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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Excursions

including camps and adventure activities

Communications

For excursions with an overnight component, parents or carers should be advised of the telephone numbers (both during and outside school hours) for the designated school contact person in the event of an emergency. 

Arrangements for communicating with parents in the event of an emergency, cancellation or recall of the excursion must be made.

If conducting an activity in a remote location with limited access to technology and emergency services, a documented communication plan must be developed prior to the activity. This can be incorporated into the risk register. The plan must:

  • be developed specifically for the location.  It will be based on current information about the area and other relevant information such as mobile phone coverage maps.
  • enable staff to receive weather / fire danger forecasts, updates and warnings, communicate with the school, outside parties and engage support in the case of an incident or emergency
  • identify equipment to be used based on current communication technology and the location of the activity
  • be clear to all staff involved in the program, including its limitations
  • include a communication strategy for the group during the program that also enable communication with outside parties including the school and emergency services
  • not rely on a single device

The communication plan should enable staff to:

  • receive weather forecasts, updates and warnings
  • communicate with the school
  • engage support in the case of an incident or emergency

Principals should consider providing communication equipment that may be reliably used in emergencies (for example, for excursions to remote areas with little mobile coverage, satellite phones may be considered).

A sample template for developing the communications plan can be found in the Resources tab of this page. This is one method for documenting the communications plan; schools may adapt the template or use another method which best suits the needs of the school or the excursion.

Chapter in the Excursion Guidelines relating to communicating with parents in the event of an emergency and developing a communication plan if conducting an activity in a remote location

Reviewed 28 May 2020

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