Schools – “what is an emergency?”

Schools leaders and staff who lead visits often ask what constitutes a visit emergency?

It is an interesting question that varies from school to school, staff to staff and visit to visit.

Many incidents that occur on a school visit will be dealt with on the spot by experienced staff within the visit leadership team without phoning their school leadership for advice.

This is the clear starting point that we would want, to ensure that the leadership team had a range of skills, expertise, experience and with clear view of school practices and policies to make good decisions on the ground.

Off site visit emergencies

However, in the very useful OEAP National Guidance document Off site visit emergencies – the Establishment Role Document 4.1b, it explores a range of Incidents where Emergencies will require support for the visit leaders.

Download Off-Site visit emergencies – the Establishment’s Role »

“Many incidents that happen on off-site visits will be dealt with by the Visit Leadership Team, perhaps with some telephone support from the establishment. However, some of these incidents may become Emergencies or Critical Incidents and require support from the Establishment and/or the Employer.”


This document can be found in Section 4 – Good Practice.

This folder contains a range of documents that assist employers in establishing appropriate systems for managing and delivering outdoor learning, off-site visits and LOtC – giving staff confidence that they are being supported by appropriate guidance and advice.


The Advisers within VESN are always prepared to support their schools, to ensure that their leaders get the best advice and support.

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