Analysis Report on the Victorian Government Schools Reference Guide School excursion policy.
This report is an analysis of the Excursion Policy document from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development used in the state of Victoria. It is accessible to the schooling and non-schooling community over the internet through the Victorian Government Schools Reference Guide under the heading of Environment. ‘The Guide provides information, legislative references, regulations, policies and guidelines that assist in the governance, management, administration and operation of schools.’(State of Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development [DEECD]. 2007).
The School excursions policy 4.4.2 covered within this report, can be found directly linked to the sub section of Student safety and risk management 4.4 using the below link; www.education.vic.gov.au/management/governance/referenceguide/enviro/4_4.htm
Within this document three hypothetical scenarios are provided, exhibiting how the policy impacts on the teacher(s), school, other professionals, parents and students involved with the excursion and its associated activities. The scenarios are; • A teacher wishes to take a class on a three day, 2 night excursion and has received support from the principal and needs approval from the school council. • A student’s misbehaviour has been inappropriate and the staff on duty agree that the student should return home. • A student has injured their arm on a camping excursion and needs to be seen by a medical doctor as the staff suspect it may be a broken arm. There will be further elaboration of each scenario, citing the policy section directly in each instance and how a teacher should address the situation.
There are twelve sub-sections under the School excursion policy 4.4.2 from the Victorian Government Schools Reference Guide, shown in the content list. Each subsection may be considered issues that a teacher may refer to when seeking compliance with the Victorian DEECD Excursion Policy. Within each section, the policy directly links to ‘additional resources, including documents, websites and contact details’ (DEECD, 2007, s1.1 .2). This format allows readily, accurate and relevant information in advising teachers and the school community what their legal obligations and responsibilities are.
The rationale for writing an excursion policy is firstly to provide a definition of what an excursion may be. It defines an excursion as ‘an activity organised by a school whereby students leave the school grounds for the purpose of engaging in educational activities’ (DEECD, 2007). Excursion can include camping trips, adventure activities, sporting activities and events, single or part day trips and overseas and interstate travel. Each of these activities has their own set of guidelines, falling under the Student safety and risk management 4.4.
Secondly the policy is in place to ensure student safety, and to set specific guidelines and recommendations to be followed. The General policy 184.108.40.206 explains that ‘the Department’s requirements and guidelines relating to preparation and safety must be observed in the conduct of all excursions’ (DEECD, 2007).
The preparation and organisation of an excursion which includes approval by the principal or school council is a main issue within the policy. In addressing this, Approval for excursions states 220.127.116.11, ‘that on approving the excursions, considerations should include: • the contribution of the activity to the school curriculum • the adequacy of the planning, preparation and organisation in relation to: ▪ the school policy
▪ the guidelines and advice provided by the Department of Education and Early Childhood...