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Course notes

John Cheney, resources and facilties manager at Park House school, Newbury, plays it safe

Course Certificate in off-site safety management.

Provider Field Studies Council (

Venue Blencathra outdoor pursuits centre, in the Lake District. Three days, May 2003.

Cost pound;200, paid for by West Berkshire district council.

How did you find out about it?

From an FSC flier.

Why go?

I wanted to get up-to-date as there's so much new legislation about off-site visits.

What did it promise?

Everything from risk assessment to making sure individual teachers are confident in dealing with difficulties that might arise.

Did it deliver?

It went into great depth, to make sure we were squeaky clean about the knowledge we have and the advice we're giving.

Highs and lows I enjoyed meeting other like-minded people: there were delegates from the police, from outdoor activity centres and from all types of education. But we spent three days stuck in a classroom looking out on a fantastic view of Borrowdale. And at the end there was a three-hour written exam.

Message, motto or mantra It sounds Scoutish but - be prepared.

Best advice We had good practice scenarios trying out the theories we were learning. It was stimulating to discuss the many ways people dealt with procedures.

Has it made a difference?

I'm chair of the health and safety committee for West Berkshire and I've been able to cascade the information down the authority.

Coming your way?

The Field Studies Council will run three residential courses in 2004, plus other courses for teachers. www.field-studies-council.orgprofessional; 01743 852100.

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