We hear from Perry Sladen, UK centre director for PGL Travel who shares a checklist that teachers should always use when planning a trip.
A school trip offers many opportunities for pupils to develop independence, learn new skills and strengthen relationships with each other and with their teachers. There are several things teachers should ask themselves when organising travel.
When you consider factors such as educational content, health and safety, support for parents and financial security, it usually makes sense to book with a provider who specialises in school travel.
Ask your colleagues or teachers from nearby schools who they have used; talk to your chosen provider about objectives and outcomes and make sure that appropriate support, activities, visits, and follow-ups are available to you.
Before you commit yourself and your pupils’ money to a trip, make some basic checks:
Are your specific learning objectives going to be considered?
If your trip involves an adventure element, will all your pupils be able to participate in the most popular and exciting activities that really stretch them?
Does the provider offer an evening entertainment programme?
If your trip is residential, is the accommodation of a suitable standard? (E.g. en suite rooms, teachers accommodated near their group, etc.)
Is everything you need included in the price?
Does the provider hold a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, which indicates it is fulfilling industry recommendations for high quality school travel?
Peace of mind
Will you receive enough free places for teachers and any accompanying adults?
If you are planning to travel abroad, is the cost of the trip protected from currency fluctuations?
Is the company fully ABTA bonded, or, if air travel is involved, ATOL protected?
Can you try-before-you-buy with a free preview visit?
Once you’ve decided where to go and who to go with, it’s time to sell the idea to parents. A good provider will have plenty of promotional material which you can download and present to parents – such as PowerPoint presentations, online videos, risk assessments etc.