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Outings Ratio


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Guest Wolfie

As far as I'm aware there are no statutory ratios for outings? You are just expected to do a thorough risk assessment and use your professional judgment to come to a decision about the ratios needed to ensure the absolute safety of the children going on the trip? I know that various professional bodies, e.g. the PLA, have suggested ratios, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing actually set in stone?

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Think there has been a recent discussion on this subject and also think Wolfie is right. We always have a ratio of at least 1 adult to 2 children. Our children are 2 years 9 months to school age.

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I agree with Wolfie, risk assess each outing. I try to take my children out every day ( we don't have a secure outdoor area), our R.A. considers childrens individual needs / behaviour/ experience of outings etc, which changes on a daily basis due to register attendance patterns. Also we consider new staff, parent helpers etc. I have had various ratio's from 1-5 to one adult with a child in each hand whilst another has 4/6 children as ratio. ie 8 children 2 staff. It also obviously depends where you are going as well. :o

 

Peggy

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Thanks. We are going on a coach, which is picking us straight up from nursery and then going to a children's farm. The trouble is we are taking about 16 - 18 to 3 years and 20 Pre-Schoolers, so for a ratio of 1:2 is going to mean we are taking 36 children. I have 8 basic staff and 5 volunteers so far.

 

Parents keep moaning about us taking the children out, one even suggested I buy a mini bus!!! Yes, I thought, if I put your fees up by about £20 a month!!!

 

Has anybody had any good/bad experiences of taking children to a farm. Apart from the obvious hygiene one, what else should I be thinking of when doing my risk assessment.

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Hi Sheila

Our risk assessment form includes everything we are going to need on the trip such as mobile phone, consent forms, first aid kit, sick bags, toilet rolls etc.

We risk assess the coach journey-children to be seated and wearing seat belts at all times, no eating or drinking on coach, counting them on and off.

Then at the farm we ensure children are kept a safe distance from the animals unless allowed by the farm staff, hand washing, parents/carers only taking their own child to the toilet and ensuring they find somebody else to look after the other child they are looking after and getting a member of staff to take that child to the toilet. Ensure that parents know exactly what is going to be happening and what the children are and are not allowed to do. The farm we visited had a bouncy castle but school parties were not allowed to use it. Is the farm safe in that no child can get out? What you need to do in case of an emergency, such as a lost child, illness or accident.

What happens before you set off and when you arrive back, ensuring the children go back into the building and are marked as leaving on the register-don't let parents just wander off with their child as they tend to want to do. You need to make sure all the children are properly accounted for. We have a separate register for the day, just a list of those children attending, and we mark them off as they arrive and leave.

I always try to have a ratio of 1:2 and, where possible, staff are supernumary.

Just a few ideas for you.

Linda

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Guest Wolfie

The last time I took a group of children to a farm, I found that the staff at the farm had done a very thorough risk assessment procedure for all visits themselves and they gave me an extremely comprehensive list of pointers to consider; I think that the big outbreak of foot and mouth a few years ago affected their popularity severely and they decided that they should work in close partnership with prospective customers in order to win their confidence back! So it's worth giving your farm a ring to see what kind of support they offer with regard to risk assessments, it might save you a lot of time and effort. :o

Edited by Wolfie
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Wow, thanks ladies, gread advice and links. Thanks.

 

Hi

 

Ofsted state that on outings staffing ratios must be maintianed. So you need to keep to your ratios of 1-4 for two year olds and 1-8 for three and four year olds. As these are the ages I work with I am only sure of these, need to check national standards for others. However for safety (and peace of mind!) we have a ratio of 1-2 on outings in our policys. However we are in the process of revising this as it restricts the amount of outings we can undertake as it`s difficult to get additional parent help to make outings viable.

 

Hope this helps.

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