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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12092
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am a coordinator of an annual 10 day pilgrimage abroad. Myself

Customer Question

I am a coordinator of an annual 10 day pilgrimage abroad. Myself along with female and male adult team leaders take responsibility for the care of around 50 to 60 young people age range 14 to 16 yrs of age (both genders).
We are not a school nor indeed connected to any other formal educational organisation.
The young people come from a wide geographical area within the uk.
The group largely changes in personal from year to year.
Please can you advise re the extent of responsibility for 'duty of care' and our legal position with regard to 'In Loco Parentis'
With grateful thanks, ray
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Standard safeguarding protocols are the best guide to you when looking after a group of young people away from their parents in the circumstances you describe. In loco parentis basically means that you have to act in the child's best interests and do what their parents would do if they were actually present. The best interests of the child test is of paramount consideration. Your duty of care is to take reasonable care for the safety of the children, reasonable care being such a standard as would be required to ensure they are looked after, fed, kept from danger and they they have somewhere safe and appropriate to stay. What is reasonable will depend on the circumstances, eg, it would be reasonable on an adventure holiday to let the children take part in "risk" activities. On an art trip it would not. So the duty of reasonable care has to be assessed according to circumstances. Happy to discuss any specific concerns you have. In the meantime please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.