The Perils of the Rolling Programme

The perils of the Rolling Programme

by: Educational visits

The temptation is clear. Completing a full set of planning for educational visits can take time, and school staff are busy. 

So, the thought occurs, why not just do ONE form in EVOLVE covering all Year Groups and every date within the school year? Then all possible locations and providers could be included saving the busy school staff valuable time. 

Or if not all activities, how about all sporting events or all the swimming lessons? 

Schools are required to ensure that all activities, both on and off-site, are suitably planned both to ensure safety and enable learning. This needs to underpin all thinking about planning for all scales of Educational Visits. 

Consider then the question “Where were Class 3 on the afternoon 19/5/22?” 

Your rolling programme EVOLVE (which is your date-stamped, secure planning portal) indicates that any of the pupil groups could have been at one of a large number of venues or may have been in school all day. 

If you can identify that Class 3 were in fact off-site, at one of the listed providers, which staff were with them on that instance? What planning was put in place for the pupils with specific needs and for those requiring medical support? Is this evidenced and time-stamped? 

In order to ensure that schools can evidence suitable planning EVCs should consider carefully before authorising Rolling Programmes in any area of the school. Each EVOLVE form or visit should reflect a discrete set of hazards and a discrete risk profile. This would normally involve a single student group involved in a specific set of activities. This may involve a series of times or dates but with a specific risk profile.  

Class 3 swimming for a half a term would fit this definition as the needs of the group would be defined, the activity is specific and managed, and the time period could be considered to minimise changes. 

Conversely including all classes swimming throughout the academic year would show great variations between the needs of Reception and Year 6, coupled with the different weather and travel conditions across a whole school year. It is also unlikely that the same staff would be accompanying all groups, adding to the variation. 

It is recommended that, as with all classroom lessons, the staff leading an Educational Visit manage the planning of the learning beyond the classroom space, ensuring that the hazards that are relevant to their group are managed and everyone is well briefed. 

To help school staff make the most effective and efficient plans for LBtC the Educational Visits Advisory team at NY Outdoor Education provide training in EVOLVE as well as providing advice & guidance for schools with any questions. Evolve for Visit Leaders – North Yorkshire Outdoor Education