The value of school trips has been questioned by the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association because of the "huge problems" facing teachers. The potential for disaster is said by the union to be "almost unlimited".
In advice to members, the SSTA points to successive changes in legislation, especially in risk assessment under the health and safety regulations, a European directive on package tours and increased regulation by local authorities.
This has made trips increasingly difficult for organisers, the association complains.
The advice reports that teachers organising ski weekends in Scotland are required to have a tour operator's licence, there have been contractual disputes over lost deposits with threats of legal action from parents and two pupils were "in fear of their lives" during a homestay.
The union comments: "It is not unusual to find teachers being made the scapegoat in the event of some tragedy."