Teachers', carers' & leaders' responsibilities

National Museums NI wants to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected from harm while attending any of its sites. Whilst the primary responsibility for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults’ welfare rests with the supervising adult(s), National Museums NI recognises our responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse and exploitation.

In addition to National Museums’ responsibilities, the organisation asks that teachers, leaders and carers of groups exercise their own responsibilities.

In particular, all leaders/teachers/carers shall:

  • make sure they have adequate staff supervision taking into consideration the ratios advised to them at confirmation of booking with the individual museum (see table below). Small groups require at least two adults to cover supervision in the event of accidents or sickness.


The adult to child ratio for group visits to the Ulster Museum and Ulster American Folk Park is:



Age group





One adult for up to a maximum of six young people (1:6)


Foundation Stage



One adult for up to a maximum of ten young people (1:10)

Key Stages

1 & 2  



One adult for up to a maximum of fifteen young people (1:15)


Key Stages

3 & 4

(Yr 8-12)


One adult for up to a maximum of twenty young people (1:20)

Post 16

(Yr 13-Yr14)


One adult for up to a maximum of twenty young people (1:20)

From Education Authority document Educational Visits, Best Practice (2009).


Due to the nature of our workshops at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum the adult to child ration for group visits is:

0-2 years           

1 adult to 3 children                                                                    

2-3 years

1 adult to 4 children

4+ years

1 adult to 10 children


  • ensure they actively supervise the vulnerable adult, child or young person at all times
  • in the case of an accident, contact a member of museum staff who will follow National Museum’s procedures
  • in the case of a lost person, contact a member of the museum staff who will follow National Museum’s procedures
  • refrain from having possession of, or consuming alcoholic beverages or using proscribed drugs, on National Museums’ premises
  • refrain from either verbally or physically abusing a vulnerable adult, child or young person
  • ensure adequate insurance cover for the group and leaders
  • ensure that the appropriate group leaders carry any necessary medicine for vulnerable adults or children with them at all times, with the permission of the parent/guardian as appropriate
  • inform their group of the following behavioural expectations while attending the Museum:


Group Behavioural Expectations

Group leaders, teachers and carers should not allow members of their group to:

  • make any sectarian, sexist, racist or other offensive remarks toward any person or other group
  • vandalise museum exhibits or property
  • leave litter or drop chewing gum in museum grounds
  • enter areas of the museum that are cordoned off or marked ‘staff only’
  • use any lifts inappropriately
  • use bad language
  • access inappropriate internet / digital content
  • frighten or hurt any animals
  • smoke in any building
  • consume alcohol or use proscribed drugs
  • bully (verbally or physically)
  • engage in horseplay likely to cause offence or physical harm, e.g. use water bombs
  • use threatening, abusive, violent or sexual behaviour
  • bring any dangerous or offensive implement(s) or implement(s) perceived to be offensive or dangerous, e.g. toy guns, on to museum property


In the event that any of the above is not followed, depending on the seriousness of the occurrence, National Museums reserves the right to take such action as is necessary and appropriate for the safety of all concerned. This includes the right to refuse admission and/or ask the group to leave.

National Museums wishes to remind all teachers/group leaders and carers that the primary responsibility for the welfare of the vulnerable adults or children in their care rests with them at all times.