School operations

Sister School Partnerships

Victorian students and staff travelling to sister schools

Visits to sister schools, including overseas sister schools, must comply with Department policies relating to excursions including the following.

Excursions and activities

  • Venue selection – schools must take steps to ensure that all venues that are to be used by the students during a visit to a sister school are suitable and appropriate. This includes homestay families’ place of residence (the Sister School Resource Kit (PDF)External Link has further advice on how to assess the suitability of homestay).
  • Safety, emergency and risk management – schools must conduct a risk assessment for overseas travel and develop a risk management plan.
  • Staffing and supervision – schools must ensure excursions to sister schools are appropriately staffed in line with the outlined staff ratios and requirements.
  • Parent or carer consent – schools must ensure that parents/guardians have provided informed consent for their children to participate in an excursion to a sister school.
    • Note: If there is a parenting order or a pending application for a parenting order, it is an offence for a person to take or send a child outside Australia unless it is with the written consent of each person with parental responsibility. If schools are aware that a family is subject to family law orders or there are family law proceedings in place or pending, then it must obtain the written consent of both parents in order for the student to participate in the overseas excursion, refer to Decision Making Responsibilities for Students.
  • Student medical information – schools must obtain and hold all up-to-date and relevant information about the student’s medical conditions, medication and other medical requirements, refer to Excursions.

Medical insurance

The cost of medical and hospital treatment is high in some countries. Consequently, all staff and students must obtain travel and medical insurance for the entire overseas excursion.


School staff must take reasonable steps to inform students and their parents that immunisations might be required, including advising the student and their parents to seek medical advice from their doctor as well as directing them to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Smartraveller websiteExternal Link for travel advice.

Emergency management plan

Schools must also develop a plan that is specific for an overseas excursion, including:

  • procedures in the event of:
    • an emergency at the different venues in which the students will be located
    • a medical emergency including the details of emergency services, the local doctors, and the local hospitals that are located at the different venues in which the students will be located
  • procedures for students to report any problem at the sister school, including staff members and/or at their homestay – such procedures should be communicated to staff and students prior to departing
  • nominating a person to be responsible for responding to critical incidents – students and staff should be made aware of the responsible persons prior to departing, refer to Emergency and Critical Incident Management Planning.

International and Domestic Travel Policy and Guidelines for School-Based Staff

School staff visiting overseas sister schools must comply with the Travel Policy and Rules of Use.

Includes information on excursions and activities, medical insurance, immunisations, emergency management plan and the International and Domestic Travel Policy and Guidelines for School-Based Staff

Reviewed 20 October 2021

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