Many schools will organize field trips for their students as a means of learning about certain subjects. For a school to be able to take children on these trips, they need to have consent from the parent or legal guardian of the child/children. This can be done using a Field Trip Consent Form.
What is a field trip?
A field trip is any trip outside of the location of the school grounds. It can be as simple as a trip to a local park on a trip to a museum in a nearby city. Some field trips are used as a tool for learning about certain subjects, such as going to a museum to learn about an ancient heritage, or as a fun day out. Regardless of how near the trip’s location is to the school, you will need the parent’s permission to take children off-site.
What is a Field Trip Consent Form?
A field trip consent form is a document that is given to the parent or guardian of a child asking for permission for the child to attend an event, such as a school, church, or similar organization. The events are usually off-site. The purpose of a consent form is to protect the school or organization against any liability should an accident occur. It makes the parent aware that, by giving consent, they are accepting any risks that may be involved on the field trip.
A field trip consent form should give a clear description of what the trip is for in relation to what they are learning, where they are going, how they will be getting there, any activities that they will be participating in, any special items or clothing they need to have (ie., packed lunches, sunscreen, a sweater), and any fees that are needed for the trip.
The consent form is also a means for the parents to let the school know of any medical conditions, medications, or special considerations for their child. They must also make sure that their child understands any safety rules and regulations involved with the trip. In case of an accident, consent also gives permission for a child to be taken to an emergency room or hospital should the child need special or emergency medical treatment.
Some consent forms may also include a note about needing extra chaperones and inviting family members to go along and help out. If the school or organization take frequent field trips, they may use a yearly consent form to cover any trips taken outside of the school or organization.
Free Consent Forms
You can download one of our free templates and samples to get a better understanding of what a consent form should include and how to use it.
What should be on a Field Trip Consent Form?
For the parent/guardian to fill out
- Name of the child(children) and their date of birth
- Name and address of the parent or guardian
- Contact details of the parent or guardian (phone number and email address)
For the organizer of the field trip to fill out:
- The type of event you will be attending
- the location of the event
- The person or people who will be in charge
- a departure and return date and time
- The mode of transportation being used (i.e., school bus, walking)
There should also be an emergency section on the consent form, which the parent or guardian needs to complete. This is used in case they cannot be reached and should include the name of the emergency contact, their relationship to the child, and a phone number. They can also include the details of the family doctor and any health care plan information.
Along with this should be a section that lists any specific medical details, such as:
- Special dietary needs
- Specific medical conditions
- Any physical limitations
- The date of the child’s last immunizations (usually for younger children)
- Whether they may have been exposed to any contagious diseases
Laws regarding field trips
The main purpose of using consent forms for school trips is to waive the school’s responsibility for any accidents or injuries that happen during the trip. Laws around field trips can vary from one state to another, and it is not always mandatory for a school to use consent forms for some activities.
However, if something were to happen to a child on a field trip out of the negligence of the organizer, and a consent form was never used, nor were the parent or guardian informed of the trip, it could make the school liable in court.
Frequently Asked Questions
This depends on the nature of the trip. Some trips don’t require consent if they are deemed to be reasonably safe. The school does have to alert the parents of the trip, and the parents can then keep the child home from the trip if they do not want them to attend.
Yes. It is a requirement to get consent from the parent or guardian if a school event will be taking place after normal school hours.