Medway Open Award Centre is currently following the Government’s
guidance, which is taken from the expert advice from of Chief Medical Officer
and Chief Scientific Advisor.
As of 16th March 2020, ‘COVID-19: travel guidance for the
education sector’ issued by The Department for Education states:
1. Travel for children under 18 organised by educational
1.1 Overseas trips for children under 18 organised by
The government advises against any overseas trips for children under 18
organised by educational settings. This is because trip leaders would face
significant challenges in making arrangements to ensure children’s welfare,
should adult supervisors or children be required to self-isolate.
1.2 Domestic trips for children under 18 organised by
The Department for Education is not currently advising against domestic trips
(residential and non-residential) for children under 18 organised by
educational settings. However, educational settings should refresh their risk
assessments to take into account the latest health advice and ensure measures
are in place and agreed with parents in case children or adult supervisors
believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 and exhibit symptoms that require
We will also follow the guidance in the following https://www.gov.uk/…/guidance-to-educational-settings-about… and
amend our Risk Assessments accordingly.
Therefore, following the clear guidance above, as only trips
abroad are advised not to take place, we are continuing to run UK based DofE
expedition training, practice and qualifying expeditions currently organised
with the schools and organisations we are supporting and, unless Government
guidance changes, there is no current reason to cancel any planned DofE
expeditions and we will monitor the guidance on a daily basis. We do not intend
to go against any Government advice and leave ourselves open to criticism or
become liable for civil proceedings due to not following this advice.
Our own ‘Gold’ expedition, planned for the Easter holidays in
the Peak District National Park, with fourteen young people booked onto it,
will currently go ahead as planned, as well as ‘Other Bronze and Silver
Expeditions’ being held during the same period in the Kent & Sussex areas.
All our other training will also continue as planned.
If Government guidance
changes which prevent DofE expeditions taking place, as currently planned, then
we would look to support schools and young people to rearrange DofE expeditions
at a mutually convenient later date. We could even look to extend, with the
permission of Licenced Organisation’s and variations to the Expedition
conditions, the ‘Expedition season’ allowing expeditions to take place beyond
the end of October, with some amendments to locations, routes, Expedition
conditions, etc. This all could be achieved, thereby enabling students to
successfully complete their Expedition section, even if it is delayed until the
first quarter of next year, however, we do all need to be flexible at this