12 June, 2017
In another tragic case at a theme park, a young girl lost her life whilst riding on a water ride at Drayton Manor. The girl was on a school trip when she fell from the ride.
This tragedy brings to the fore the importance of ensuring appropriate health and safety considerations are made before and during school trips. When parents leave their children in the care of teachers, they are acting "in loco parentis". Every teacher owes a duty of care to take reasonable care to ensure that their acts or omissions do not cause reasonably foreseeable injury to their pupils. The appropriate amount of supervision depends on the age and capability of the children.
Whilst the exact circumstances of this case are not known, schools should always ensure that appropriate steps are taken to ensure the safety of all participants. Prior to a school trip full legal guardian permissions should be obtained, the trip should be organised and led by experienced and fully trained members of staff who have first aid experience, the correct teacher to pupil ratio must be maintained, written risk assessments of the foreseeable risks should be completed and staff should continue to carry out dynamic risk assessments throughout the trip.