The updated Department for Education (DfE) guidance allows schools and colleges to take residential visits from 17th May 2021. This is exciting news for staff and pupils within the educational settings however, it is important for everyone to remain safe during COVID-19.

DfE guidance on educational visits has been updated to follow the government roadmap. As the roadmap follows data rather than dates. The set dates may be subject to change therefore, it is important to keep monitoring the government guidelines provided. The government will move one step when it is safe to do so following the Prime Ministers Announcement of Step 3. Advise will continue to update following the government roadmap. More information can be found on the DfE website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools-coronavirus-covid-19-operational-guidance#educational-visits

The Outdoor Educational Advisers Panel (OEAP) have updated their guidance following the DfE to aid schools when planning a residential trip. https://oeapng.info/8959-residentials/

OEAP updated 4.2b Residentials guidance in order to remain safe during COVID-19. Schools and colleges planning on taking residential trips must be conducted in the line of the relevant coronavirus guidance. This includes the controls within the guidance such as keeping participants within the relevant groups and following the guidelines of the accommodated site. Appropriate links to the DfE and other guidance for specific educational settings is provided at the beginning of the document. There is more detail in annex C for the document for schools and annex B of the document of outer-school settings. The 4.2b residential guidance also provides other general guidance for schools on residential trips. https://oeapng.info/downloads/download-info/4-2b-residentials/

OEAP also updated the 4.4k Coronavirus guidance for schools planning and managing residential trips during the pandemic. Schools must check and follow the government guidelines of the place of destination as well as their own settings. Schools and colleges should monitor the guidelines for any changes in order to remain safe within the government guidelines. Parents/Guardians concerns should be taken into consideration and discussed, they should be kept informed in the runup to the visit and how you are going to mitigate any risks. More guidance is provided within the document. https://oeapng.info/downloads/download-info/4-4k-coronavirus/

The government has advised that international visits should not commence up to and including 5th September 2021 due the complexities of international travel at this stage of the pandemic. More guidance is provided no the DfE website.

Although it has been too long since children have been able to enjoy the educational visits that schools and colleges provide it is still important for pupils and staff to remain safe during off-site visits.