Australian School Excursion Policies

An educational excursion is a student activity, organised by the school and approved by the principal or student council that will take place outside of the school grounds.   School excursions play an important role in educating students based around the curriculum.

In Australia, each state provides public schools with an Excursion Policy for all schools to abide by. The policy document used for this analysis is the Victorian Excursions Policy retrieved from the Victorian Government Education website, The apparent rationale of this policy is to ensure duty of care to the students with a safe environment and to prevent any foreseeable risks through careful planning and sound knowledge of everything involved in the school excursion. The policy also covers matters required during an emergency situation. The policy covers all aspects of duty of care for the students, teachers and others involved in the excursion.

Planning plays a major role in the decisions of having an excursion. A policy is the main guideline for planning and covers all aspects that are important to maintaining a safe environment, including making decisions when unforeseen circumstances occur. Under section 4.4.2 headed ‘school excursions’, this covers many areas relevant.

Under section is information regarding approvals of any excursions. Appropriate approval, based on initial planning must be obtained by the school principal or school council prior to implementing pre-preparation of the excursion. Joint school excursions will need corresponding approval and planning consistently between principals of both schools.

Section obtains key aspects regarding selection of the venue for a camp or excursion activity. Areas of consideration and assessment are; health, hygiene and safety, building and facilities, activity equipment and the conduct of activities, certified qualifications of...