Parents are encouraged to speak with the teacher organising a trip if they have any queries or concerns.
Applying for a place
Letters for most trips appear at kes.org.uk/letters, and in some cases may be handed out directly by teachers. To apply for a trip you will normally log in at www.schoolgateway.com where you will pay and give permission for the trip. If you prefer to pay by cash or cheque, please check that he is in the correct year group for the trip, and hand in a letter at the black box in reception, in an envelope addressed to ‘Finance Office’. Your letter needs to state:
Cheques should be made payable to KES TRIPS. If you wish to pay by cash, please inform the receptionist so that the finance office can provide you with a receipt.
Please note that sending payment is not a guarantee of a place. Some trips are over-subscribed and if we are unable to find a place for your son, we will of course refund your payment. Allocation of places depends on the nature of the trip. For many trips we operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so an early application always helps. But we also need to ensure that the party is appropriate to the visit – for example, on the ski trip we need suitable sized ski-groups with differing abilities.
Cancellation of a place
Should you need to cancel your son’s place on a school trip, please let us know as soon as possible. Trips are run on a not-for-profit basis and we have to make commitments for transport, accommodation, instructors and equipment. Where possible we will refund monies you have paid for a trip – particularly if we are able to find another child to take your son’s place. Even then, it is possible that there will be a small cost involved in changing the name on a flight ticket for a trip abroad. However, if another child does not take your son’s place, we may not be able to make any refund.
For our trips abroad which involve greater expense, we will formally offer your son a place, and will list the names of other boys taking part. Provided that you notify us that your son does not wish to take part within four weeks of receiving our offer of a place on a trip abroad, we will refund your deposit in full (unless the letter about the trip gives a different deadline). Thereafter, refunds will depend on the circumstances listed above.
Change of plans
Occasionally we will have to change plans in response to events at the time: perhaps the weather, or possibly due to a travel advisory note from the Foreign Office reflecting a situation abroad. In this event we will make any amendments to the itinerary we consider necessary for the safety of pupils and staff.
As you would expect, the school conducts a detailed risk assessment for the whole of the outdoor activities programme. Adventurous activities are always led by staff or instructors holding an appropriate National Governing Body qualification.
As pupils gain more experience, and as they get older, they are expected to behave more responsibly. They may be included in taking a role in planning part of a visit, and for all pupils having an awareness of safety. As part of this philosophy pupils may not necessarily be under the direct control of a teacher throughout a trip. Indeed as pupils get older there will be elements of a trip where they are under ‘remote supervision’ – in other words, travelling in a group of youngsters, in contact with staff but not directly accompanied.
A high standard of behaviour is expected of pupils on school visits. School rules and discipline continue to apply during school trips and in addition pupils must observe UK law and the law of the country they are visiting. If a pupil misbehaves very seriously, it may be necessary for the school to require the pupil to return home, with any additional transport costs being met by the parent.
All our school visits are covered by our travel insurance policy. If your son is ill or injured during a trip, his treatment is covered by the insurance. Equally, if your son has to cancel his place on a trip prior to departure as a result of illness or injury, it is possible for you to claim back all the money you have paid for that trip. You will need to complete an insurance claim form, and a doctor will need to complete part of the form.
Our travel insurance also covers loss of possessions whilst on a school visit.
Children who are citizens of countries outside the European Union will normally need a visa to take part in a school trip abroad. For trips within the EU, the school can obtain a school visa exemption on behalf of your child, which is free. If your son is taking part in a school visit to an EU country, and is not an EU citizen, please complete this short form and return it to the teacher running the trip, asking them to obtain a visa exemption for you from the British Council.
Health and Parental Contact Information
We keep an electronic database (called SIMS) of all pupils, containing data relevant to their schooling, and including diet and health information, plus contact numbers for parents and carers. We write to parents annually with a print out of this information for you to check. Staff organising trips will use this information, so if any details change, it is important for you to let us know as soon as possible. An e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org will usually do the trick.
Note: parents are particularly asked NOT to hand a piece of paper to a trip organiser with new contact numbers on the day of departure! Lists of contact numbers are prepared a couple of weeks in advance and distributed to all staff taking part, and to the school’s senior management team. A piece of paper handed in on the day of departure will not appear on these lists.
Diets and Allergies
It is important that parents ensure that the SIMS database is up to date with regard to dietary requirements and allergies, very well in advance of a trip taking place. However, parents whose sons have a life-threatening allergy are also strongly recommended to make personal contact with the trip leader, in the weeks leading up to a trip, to confirm arrangements.
For UK-based trips, a simple reply slip or electronic confirmation by e-mail are sufficient to give permission for your son to take part. For trips abroad we use a fuller consent form.