We all remember the excursions we went on as children to the museum or zoos. Everything was so easy as a child and most seemed to go as planned. We may also reminisce about that great presenter who came into school to talk about relationships or mental health (commonly called ‘incursions’ among teachers today). Well those days actually took a lot of organising from teachers. If you run your own excursions or you regularly go into schools, most of this won’t be news to you. But for newbies and those wanting to find an extra edge to help you help teachers and out of school hours staff, the information and links below are a good summary… for those in NSW at least!
Consent Forms/Permission Notes – what schools need to tell parents to inform and get consent
What information should I give for parents and teachers to organise my program?
We all remember as children when we had to give our parents the permission note to sign for us to go on that fun excursion. Well teachers must send notes home for parents/guardians to check the excursion or incursion and so to give legal consent for their child to attend. These forms cover some of the following information:
- the purpose of the program
- relevance to the child’s development or curriculum
- content of the program
- date/s for attending
- equipment or uniform required to participate
- any medical warnings
You are not expected to provide these forms, but knowing the information educators must give to parents/guardians can help to understand our listing structure. You should also use it to know what information to include in your own marketing and organisation documents.
Risk Management Plans – how to manage children and students safety
What if a child or student could get hurt during my program?
Any excursion with children needs a risk management plan, commonly called a ‘risk assessment’. Teachers are asked to complete these for principals to approve any excursions, incursions or partnership programs. However, if you provide your own teachers will love you! Give teachers your own risk assessment and they will keep you in mind for next year and their teacher friends!
The DOE made a document to guide teachers that you could use to create your own risk assessment. You can re-use it and allow teachers to download and edit it for approval. Just update it as your excursions or incursions change and use teacher feedback! The EduLinx™ platform support team is happy to provide examples, videos and advice to help you make them!
Permission to Publish/Media Release Forms – how to protect against privacy issues and liability
What if I want to use footage or photos from our programs that include children/students?
Excursion, incursion and partnership providers that wish to publish photos, videos or information of students for their own marketing should refer to the NSW DOE Social Media policy document. The department’s own ‘permission to publish’ notes are only available for staff, but the policy document can help you create your own media release forms.
Parent/guardian permission for publishing is needed because children’s privacy is taken very seriously. To protect yourself it’s worth creating your own form or checking with schools and centres for media publishing permission.
Accessibility & Equity – how to support and bridge the gap between communities and students
What are some ways to get my program out to disadvantaged groups and communities?
There are many ways you can help students access your education programs. It’s worth looking at schools ICSEA value and adjusting your prices to support low-SES communities. You can run ‘virtual excursions’ – such as streaming performances or Google classroom workshops – so to reach students with a disability, regional and remote communities. Travel is an added cost and hurdle to organise excursions, so incursions or ‘virtual excursions’ have the potential to ease these burdens. If you can adapt by going online or into schools you can help solve these inequities and gain more referrals because of your efforts!
Image Credit – Sydney Jewish Museum