School trips

The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says nurseries and schools must:

“Ensure that children and young people with SEN engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEN (5.6 and 6.2) and a school SEN Information Report must include how children and young people with SEN are enabled to engage in activities with children and young people in the school who do not have SEN.” (6.79).

Including children with SEN

The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says schools and nurseries must…

“Ensure that children and young people with SEN engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEN.” (5.6 & 6.2)

Section 35 of the Children and Families Act 2014 says that schools and nurseries can only exclude a child from activities if:

  • it is not reasonably practicable for them to be included
  • being included would prevent them from receiving the support they need or
  • being included would prevent the efficient education of other children or the efficient use of resources.

Planning and assessing risk

Some routine visits involve no added risk, such as slips and trips, and will be covered by a school’s current policies and procedures – they only need a little extra planning, beyond the educational aspect of the trip and could be considered as lessons in a different classroom.

Some trips will not be covered by existing policies and will need some extra planning; for example, due to the location or type of activity.

Sometimes a school may just need to review its current plans or arrangements that were successful on previous trips. However, some trips will need risk assessments, detailed planning and informed approval of headteachers or governing boards.

Read the Department for Education guidance on educational visits

The Outdoor Education Advisory panel have some National guidance for schools around including children with SEND to go on educational visits:

OEP Educational visits inclusion guide (opens PDF).

Health and Safety Executive example educational risk assessments

For disabled children

Nurseries, schools and colleges must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure that disabled children and young people are not substantially disadvantaged compared to their peers.

The Equality Act 2010 (part 6 applies to education) sets out these duties.

The Equality and Human Rights commission have some useful guidance about making ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled pupils.

The Act does not override health and safety legislation. A school may carry out a risk assessment to ensure all pupils on the trip remain safe.