Headteachers have been reminded this week of the health risks posed by school visits to farms, following the recent outbreak of E coli food poisoning in Scotland.
The Department for Education and Employment has sent a letter and a checklist of main precautions for schools to take with them when visiting farms. The DFEE advises teachers to visit the farm first to check that it is well-managed, with clean public areas, an animal-free picnic site, first-aid arrangements, washing facilities, drinking water and clear signposts.
Heads should make sure there are enough staff to supervise a visit.
The checklist says teachers should warn pupils not to eat or drink while touring the farm; pupils should be aware of the potential dangers of machinery and chemicals; they should wear Wellingtons or shoes, not sandals; they should not let their faces come into contact with animals; they should not put their hands in their mouths if they have fed or stroked animals; all visitors should wash their hands thoroughly before leaving.
Enquiries to Fiona Murray on 0171 925 5892