In brief

Trips and Visits Pocketbook

By Jane West

Teachers Pocketbooks pound;6.99

www.teacherspocketbooks.co.uk

Anything that helps teachers overcome doubts about taking children out of school is to be welcomed. It's still true that if a school trip is well organised, risk-assessed and run in accordance with guidelines at three key levels - school, local authority and national - there's little to fear.

Jane West covers all the angles here. She's particularly good on line management: the school should have a senior member of staff with overall responsibility as "educational visits co-ordinator". But, as she points out: "Although the EVC is an important resource, it is not their job to plan the trip for you." That's your job, and you'll find Jane West's book a useful addition to the official documents.

One additional piece of advice: do not plan a trip that stretches your disciplinary capabilities. Keeping today's adolescents in check and on task on a residential trip, for example, is highly challenging. I know people who can do it, and I know some, including me, who shouldn't and wouldn't try.

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