School trips: risk assessments

Understand when you do and don't need to carry out a trip risk assessment, get help with what you need to include and see template examples.

Last reviewed on 4 July 2023
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  1. Not all trips require a specific risk assessment
  2. See examples and templates

Not all trips require a specific risk assessment

The DfE's guidance on health and safety on educational visits explains that you only need to carry out a specific risk assessment for trips that pose a higher level of risk. This is because the risks won't be covered by your generic policies and procedures. 

The higher risk level could be related to things such as:

  • Distance from school
  • Type of activity
  • Location
  • Need for staff with specialist skills

Whereas lower-risk trips are those that only include everyday risks (for example, slips and trips).

The Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel (OEAP) has further guidance to help you decide whether you need to carry out a risk assessment – see its documents titled '4.3f Risk management – some practical advice' and '4.3g Risk management – what to record and how', both under the 'Good Practice Essentials' heading.

Guidance on writing your risk assessment 

The Royal Society for

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