School Trip Champion Award finalists

Voting has now closed for this year's School Trip Champion Award and the winner will be announced at the ceremony on 9th November. 

The School Trip Champion Award is set to be one of the highlights of the School Travel Awards. It’s been designed to recognise an individual who goes above and beyond when it comes to delivering school trips and learning outside the classroom opportunities.


Last year, Chris Jesson, Head of Geography at Gravesend Grammar School, Kent, won the first ever School Trip Champion Award and the school was given £1,000 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.

Meet the finalists

Joy Stanford, School Trip Champion Finalist 2017

Joy Stanford, Year 5 Class Teacher, Mary Elton Primary School, Somerset

“I am a Year 5 class teacher and responsible for delivering the National Curriculum. However, I am also passionate about developing people, especially small ones! I find one of the most effective ways of doing this is to organise learning opportunities which occur outside the classroom.

“The most key outdoor learning experience I organise is heading up a residential visit to an activity centre in Bruton, Somerset. This has involved everything from holding parent meetings to organising coach bookings and medical info, completing risk assessments and carefully grouping children into arrangements which will both support and challenge them.

“I have also been involved in organising a coastal walk around our locality and organised and led an ‘Evacuation to Swindon’ trip where I arranged for 60 children to arrive at a local railway station dressed as evacuees, ‘evacuated’ them on the train to then spend the day experiencing life as a child in World War Two at Swindon Steam Museum.

“My experiences in the area of organising school trips/experiences outside the classroom have helped to provide support, advice and encouragement to other staff regarding the use of the outdoors and especially to a colleague who organised a short one night residential. Often my risk assessments and other paper work can be shared and adapted to save others time.”

Jacqueline Hargreaves School Trip Champion finalist 2017

Jacqueline Hargreaves, Head of Design & Technology and Food Science, Vandyke Upper School, Leighton Buzzard

“Vandyke is an Upper School and our intake from Years 9 to 13, and the demographic is very varied. My role is to run the D&T and Food department. In addition to my regular duties as a teacher, I work closely with a number of local industries to help enhance my learning outside the classroom programme.

“I organise an average of three schools trips each academic year and all of these trips take part during student’s school holidays, so no curriculum time is lost. I have organised over 150 residential trips overseas over the past 35 years. All trips are organised in my own time and I do not have a paid role for this at school. Trips include Technology focused trips to France, Italy, Germany and New York.

“Over the past 15 years I have organised very large trips that are whole school focused. These have included Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Barcelona, various destinations in France, plus New York, Boston, China and Florida. These have had group sizes for 25 to 87 students.

“My plans for next year include a sixth form trip to New York in October, a Year 10 and 12 trip to Sri Lanka at Easter, and an Italy trip in May. I am also planning a trip to Japan for 2018/2019.”

Tim Walker School Trip Champion finalist 2017

Tim Walker, Class Teacher, Springfield School, West Oxfordshire

“I teach Key Stage 3 with pupils throughout all subjects. We are a school for pupils with a severe learning disability (SLD) and this covers a range of abilities and needs. We have a bias towards language and communication skills along with personal, social, health and citizenship education (PSHCE) and I believe that all pupils are entitled to a full varied education regardless of their disability.

“For my class pupils I try to run a varied programme of learning outside the classroom linked to a range of curriculum areas. This year has included visits linked to PSHCE, Food Technology and History. It is important to explore different environments, and my class has been from woodlands to the House of Lords.

“This year my class visited Portland and Weymouth for four days to follow up work on a 'To The Rescue' theme by visiting the lighthouse, lifeboat, coastguard helicopter and beach lifeguards. It was a fantastic trip

“I have also recently begun the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at Springfield School with the older pupils in the school. The DofE award involves expeditions and we have now completed two expeditions by canoe on the River Thames, and have six pupils receiving their Bronze awards.  A great achievement! Like much of what I try to do, this shows how much young people with a disability are capable of.”

Charlotte McNeela School Trip Champion finalist 2017

Charlotte McNeela, Principal Teacher of Geography, Our Lady's Catholic High School, Preston

“As part of my role as Principal Teacher of Geography I am keen to develop as many opportunities as I can for students to learn outside of the classroom. With increased pressure on students through the changing of GCSEs and a greater prevalence of metal health issues I have been keen to develop a number of programmes to support student’s social skills and self belief.

“I have set up the Duke of Edinburgh Award at two schools which each now have over 70 students taking part in the Bronze Award. I also run Year 8 challenge weekends with the Outward Bound Trust in the Lakes.

“In addition, a project that has developed this year and which is very close to my heart is the boy’s development group. This works with under-achieving boys or boys who lack self confidence in Year 9, and develops their skills through outdoor education. Due to the success of the programme this has been extended for next year to include trips to boxing gyms and the local football stadium to channel their skills through an intense mentoring programme.

“I am keen that all the trips are accessible to all and so work very hard to reduce costs, fundraise and apply for grants to support students.”