The Health and Safety Executive provide on their web site answers to a set of questions on issues relating to health and safety on school trips.
Key points in relation to educational visits are:
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places overall responsibility for health and safety with the employer. In many cases, the employer will be the local authority; in other cases, it will be the governing body or proprietor of the school. The employer has the overall legal responsibility and accountability for the health, safety and welfare for the school staff, and for the health and safety of pupils, visitors and volunteers.
The legal responsibility and thus accountability for health and safety lies with the employer. This will depend on the category of school. In England the Local Authority is the employer in:
- community schools, community special schools, voluntary controlled schools, maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units.
The Governing Body is the employer in:
- Foundation schools, foundation special schools, voluntary aided schools, academies and free schools
The proprietor is the employer in independent schools.