Our 2020 reader survey revealed a number of interesting things, including how far ahead teachers plan certain types of trips and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s a round-up of some of the results…

Teenagers sightseeing

For us, it is always important to understand the experiences and views of our readers, indeed any teachers or visit coordinators who are involved in school trips. To get real feedback and to analyse trends helps us create content and services that are relevant.

The survey asked how your school trips had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and your experiences associated with rearranging or cancelling your plans. We were also interested to know more about how you plan ahead and the normal timelines you work to for different types of school trips.

With school closures and lockdown, a number of virtual options appeared to help children connect with attractions and subjects. We asked if there were any virtual learning resources you found particularly useful, as well as your thoughts about the role educational visits will play in the future.

The results

Unsurprisingly 93% of respondents said that planned school trips had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

But what happened? Well, 11% deferred or rearranged the trip; 61% cancelled the trip completely; while 27% did a bit of both.

For schools that had booked trips through a tour operator, 72% said that their experience was ‘easy and the company were helpful’.

Earlier this year, when schools closed for most pupils there were a range of virtual and online alternatives, to help schools connect with attractions and life beyond the boundaries of peoples’ homes.

We asked if respondents were aware of the way in which attractions and events had produced virtual experiences for them to share with pupils. 68% said yes, which demonstrates a good awareness of what was made available. 54% said they found some of the options helpful.

We asked what virtual or digital options respondents had experienced or used. It was clear that virtual zoo, museum and gallery experiences were the most popular. Some also directed families to online theatre productions.

To ensure we create content that works for your planning needs, we wanted to confirm booking timelines for different types of trips.

We asked: how far ahead do you normally plan school trips? You said…

STO 2020 Reader Survey: how far ahead do you normally plan school trips

For local school trips, the most popular timescales were less than three months (48%) and three months plus (28%) in advance.

We asked when respondents were thinking about organising school trips, 20% said this year while 41% said next year.

The below answer is reassuring. School trips might not be a priority at the moment for all schools but their importance to pupils’ education and wellbeing remains.

We asked: do you feel school trips will play an important role in a pupil’s education in the future? You said…

STO survey 2020 - Do you feel school trips will play an important role in a pupil's education in the future

Thank you to everyone who took part. We had 214 responses and they will help inform us about the ways in which we can help support you now and in the future.