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School visits and visitors: What to consider

Find out about school protocols and other factors to consider if you are inviting visitors to your school, or undertaking a school visit, as part of your enhancement and enrichment activity.

All schools have agreed protocols regarding visitors and visits. If you are not sure what these protocols are for your school, identify the person responsible for this aspect (usually a member of the senior leadership team) and request further details. If you are not aware, then it is likely that other colleagues are not either and this might be an area that it is worth discussing in a department meeting.

In addition to the school protocols, there are several points which are worth reflecting on when arranging enhancement and enrichment activities.

If you are inviting a visitor into the school you could consider the following points:

  • Check that they have successfully completed a valid and up-to-date CRB check.
  • Try to put yourself into the position of the visitor. Some practical issues you should consider on behalf of the visitor include:
    • car parking
    • information about the timetable or the time the school opens
    • directions to Reception so that the visitor can sign in when they arrive and sign out when they leave. (If this is before or after normal working hours, special arrangements may need to be made with the site manager.)
    • who will meet the visitor and where
    • arrangements for refreshments, including meals, if the opportunity runs across these times.
  • What is the visitor’s specific role and how will that be communicated clearly to them?
    Note: Visitors should not take charge of pupils – a teacher must be engaged in the opportunity at all times and that teacher has responsibility for the actions of the pupils and their care.
  • What are the arrangements for providing feedback to the provider and debriefing the senior leadership team after the enhancement and enrichment activity?
    • When and where will this happen?
    • What will be involved?
    • How will longer-term evaluation be conducted? What will the role of the visitor be in this process?
  • What are the expected developments after the specific enhancement and enrichment activity?
    • Is the visitor expected to become a regular part of the school community? If so, how will this be raised and what will it involve for them and the school?
    • How will the expected success of the activity be publicised? Is the visitor willing to be photographed during the activity? If so, how will the photographs be used?
    • If pupils are to be photographed, do you have the necessary permissions from the parents/carers of all pupils involved?
  • Do you have the necessary permissions relating to the pupils involved in the enhancement and enrichment activity? If the activity is taking place during school time, what provision have you made for those pupils who do not have permission to be involved (for a variety of reasons)?
  • Which teachers and members of the senior leadership team will be on hand during the enhancement and enrichment activity to provide support if this should become necessary (in addition to usual staffing arrangements for activities of the nature being undertaken)?
  • What are the arrangements should a visitor need to take a group of pupils out of the school as part of the activity? Remember, visitors should not be left in charge of pupils – the teacher remains responsible for the pupils even when they are off-site.

If you are taking pupils on a visit:

  • Have all the necessary permissions and contact details been gathered? Who has a copy of these in school, in case of emergency?
  • Have the roles of all members of staff involved in the visit been clearly described and understood?
  • Have all school protocols relating to visits been undertaken?
  • How will the outcomes of the visit be evaluated and followed up with pupils after the event?