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The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) is the lead body for guidance, advice and training related to outdoor learning and educational visits in England and Wales. We support our members (currently numbering around 120) in their work with schools, colleges and services to children and young people.

We believe that every child in every school should have access to a comprehensive programme of high-quality outdoor learning, educational visits and adventurous activities as an integral part of their school curriculum.

We recommend employing or engaging an OEAP member who can provide high quality advice and training. They have extensive, detailed and appropriate knowledge and experience of the range of outdoor learning, educational visits and adventurous activities that are provided to young people.

OEAP’s National Guidance comprises a set of documents providing information and guidance about all aspects of outdoor learning and educational visits.  Although written for people in England and Wales, it is used by organisations all over the world.


Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel (OEAP) children holding the world



The threat from terrorism is significant. To provide some perspective: the UK government identifies five levels of threat from ‘low’ to ‘critical’. Since 2006, when this level was first published, it has never been below ‘substantial’ – the middle level. Like all risks this needs to be kept in perspective and managed in a proportionate way. Understanding the threat faced, and the ways it can be mitigated, can help keep everyone safe. The following guidance explains how you can be vigilant and reduce your vulnerability while carrying on as normally as possible.


Reducing the Risk from Terrorism During a Visit

When planning any visit, you should consider the likelihood of a terrorist attack.

It is sensible to:

• Be aware of the latest news relating to your destination;

• Know the current threat level in the UK;

• When travelling overseas, check the UK government’s foreign travel advice in the early stages of visit planning, at regular intervals, and immediately prior to leaving;

• Consider the threat of terrorism as part of visit risk management and include it within visit emergency plans – see OEAP National Guidance document 4.1c “Emergencies and Critical Incidents – Guidance for Leaders”;

• Know what to do in the event of a terrorist attack, including specific situations such as marauding terrorist attacks or incidents involving hazardous substances ‒ guidance is available at;

• Provide training in what to do in the event of a terrorist attack for the visit leaders and participants, appropriate to the nature of the visit and the group ‒ training resources for schools and youth organisations are available at


​ Children with backpacks outdoor hiking activity


When visiting crowded places such as a major city, venue or event, where the risk of attack may be greater, consider within your planning:

• Possible safe areas or venues, near where you intend to be, that you could use as an emergency shelter;

• How to minimise waiting time at busy venues, and where to wait and gather for head counts and briefings;

How to minimise queuing times to speed up security screening and entry, such as not carrying unnecessary or forbidden items;

• Ensuring that staff phones are charged and numbers shared;

• Ensuring that all leaders have all group information;

• Spacing leaders apart from each other;

• Providing a contact card for each participant giving a number to call if separated from the group, and the name and telephone number of the establishment;

• How you would get away in an emergency, bearing in mind that the direct route and planned transport might no longer be an option (awareness of alternatives and access to emergency funds to pay for them);

• Whether it would be better not to leave the site immediately with the crowd at the end of an event;

• The possibility of an enforced overnight stay and what this might entail (for example reserves of any critical medication, funds);

• How you might manage an enforced group split.


Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel (OEAP) Children sitting on grass outdoors


During the visit:

• Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings – know where the exits are and where you would run to;

• Be aware of the possibility of suspicious activity or items, and report them if you are concerned

• When staying at any place for more than a short time, identify emergency meeting points in case the group is forced to move and becomes split;

• Avoid congregating too long around entrances to major public sites;

• At ports and airports don’t linger unnecessarily on the public side of security screening. If there has been a terrorist incident recently, especially if it has been in the vicinity of your planned visit, parents, staff and participants are understandably likely to be anxious. You can provide them with reassurance by demonstrating that, in deciding whether to go ahead with the visit, you are fully aware of the situation, have considered the risks carefully and have planned to mitigate them in line with current national and local guidance.


Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel (OEAP) children taking part in a learning activity


Further Guidance and Resources

ProtectUK is a counter-terrorism policing platform to help organisations counter terrorism, increase awareness and stay alert. It includes:

Guidance about what to do in the event of a terrorist attack at, including: videos such as ‘RUN HIDE TELL’ showing steps to take if faced with a terrorist incident; o advice on what to do in specific situations such as marauding terrorist attacks or incidents involving hazardous substances; o training resources for schools and youth organisations;

The ProtectUK app, which offers actionable content that can help counter terrorism, including videos such as ‘RUN HIDE TELL’;

Action Counters Terrorism (ACT), an award-winning e-Learning package which teaches best practice to help counter terrorism and increase security awareness:

• Modules include how to identify security vulnerabilities, suspicious activity and how to respond to a weapons attack;

• You should consider completing the e-Learning to increase your counterterrorism awareness – it takes about 45 minutes 

The National Protective Security Authority, the government’s national technical authority for physical and personnel protective security, provides a range of advice and guidance.

The government provides guidance to help schools and colleges develop policies and plans to manage and respond to security related incident.

Advice about first aid in the event of a terrorist incident


Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel
Outdoor learning and educational visits
England and Wales