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Scottish Government School Trips Guidance

22 Aug 2021

The Scottish Government have published guidance for those organising visits for school-aged children, including local authorities and their associated schools, grant-aided schools and independent schools, and youth work providers organising residential stays. It sets out the current position in relation to organised visits and trips for school-aged children (from 19 August 2021).

Short local excursions which promote outdoor learning

As per previous guidance, short local excursions which promote outdoor learning (such as a short visit to a local park or green space) can take place as long as these excursions are appropriately risk assessed. The appropriate size of any group travelling off site to undertake outdoor learning should also be considered.
Schools and youth work providers should exercise judgement as to what constitutes a short local outdoor excursion and what constitutes a more substantial day visit. More substantial day visits should be undertaken in line with the guidance set out in the section below.

Day visits

Day visits (i.e visits which go beyond a local excursion and that do not include an overnight stay) can take place subject to the following conditions:
appropriate risk assessments being carried out
any travel arrangements follow latest guidance as set out in the Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools
adherence to Covid protocols at the destination.

Residential visits

Residential educational activity (i.e visits that contain at least one overnight stay) can take place subject to the conditions set out below and as updated on 19 August 2021. This includes residential visits over multiple nights. In addition, it should be noted that residential visits are no longer subject to caps on overnight tent/room occupancy or on expedition group size.
It is advised that schools or youth work providers work with residential visit providers to ensure that the mitigating actions outlined below are put in place. More detailed advice, developed by the Scottish Advisory Panel on Outdoor Education, on implementing the mitigations set out in this guidance is available. The SAPOE guidance provides detailed supplementary guidance on the safe operation of outdoor residential excursions and visits, and is updated in line with this guidance.


Read the full guidance document.

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