Educational Excursions whether as an extra curricular activity or part of the core curriculum have long been an integral part of the broad based nature of Scottish Education. Excursions, be they a short local visit or a major expedition to climb Kilimanjaro must be conducted within the framework of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children's Services Policies and Guidelines.
This means that all out-of-school trips, after initial discussions, are approved and agreed by the Head Teacher. Following on from this, Risk Assessments are carried out, detailed plans prepared, parents briefed and written parental permission obtained for each child. Planning and preparation at school level must address, the value and objectives of the trip to pupils, staff and pupil safety, finance, staff roles, staff expertise, staffing ratios, medical issues, disability issues, communications and emergency procedures and post excursion evaluation. In some cases exploratory visits prior to the outing are recommended.
For adventurous activities, such as hillwalking, skiing, canoeing, permission to run the trip must be obtained from ‘Adventure Scotland’ the Council’s adventurous activities accrediting agency. Where external providers are used for Adventurous Activities, prior accreditation of that organisation by ‘Adventure Scotland’ must also be in place. Such external providers must also satisfy the requirements of the Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority (AALA).
Foreign excursions require that the Education and Recreation Department is informed via the Educational Network Manager.
External Providers of Adventure Activities
Aberdeenshire Council requires that only approved external providers may be used by establishments. A regularly updated list of approved providers is maintained by the council and is circulated to establishments. The register may be viewed on the council’s Outdoor Learning web page.
If establishments wish to engage the services of non-approved providers they must contact Adventure Scotland in the first instance who will initiate the registration process.