The four finalists for this year’s School Trip Champion Award have been revealed, and it’s time to vote for a winner. 

The School Trip Champion finalists 2018

The School Trip Champion Award is one of the highlights of the School Travel Awards. It recognises an individual who goes above and beyond when it comes to delivering school trips and learning outside the classroom opportunities.
Last year, Jacqui Hargreaves, Head of Design & Technology and Food and Science at Vandyke Upper School in Leighton Buzzard, won the second School Trip Champion Award and the school was given £1,500 to spend on a trip.

Nominations for this year’s award were made by everyone from colleagues and pupils to school trip suppliers, and a shortlist of four finalists was drawn up by the School Travel Organiser team after carefully considering the information provided.

And now it’s down to you to decide who our worthy winner is…vote for them and tell us, in no more than 50 words why you have chosen them.

Vote for the School Trip Champion 2018

Meet the finalists:

Alan Butters, Enrichment Coordinator, Bluecoat Beechdale Academy, Nottingham

Alan Butters, School Trip Champion finalist 2018

“In my role, with responsibility for enriching students’ lives, I have built up a fantastic partnership with the universities in Nottingham allowing all students access to workshops and campus visits. I have started an annual visit for our Year 7 students to Paris for four days where they get to experience the Eiffel Tower, Euro Disney and other landmarks.

“I pride myself on ensuring that all students have access to a residential visit in each of their school years. I have built up partnerships with sports teams allowing me to take them to watch live sporting events that they would otherwise be unable to attend. I run a week’s Outward Bound visit as well as various career based workshops, trips and apprenticeship opportunities. This has all been achieved with no budget from the school and where the students are living on one of the poorest estates in England with the second highest level of childhood poverty in the country.

“Not only do I plan all the visits, residentials and workshops but I attend them all, giving up on average 300 hours of unpaid time per year. This will increase next year when I launch the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme at the school for the first time.”
Dominic Brister, Educational Visit Coordinator, Stamford Welland Academy, Lincolnshire

Dominic Brister, School Trip Champion finalist 2018

“In 13 years of working at Stamford Welland Academy I’ve progressed to EVC, adapted our policies to make learning beyond the classroom part of the ethos of the school and personally ensured that every single child has access to at least one trip every year.

“I’ve taken thousands of students to the Lake District and hundreds to the Ben Nevis region of Scotland with a combination of Duke of Edinburgh (DofE), Outward Bound Trust trips and self-led trips. I also help organise and support trips to Europe with our Languages department.

“We run trips to all parts of the UK, recently including archaeological digs in Cambridgeshire, British Athletic and British Gymnastics championships. I’ve secured a reservoir and woodland site which we now use for canoeing, outdoor fitness, survival skills and improving mental health. The boundaries here are endless.

“I run Silver and Bronze DofE and recently received my long service award from Buckingham Palace for 18 years volunteering with over 800 students earning their bronze in that time. I run my trips on a technology free back to basics approach and have the full support of parents and governors in this respect. I could wax lyrical about my passion and it’s humbling that someone has nominated me.”

Jon Clarke, Shadow Head, Walsall Academy, Bloxwich

Jon Clarke, School Trip Champion finalist 2018

“As Shadow Headteacher I am responsible for all of the learning outside the classroom which is extensive. Our school serves an area of deprivation, with one of the highest child derivation scores in the UK, making our work vital for the development of the students but a challenge at all times in terms of finance”.

“During the last 14 years I have personally led 75 Outward Bound visits, expeditions to Ethiopia and Everest Base Camp along with 14 ski trips, battlefield tours, languages visits to France and Germany and day visits all over the UK. Last year, I spent a total of four months away from home on visits, much of it in my own time. I have always felt it important to take a very active part in leading visits and supporting younger members of staff to gain experience. It is without doubt the best way of developing positive relationships with young people.

“In 2016 I was very fortunate to be awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship which enabled me to travel and learn from schools in the USA. Using that information, I developed innovative courses linking learning inside and outside of the classroom to raise student attainment both within my own school and with a wider group of schools.”

Nic Williams, Director of Business and Community, Blue Bell Hill Primary School, Nottingham

Nic Williams, School Trip Champion finalist 2018

“My role within the school, is to work alongside businesses and community members, to secure opportunities and funding that will enhance the learning the children do in the classroom.

“This may involve bringing sports coaches, artists and people from the community to come into school to work alongside the children or organising offsite learning visits where the children can gain new valuable experiences.

“Some of the school trips and activities this past year have included the following locations: Gulliver’s Kingdom, the British Wheelchair Open, Alton Towers, Drayton Manor, a one-night camp at Wollaton Hall, a four-day residential at YHA Castleton, a one-night Dino Doze sleepover at the Dinosaurs of China exhibition, seeing Gangster Granny at Nottingham Theatre Royal and a trip to the National Justice Museum. We also did a London Experience including a trip to see The Lion King, the Natural History Museum and the London Bridge.”

For more information about the School Travel Awards, including how to get tickets, head over to our dedicated Awards Section.

Main image: From top left, anti-clockwise - Alan Butters, Dominic Brister, Jon Clarke & Nic Williams.