Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Preparing for a Field Study Visit: Information to Parents

  • Parents should be encouraged to attend a briefing meeting where written details of the proposed field study visit should also be provided.

  • Parents need to be aware that the teachers and other adult supervisors on the visit will be exercising the same care that a prudent parent would.

  • The following information on matters that might affect pupil health and safety on the field study visit should be given to parents:

    • dates of the visit;

    • visit's objectives;

    • times of departure and return - parents must have agreed to meet their child on return;

    • the location where the pupils will be collected and returned;

    • mode(s) of travel including the name of any travel company;

    • the size of the group and the level of supervision including any times when remote supervision may take place;

    • details of accommodation with security and supervisory arrangements on site;

    • details of provision for special educational or medical needs;

    • procedures for pupils who become ill;

    • names of leader, of other staff and of other accompanying adults;

    • details of the activities planned and of how the assessed risks will be managed;

    • standards of behaviour expected in respect of, for example, alcohol, sexual behaviour, smoking and general group discipline including prohibited items. This information may take the form of a code of conduct which parents should sign;

    • what pupils should not take on the visit or bring back;

    • details of insurance taken out for the group as a whole in respect of luggage, accident, cancellation, medical cover, any exceptions in the policy and whether parents need to arrange additional cover;

    • clothing and equipment to be taken;

    • money to be taken;

    • the need for a valid passport, European Health Insurance Card (which replaces the old E111 reciprocal medical treatment form), and for those pupils whose national or immigration status require it, a visa. A European Health Insurance Card may be applied for online at or via a form from any Post Office;

    • the information to be given by parents and what they will be asked to consent to.

    A parental consent form should be completed for each pupil in the group. Besides conveying the parents consent it could also form the basis for obtaining details required. General issues to consider include:

    • any allergies/phobias the pupil may have;

    • any medication the pupil is taking (if so what the dosage is and who is to administer it);

    • whether the pupil administers their own medication;

    • any contagious or infectious diseases suffered within the family during the preceding 4 weeks, and any other recent illnesses suffered by the pupil;

    • the name, address and phone number of the pupil's GP;

    • any special/medical dietary requirements;

    • the pupil's ability to swim in the pool or sea (if relevant);

    • any other information which the parent thinks should be known;

    • the parental home and daytime phone numbers and addresses;

    • an alternative contact, with their phone number and address.

    Preparing for a Field Study Visit: Communicating with Parents

    See model forms: Parental consent for a school visit and Medical consent.

    • Parents should be asked to agree to the pupil receiving emergency treatment, including anaesthetic or blood transfusion, as considered necessary by the medical authorities. If parents do not agree to this, head teachers may decide to withdraw the child from the visit - given the additional responsibility this would entail for the group leader.

    • Doctors can be expected to carry out necessary emergency treatment without parental consent but it is possible that a surgeon might be reluctant to operate on a pupil unless assured that the group leader had parental authorisation to agree to such treatment. It is sensible to include a translation of the medical consent, as signed by the parent, in Spanish.

      Other consent

      Early return

      The group leader should tell parents if they will be expected to fund the early return of a pupil whose conduct gives cause for concern on a visit. A written agreement may be necessary.

      Contact with parents during the visit

      Head teachers should ensure that parents can contact their child via the school contact and the group leader in the event of a home emergency, and that they have a number to ring for information in the event of an incident during the visit or a late arrival home. Parents should therefore:

      • know the destination details;

      • be aware of the emergency contact arrangements at home (particularly important during holiday periods when the school may be closed) and at all the venues the group will visit;

      • provide contact numbers for day and night use in an emergency.

      This is best done by means of the consent form.

      Pupils contact with parents

      Group leaders should arrange for parents to be told by the school of the group's safe arrival. Such arrangements should be agreed with parents and pupils before the visit takes place. Parents concerned after a phone call should contact the school contact.