As demonstrated in crisis events that occur in different parts of the world each year, school students and staff can be exposed to the same risks as other travellers. With Australia’s education policies increasingly focused on ensuring risk management planning occurs for all school excursions and trips, principals and senior staff need to identify potential risks as an essential part of their travel and business management.
According to school travel specialist, Campus Travel, schools that fail to consider and address all risks are falling short of meeting their duty of care obligation to their travellers.
“The school’s senior management team is responsible for working with staff in charge of booking or coordinating school group tours to identify every possible scenario that could affect their student travellers,” said Ruth Ford, National Account Management Leader at Campus Travel.
“There are common school travel risks that principals and their teams need to consider, as a minimum. They then need to rate the potential severity and impact of those risks, and develop the strategies to minimise and manage them accordingly.
The most common areas of risk to school travellers include:
- Risk to travelling students and staff through:
- illness and injuries
- stress and fatigue, particularly from jetlag and the emotional stress of being away from home
- safety e.g. local transport safety standards and public safety in general
- personal security, including risk of local crime/theft or students becoming lost
- risk to travellers’ property, such as theft of laptops and mobile devices
2. Risk to the success of the trip, including:
- travel planning issues such as flight delays and cancellations
- technology issues affecting connectivity and productivity
3. Legal risks associated with failure to properly fulfil duty of care obligations
4. Financial risk, including:
- costs associated with any legal claims
- unforeseen travel costs
5. Reputational risk associated with:
- issues that can impact the school’s integrity, values and brand.
Campus Travel can assist schools in identifying all risks and preparing a risk management matrix that documents a comprehensive plan of action to ensure the school is meeting its duty of care.
To learn more about Campus Travel’s risk management services, or to talk further about this with our dedicated group travel team call 1300 724 349 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.