As the guardian for students in your care, you are responsible for ensuring appropriate risk management strategies have been put in place prior to a visit and that these strategies are followed during the visit.
Safety starts with good planning
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has developed comprehensive guidelines for planning outdoor activities for use by all Victorian schools. This includes a step-by-step process to risk management including a range of proformas to be used in your school’s excursion approval process.
Guidelines are also provided for the safe conduct of a range of outdoor activities that are often included in school programs such as abseiling, bushwalking, canoeing and overnight camping.
Ensure your students are informed
Prior to any visit, please make sure your students are aware of the type of environment they will be entering and how to respond to any hazards they encounter.
Ensure your students wear appropriate clothing and footwear or have this packed prior to leaving for your excursion. You could be held liable if you take students without appropriate clothing, footwear or equipment on an outdoor activity and an incident occurs.
On arrival at the park, please reinforce appropriate safety message with students such as staying on marked tracks and following all park signage.
Stick to the limits
The larger size of many school groups can have a significant impact on the environment. To reduce the impact of visitation, most parks have limits on the size of groups that can use areas like trails and campgrounds.
Each site will have its own group size limit based on a range of factors like toilet and washing facilities, how close the site is to sensitive environmental areas as well as safety factors such as the ability to respond to emergency situations at that site.
To find out the maximum group size at various sites call the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963.
Always stick to the limits as advised by Parks Victoria. Exceeding the limits breaches the DEECD Safety Guidelines and potentially opens the organising teacher up to liability for negligence in the case of an incident.
Keep informed about park conditions
As the organiser of a school excursion it is your responsibility to keep up-to-date with the current conditions in the park and be aware of any closures or hazards that may be in the park. Please refer to the following immediately prior to your visit. For further information please call the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963. Details of your visit should also be discussed with the local park office. If they are aware of your whereabouts, they will be better able to contact you if conditions in the park change.
- Change in park conditions - any change of conditions will be listed on the individual parks’ page.
- Code red park closures - information about park closures due to Total Fire Ban.
- Traveller Safety - a pre-visit checklist as well as information about what to do in case conditions change during your visit.
- Tree risk - information about the risk of falling trees and limbs.
- Bureau of Meteorology - view the latest forecasts and warnings for Victoria.
07 Nov 2013
Lara Primary School and Serendip Sanctuary have had a very successful year so far, and they’re hoping it’s going to continue. So far this year they have won two NAB Schools First Impact Grants; $30,000 in September and a further $30,000 in the Living Sustainably category. On November 28th they…
15 Nov 2013 7:00pm - 2 Mar 2014 9:00pm
Fun, low key club mountain bike racing held on Friday nights over the Summer
14 Dec 2013 9:00am - 15 Dec 2013 5:00pm
Escape to the mountains for a dose of sub-alpine walking before Christmas!! Help out with some track marking and once you reach the summit, relax and soak up wonderful wilderness views. For those who are happy to camp there will be a base-camp at Native Dog Flat for at least…
15 Dec 2013 2:30pm-4:30pm
The Melbourne Tramways Band will be holding their "Christmas Swingalong" recitial at the open air bandstand in Wattle Park in Burwood (weather permitting). Mel 60 J3. Bring your own rug or chair. If a concert is to be cancelled, we will advise Parks Victoria by midday and you may check…
4 Jan 2014 5:50pm-9:30pm
Register today for The Food for Health Portsea Twilight! Choose from the 3.75km or 7.75km course that takes you along the roads and trails of the Point Nepean National Park. The course takes in undulating short, sharp hills and exquisite natural landscapes. It is a great event for all those…
Parks Victoria’s new crew of seasonal rangers is heading out to parks around the...Parks Victoria’s new crew of seasonal rangers is heading out to parks around the state to help out during its busiest season. The team of 38 rangers includes 11 marine specialists who will be based at various coastal parks and reserves to help with summer visitor programs. Pictured are a group in training at the Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary last week.View post | Thu, 12 Dec 2013 16.57
Escape to the mountains for a dose of sub-alpine walking with the Friends of Cob...Escape to the mountains for a dose of sub-alpine walking with the Friends of Cobberas this weekend 14-15 December. Help out with some track marking and once you reach the summit, relax and soak up wonderful wilderness views. Happy campers can stay at Native Dog Flat base-camp for at least one night. For non-campers, accommodation is available about an hour from the site. Visitors and new members most welcome. Email: email@example.com for more details.View post | Wed, 11 Dec 2013 15.52
It’s International Mountain Day today and there’s plenty of mountains, large and...It’s International Mountain Day today and there’s plenty of mountains, large and small, for you to enjoy in Victoria. Only 90 minutes from Melbourne, you’ll feel like you’re scaling to great heights at Cathedral Range State Park. While the park is a mecca for climbers there are tracks that anyone with moderate fitness can have a shot at climbing to the peak and enjoying the spectacular 360 degree views. http://bit.ly/1bun2RCView post | Wed, 11 Dec 2013 09.48
Great Victorian Fish Count at the Barwon Bluff Marine SanctuaryView post | Tue, 10 Dec 2013 14.37
It's a girl! Conservation Volunteers project officer Travis Scicchitano holds th...It's a girl! Conservation Volunteers project officer Travis Scicchitano holds this precious baby, trapped as part of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot revival program at Woodlands Historic Park. This is the first generation of Woodlands bandicoots and comes after three years of hard work preparing and maintaining the back paddock at Woodlands. Well done to the EBB recovery team which includes Conservation Volunteers, Parks Victoria and Zoos Victoria.View post | Tue, 10 Dec 2013 10.55