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Trips must be made safer

Your article, "MPs angry over school trip fear" (TES, February 11), seems to be yet another attempt to put down teachers who justifiably have concerns over safety on trips.

As a campaigner for tighter guidelines for special needs pupils on school trips, following a fatal accident to one of my pupils, I read the select committee's report on outdoor education with some relief. It made the following comforting recommendations:

"There is more to outdoor education than school trips; school grounds should accommodate the possibilities of outdoor education on-site.

"The Government should work with unions to meet their concerns.

"Risk assessments should be undertaken for all visits but there should be no unnecessary doubling of paperwork.

"Department for Education and Skills guidelines for special needs pupils should be revised and more detailed."

Isn't it time The TES had a positive article reporting the work being done in schools and within trade unions and joint union committees to enable teachers to feel safer conducting school trips?

Because, however blinded MPs may be by statistics (57 fatalities since 1997), real fear is still there.

Jenny Cooper.

NUT rep on Brent education health safety committee

22 Forest Gate

Kingsbury, London NW9

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