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Completing a risk assessment for your school trip ensures that all parties involved are safe and protected from any potential hazards. There are several key components that go into a successful assessment, however, if you’re new to the process it can be difficult to know where to start.

The law states that school trip risk assessments must be completed before embarking on your trip. This is essential, no matter whether you’re booking a UK trip or a school trip abroad.

Our team has a wealth of experience planning safe and successful study trips for school groups across the UK. To help you with the process, we’re offering our expert advice on how to complete a risk assessment for your school trip. We’ll show you exactly what to include so that your assessment is fully compliant, whilst keeping your students and team safe throughout the duration of your tour.

What is a school trip risk assessment?

A school trip risk assessment is a document outlining all the hazards that school groups might encounter on a trip. This document will also include information on those that could be affected by these hazards and the steps that should be taken to mitigate risks.

Anyone involved in the school trip planning process should ensure that students and staff are safe whilst away from school grounds. As such, the person completing the risk assessment for your school trip should be competent, experienced or supported by a more knowledgeable member of staff.

Why complete risk assessment for school trips?

Risk assessments are essential for keeping your school group out of harm’s way. A thorough assessment will outline all the potential hazards that your group could encounter and how to avoid them.

There are several other key benefits to completing risk assessments for school trips. This includes:

  • Improving legal compliance

  • Demonstrating commitment to health and safety

  • Putting students and parents minds at ease

  • Eliminating unnecessary harmful activities

What to include in-school trip risk assessments

School trip risk assessments must cover 5 key areas to be fully compliant. This includes:

  • Hazards

  • Individuals affected

  • Control measures

  • Risk ratings

  • Risk assessment findings

We’ll discuss these elements in more detail below. You can also personalise your risk assessment to suit the exact needs of your group, so you could also include information on:

  • Staff to pupil ratios

  • Emergency procedures

  • Transport

  • Staff qualifications

  • Medical requirements

  • Support for special needs students


You will need to consider all the potential hazards that your school group may encounter on your trip. This includes high-risk activities such as skiing and watersports, as well as low-risk hazards such as transportation and weather fluctuations.

You can never be too careful when it comes to outlining hazards. However, trivial risks should be excluded to keep your risk assessment as concise as possible.

Persons at risk

Not all group members will be exposed to the same level of risk throughout your trip. This section of your risk assessment will outline which members of your party will be affected by certain activities. This ensures that you can put the right measures in place to mitigate risks for the right people.

Risk rankings

You’ll also need to assess the likelihood of encountering hazards, as well as their severity too. You can use a simple low, medium or high scale, or you can assign numerical values to your risks. No matter which option you choose, local authorities and senior leadership should be able to easily assess low to high-risk activities by looking at your ratings.

Control measures

This is one of the most important sections of your school trip risk assessment document. It will outline the precautions you have put in place to avoid hazards and prevent harm from high-risk activities.

A record of findings

You must record your school trip risk assessment findings to comply with health and safety legislation. This ensures that you have a record of your due diligence should anything go wrong.

The step-by-step process

Now you know what to include in your risk assessment, but what are the steps involved? You can use the following process to complete a thorough risk assessment for your school trip:

  1. Hazard identification – Outline all the hazards you might encounter on your school trip.

  2. Specify who may be affected by these hazards – Note down whether teachers and/or students could be affected by risky activities.

  3. Evaluate the likelihood of encountering risks – Some hazards are rare, whereas others are more prevalent. This step is essential for identifying common high-risk activities on your trip.

  4. Outline risk severity – Some trip activities are riskier than others. As a result, it’s essential to outline the severity of the risks you may encounter to keep your group safe.

  5. Record findings – Collate all of the information above in one document for easy access.

  6. Review your risk assessment before your trip – You must review your risk assessment and ensure it has been completed correctly before embarking on your tour.

Book a safe, stress-free educational trip with Diversity Study Trips

We can provide you with all the details you need to complete a thorough risk assessment for your school trip. Our team can help you to create a bespoke itinerary that meets your group’s educational needs. Once the details are finalised, you’ll have a great basis for your risk assessment.

Get in touch today to get started!

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