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Paritutu Rock, New Plymouth18 months ago, a Spotswood College outdoor education trip ended in disaster with two students and an instructor drowning off New Plymouth's Paritutu rock.

The outdoor education centre running the rock-climbing trip has admitted it failed in its safety duty to the students and staff involved.

Despite a review of school guidelines and a host of recommendations made after the 2008 Mangatepopo river canyoning fatalities, some in the industry say instructor/student ratios are still far too high for school trips and parents don't know what their children are getting into.

Juliet Larkin, investigates safety in school outdoor education programmes, and considers what can be done to prevent more deaths.

Image: Paritutu Rock New Plymouth