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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Excursions

including camps and adventure activities

Schools must obtain written or electronic consent from parents or carers for school excursions to:

  • obtain parent or carer authorisation for:
    • the financial costs of the excursion
    • any adventure activities that may be undertaken during the excursion
  • take the student out of the school environment for a day excursion
  • have the student in its care after normal school hours on an overnight excursion
  • enable the parent or carer to alert the school to any medical conditions or allergies

Requirements for informed consent

Schools must:

  • give parents or carers, who are to provide consent, sufficient information about the excursion to enable them to make an informed decision
  • tell the parent or carer:
    • the nature of the proposed activity/activities. It is important that parents/carers are aware of the activities that students will be participating in on the excursion, if these activities carry a degree of risk of harm, such as swimming, bike riding or any other adventure activities
    • the educational purpose of the activity
    • the location of the activity and any restrictions or barriers to accessing this location
    • the type of transport being utilised if applicable
    • if the excursion will not be supervised by school staff. For example, where the principal has approved a small group of senior secondary age students to participate in an excursion without staff supervision – see Supervision
    • that students may be sent home from an excursion in the event of illness or serious misbehaviour and any costs relating to the student's return will be the parent or carer's responsibility
    • the principal may need to cancel or alter excursions arrangements at short notice, which may lead to inconvenience or financial losses to parents. This would be required to ensure the safety of students and/or due to circumstances beyond the control of the school
    • other information deemed relevant by the school
  • keep records of the consent documentation at the school.

Schools may use the template Parent Excursion Consent Form.

Consent for local excursions

Excursions may be considered 'local excursions' if the location is within walking distance of the school and do not involve adventure activities.

If schools intend to take students off school grounds within walking distance to engage in educational activities within the local area, schools may seek consent for these local excursions on an annual basis, e.g. at the beginning of each school year (or upon enrolment if a student enrolls during the school year). Schools may use the template Local Excursions annual consent form.

Once annual consent is obtained, schools are not required to obtain further consent before the local excursion. However, parents and carers must be informed about the local excursion closer to the date of the event. For example, parents/carers can be notified by email or other appropriate communication channel the week before (or earlier) if students are leaving the school grounds to visit a location nearby, so that parents have an opportunity to inform staff of any medical or other issues that may be relevant to the local excursion. Schools may use the template Local Excursion Notification form, also available in the Resources tab.

For local excursions that occur on a recurring basis, schools can notify parents/carers once of the frequency and location of the activity, at the commencement of the recurring event. For example, it is sufficient to notify parents/carers at the beginning of the year only that students will be walking to the local oval every week for a recurring sports activity.

Electronic consent requirements

Electronic consent can include:

  • the use of a username and password to verify the acceptance of terms or consent
  • a digitally encrypted image of a person’s hand written signature (i.e. a pin or password would be required before the signature can be inserted into a document)
  • email correspondence
  • online scripts and pop-ups requiring ‘tick the box’ and ‘accept’; or
  • SMS.

For electronic consent to be valid, schools must have a process to ensure that:

  • it is the parent or carer providing the consent (for example, requiring identification such as a password); and
  • the parent or carer intends to provide their consent
Chapter in the Excursion Guidelines outlining excursion consent processes and requirements

Reviewed 25 November 2020

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