it is the responsibility of the individual student and his/her parents to ensure that it is in order. All passports must be valid for at least six months following the trip. A photocopy of the pupil’s passport must be included with the tour fees.NOTE: Some students who are not Irish citizens may need a visa to enter another country.Parents will be informed in good time if there are any mandatory or recommended inoculations required for the tour and that the onus is on them to make arrangements for their son /daughter to receive them

All pupils should also have their E111 or European Health Insurance Card for travel to countries in the EU

6. Code of Behaviour on Tours and Day Trips

St Conleth’s Code of Behaviour applies to all school tours and day trips.  It is important to bear in mind that when a group of students go on a tour or day trip, they are representing the school at all times. Parents are also entering into a partnership with the school in the promotion of appropriate and acceptable behaviour at all times.
It is important to note that in conjunction with the St. Conleth’s Code of Behaviour, certain specific rules also apply to school tours and day trips. (Cf Appendix 1) Prior to going on a school tour, the group leader will inform both the pupils and the parents of the specific rules which must be adhered to for the duration of the trip. Furthermore, specialised tours (e.g. ski trips or those involving certain physical activities) necessitate additional rules and the students will be informed of these in advance.  Any incidents of bad behaviour reflecting upon the school will be regarded as a serious breach of discipline and may result in a student being sent home at the expense of the parent.
The school will review the effectiveness of the School Policy on Tours and Trips on a regular basis. The review will take cognizance of changing legislation, information and developments in the school as well as feedback from teachers, group leaders, parents and pupils.

Appendix 1  Behaviour on School Tours 

  • Good behaviour is demanded at all times. It is important to note that the School Policy on Behaviour is applicable to all school trips and must be taken in conjunction with the specific rules governing trips.
  • On school trips, the health, safety and security of the students and teachers is at all times paramount. No action or activity by any individual/s should ever be allowed to undermine the health, safety and security of another individual or the group
  • Please note that St Conleth’s College is a nut free school.  All precautions should be taken to ensure that no nuts are bought, brought or consumed on school trips.
  • Students must be cooperative at all times and do as they are told by the group leader.  At particular at times such as in airports, train stations etc. the utmost co-operation is essential and the group must at all times stay together.
  • Punctuality and good time keeping are essential at all times during the trip. Individual students should not delay departures or hold up events by not turning up on time and/or prevent others from doing so
  • No student may leave the group at any time and go off on his/her own unless under special circumstances and at the direction of the group leader.
  • In places where the public gather such as restaurants, museums, galleries and hotels etc. students must have due consideration for others and respect their right to enjoy themselves without disruption of any kind
  • The dress code for students (outside of the school uniform being worn) should at all times be neat/casual. In certain countries due deference must be paid to the local practices and customs pertaining to dress. The group leader reserves the right at any time to ask a student to dress appropriately.
  • The rules of the hotel must be adhered to, and any incidents that take place must always be reported to the group leader.  Breakages and damages must be paid for
  • Students must leave public areas clean and tidy. In bedrooms, clothes and belongings should not be strewn around the place.  There should be no running in the corridors, banging doors, shouting out loud and in and out of each other’s rooms.  Bear in mind that there are other guests in the hotel  who should be treated with due consideration and respect
  • Parents should be discouraged from giving their sons/ daughters excessive amounts of pocket money.  The group leader will recommend to parents a suitable amount of spending money per student in advance of the trip in question.
  • Smoking or vaping is not permitted at any time. The possession of and/or consumption of alcohol by students is strictly forbidden. Any form of substance abuse, including the purchase, sale, possession and use of same will result in the student/s being sent home and the school Policy on Substance Abuse will be strictly enforced.
  • The irresponsible use of mobile and camera phones will result in their confiscation. (See rules governing the use of mobile phones in the Code of Behaviour Policy. It is recommended that parents should refrain from contacting their sons/daughters by phone during the course of the trip unless in the event of an emergency. Such communication is best done through the group leader or through the school.  Use of mobile phones will be at the discretion of the group leader and may be subject to change depending on the nature of the trip.
  • Students should always be aware of cultural and social differences in the country they are visiting.  They should also understand that certain gestures, comments, modes of dress and behaviour, which may be acceptable at home, might be regarded as offensive in the country visited
  • Students should be aware that items legally available for purchase in other countries may be illegal in Ireland and result in their confiscation
  • Bear in mind that in the event of a criminal offence being committed, it is the law of the country in which the offence took place that is applicable and not Irish law
  • All communication regarding any serious incident which may arise on a trip will first be communicated by the group leader to the school principal/manager and then to the parent when necessary.
  • Any pupil found to be in serious breach of any of the rules in the school’s Code of Behaviour, the school principal/manager must be informed immediately.
  • In exceptional circumstances, the group leader reserves the right to send a pupil home accompanied by a teacher, at his parents’ expense.
  • Depending on the nature of the trip, the group leader may use his/her discretion in certain matters but this will be communicated to the parents in advance.

Updated: September 2017