Your child is safe at school and on school visits. That is statistically proven. However, very occasionally, something can go wrong and a pupil can come to harm. This can sometimes occur during an educational visit.
The Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) was set up by Parliament in 1996 as part of the Government's initiative to prevent accidents on educational visits.
The AALA inspects and licenses commercial companies, and some others, who supply core adventure activities to your child's school. The core activities are climbing, caving, trekking and non-powered watersports activities that have an in-built natural hazard.
The curricular purpose of the activity is not to avoid the natural hazard but to use group and individual skills to overcome it.
Some 956 licences are currently held. Holding a licence means that the provider's management of safety has satisfied the Adventure Activities Licencing Authority and that the school need seek no further assurances of safety on its licensable activities.
For further details see the AALAs website at: www.aala.org/index.php.
Other kinds of educational visit, which have no natural hazards beyond the ordinary, are not licensable. However, in its attempts to prevent accidents, the Department for Education and Skills has produced good practice guidance to all kinds of visits as follows: www.teachernet.gov.uk/visits.