App takes the hassle out of school trip planning

Date Posted: 03/03/2015

Planning a school trip involves spinning a few plates. Thanks to a new app, there could soon be one less piece of cutlery to keep turning …

It was back in 2008 that Apple coined the phrase ‘there’s an app for that’, referring to the fact that there was an app for everything if you looked hard enough.

What Steve Jobs didn’t realise, though, was that there was a flaw in his theory. At that time, there wasn’t an app that could take the stress out of organising a school trip.

That’s why, in the autumn of 2014, the software company semantise got together with staff and pupils at Ysgol Cae Top school in Bangor to create one.

Deputy head Mr Llew Davis said: “A few months ago I was ranting with a colleague wondering why on earth, in this day and age, we still sent home paper slips for parents to sign ahead of a school trip.

“If you pause and think about it, you’ll realise how horribly inefficient the system is. Slips can get lost, children forget to give permission slips to parents, once returned the slips need to be stored safely or scanned for proof of authorisation. So I decided to do something about it.”

With input from his students, Mr Davis went on to work with semantise to create the eezeetrip app, which was launched to the public in December 2014. 

The new bit of technology allows schools to create a trip online. Teachers simply fill in a few details on an online form about the details of the trip, then select a pre-created group to invite on the excursion.

Parents, who have downloaded the free iPhone app, then get alerted to the trip on their phone when it is published by the school. Parents without the app get sent an e-mail.

Next, parents can respond by selecting a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ option as to whether their child will be allowed on the trip.

The school receives the responses directly and parents can also arrange a payment schedule through the app.

The technology is free for parents and costs a monthly fee for schools, depending on their size. For example, a school with up to 100 pupils can get the technology for £35 a month.

Before the end of the school year the technology will have been taken up by more than 11 Welsh schools. It’s available for all other schools to have now.

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School Travel Organiser's Guide