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Rules and Regulations Surrounding School Trips

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 25 Feb 2020 | comments*Discuss
Rules Regulations School Trips Advice

School trips provide wonderful opportunities for students to learn, make friends, form a bond with their teachers and experience personal development. Many schools offer a bewildering array of school trips, from day visits to a local museum or farm, to fortnight-long sports tours to distant exotic climes!

Obviously, different schools offer different types of trips and private schools are more likely to offer more expensive and distant trips; likewise, as parents you may have particular opinions about overnight trips that may influence your child’s attendance. But in any case it is useful to know about the rules and regulations surrounding school trip attendances, which is what this article will explore.


The first way to investigate whether your child’s planned school trip will be carried out in a safe and controlled way is to look into how it is planned. Has the school sent home permission letters well in advance? Has the school explained any potential risks? Are there organising timings for the day or period to be spent off-site? Accidents cannot always be prevented, but they should be avoided by teachers carefully planning and organising their time.


The kind of information that you should expect to hear about from your school includes facts about their school insurance policy and how your child would potentially be covered in the event of an accident. Obviously, the level of detail will depend on the nature of the trip - a one day visit to a local church will be less dangerous, one would expect, than a week-long skiing trip. You should also expect the school to tell you well in advance about any necessary clothing, equipment or footwear that might be required, as well as advice on any extra costs such as expenses or pocket money.


The school should provide a clear and coherent discussion of the levels of behaviour that they expect to see from students on the trip, including explicit rules on smoking and drinking if this is age-appropriate. These rules should also be made clear to students as well as parents, and schools should inform students in advance about what punishments would be implemented if rules are disobeyed.

Longer Trips

If you are considering sending your child on a school trip that includes at least one overnight stay or a longer residential element, you will want to look into some additional factors. For example, ask the school about levels of supervision and how sleeping arrangements are organised.

If the school is mixed, you may want to know how girls and boys will be separated. Children often feel worried about who their room-mates could be, so it can be a good idea to find out about this in advance. Ask schools what the policy will be on valuables - should these all be left at home, for example? Mobile phones can be another issue worth discussing.

If your child is older, you may want to ask staff for more detail about the trip’s drug, smoking and alcohol policies, and how much freedom students may have in evenings. You should also check that schools are being responsible about emergencies, and have plans to communicate their advice and strategies to each student, should an emergency occur.

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Is it legal to scam students of their money if they “misbehave” or miss days of school? Or make school-trips non refundable if this happens? Perhaps to give it to others? My child’s school is doing this.
Jacob - 25-Feb-20 @ 1:48 PM
My 9 year old son is the inly boy in his class they are on a residential camp, BUT as he is the only boy i am having to travel at night to collect him then take him back in the mornings, i have still had to pay the full amount for this trip and no discount Is this fair and is there rules about mixed genders sharing?
Wiggles - 12-Jul-19 @ 12:50 PM
Hi just wondering were I and number of parents stand our sons school are organising a school trip aboard in March next year - all pupils where asked to have theirdeposit in on the Tuesday following being informed on the Friday before, which my son did his allocation number was 64 on the list. The was 102 places available 160 children applied. On Monday parents who’s child who were allowedto go on the trip where notified by txt on the Tuesday ( some didn’t pay on time but have been granted a place)(no notifications to parents who’s children weren’t picked to go) this left children talking amongst themselves which I find extremely cowardly. After calling the school we were told we’d be notified by poston Thursday which we were,to be informed our child had not gained a place due to behaviour! No other information given. The behaviour is late homework on 2 occasions (I presume as I have no other information) which he served a detention for and was also punished at home . Just wondering if a child is punished can a school get away with keep punishing children?Should the school not be making extra provisions for the other 60 children so all can attend. I totally understand if a child was extremely naughty and uncontrollable but this isn’t the case for some of the children. I feel the teachers a picking favourites
Sara Lou - 28-Jun-19 @ 2:36 PM
My son recently went on a trip and despite asking several times who he would be sharing a tent with the school wouldnt say even though he has additional some needs and can have some anxiety.They would say one friend that he was with.I think that this is around managing children and parents asking to swap. I feel really strongly that parents should be allowed to know in advance. Just needing to share how sometimes it is stressful enough dealing with a child who is anxious with out schools having a one rule for everyone policy.
AJ - 21-Jun-19 @ 9:24 PM
My daughter is going on a school trip to Pompeii. They are due to arrive home at 2.30am and expected to be in school at 11.15am. This is just under 9 hours later, is this legal?
Lainey - 6-Apr-19 @ 1:54 AM
My daughter is going on a school trip to Pompeii, they are due home at 2.30am and are expected to go into school for 11.15am the same day, is this legal?
Lainey - 6-Apr-19 @ 1:48 AM
International Schengen Trip: Can a child be returned back to UK on a different flight to parents costif they misbehave while on the trip
Tsitsi - 18-Feb-19 @ 11:15 PM
My wife has been given the opportunity to lead a school trip, but for the 2nd time the trip leader has booked just 1 room for her to share with the accominining male teacher. I let it go last time but I feel extremely angry about this, am I wrong to feel this way? To save money the school pairs the male and female in the same room, granted, different beds, but not the point, right? Is this allowed?
Rob - 3-Jan-19 @ 8:30 PM
Hi, i was looking for some advice. My daughter has just returned from a 5 day residential. We were told prior to the children going that the children would be sharing rooms but she has come back and said that there wasn't enough beds and she has had to sleep on a mattress on the floor? Am I right to be furious as this trip cost £260 i expect my daughter to at least have a bed. Also we were told no electronics or mobiles but yet the head teachers daughter (who is in the same class as my daughter) was allowed to send messages on her mum's mobile to her family as her mum which is the head teacher was there! What are others views on this am i right to be upset. Ta in advance
Dan - 20-Oct-18 @ 12:20 PM
my daughter is 15 and has recently gone on a school trip and she was made to share a bed with a female student and she felt awkward about this, but felt as though her rights to say no to sleeping with someone had been taken away from her and felt thoroughly confused about the schools message of consent. What are the legal arrangements for such occasions as school trips and sharin double beds. we were not informed prior to the trip that this would be the case.
lally - 29-Jun-18 @ 2:42 PM
@willow74 - if they are deciding it on what they think is in your child's best interests then yes. Obviously, they don't want to be cleaning up sick, which is understandable when they have other kids to look after too.
Angei - 24-May-18 @ 10:05 AM
my sons nursery is refusing to take him on a day trip because he is travel sick, unless i go with him, can they do that?
willow74 - 23-May-18 @ 2:19 PM
Key - Your Question:
Does your child have to attend a school trip?

Our Response:
You would have to speak to the school directly about this to explain the reasons why. The school can keep a child back from a school trip, but your child would still have to attend school.
GetTheRightSchool - 9-Feb-18 @ 9:54 AM
Does your child have to attend a school trip?
Key - 8-Feb-18 @ 12:07 PM
Is my son's school right to him on a trip without consent
ging - 6-May-17 @ 11:37 PM
Hi can a parent attending school trip to help ,have a small group of children to look after which does not include their own children.? Reception years.Many thanks.
Nic72 - 20-Apr-17 @ 8:35 PM
My wife has no transport to get my 7 year old daughter to an off site school trip, but they are expecting her to drop her off and pick her up(an hour walk each way). Can they mark her as absent if we cannot get her there?
Karl - 1-Mar-17 @ 5:13 PM
Maria- Your Question:
As a parent of a 11 years old pupil, do I have the right to know the sleeping arrangements?

Our Response:
The school co-ordinaters organising the trip should have supplied you with information regarding this. You will have to contact the school directly if this has been omitted, or you wish to know more. However, most schools also hold a pre-trip meeting which will outline the details of the trip and give parents the opportunity to ask specific questions.
GetTheRightSchool - 22-Jun-16 @ 10:35 AM
As a parent of a 11 years old pupil, do I have the right to know the sleeping arrangements?
Maria - 21-Jun-16 @ 10:36 AM
Ayesha - Your Question:
As a parent can I refuse to send my child to a school trip?

Our Response:
Yes, you can refuse this. But you should negotiate this with the school and obviously give your reasons why.
GetTheRightSchool - 21-Apr-16 @ 2:59 PM
As a parent can I refuse to send my child to a school trip?
Ayesha - 21-Apr-16 @ 8:11 AM
@cussa - I'm afraid we cannot be seen to make any direct recommendations. It is always a tricky policy to judge as many establishments would go for a 'no-alcohol rule' because of the implications should an accident happen. I have included the NUT guidelines for school tripshere which may help you further, if you haven't seen it already.
GetTheRightSchool - 8-Jun-15 @ 2:01 PM
At our school the head teacher is trying to enable a policy for residential trips that allow staff to have a sociable drink,but is finding it difficult to word it so that it doesn't sound as if staff are drunk or intend to get drunk. Is there example of a policy that talks in terms of sensible moderation, yet being fully aware of their legal obligations?
cussa - 5-Jun-15 @ 7:18 PM
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