The winners of the 2020/21 School Travel Awards were revealed during a special online broadcast hosted by Olympian Katharine Merry.
Attractions, providers as well as teachers and schools were among the winners, as voted for by School Travel Organiser readers.
Hosted by ex-sprinter Katharine Merry, the virtual event was a celebration of the school travel and learning outside the classroom sectors after what has been a very challenging year.
The ceremony was broadcast through the Awards website on 20th May and replays are available to watch on-demand. Trophies and certificates were sent to winners and finalists to help them celebrate their achievements.
Watch the on-demand video here:
Prefer to catch the 4-minute highlights of the ceremony? Just click here.
The unique annual initiative, organised by School Travel Organiser, recognises the people and companies behind inspiring school trips, including teachers, attractions and providers. A total of 18 awards were announced during the ceremony, including Best UK Destination or Attraction and Best Education Workshops.
Among the winners was Kingswood which won Best Residential Experience and Halsbury Travel which received the most votes for Best School Tour Operator while The Garden Classroom Team scooped the award for Education / Learning Team of the Year.
Awards for schools and teachers
Two of the awards recognised excellence within schools and each came with a £1,500 prize to spend on a school trip.
Walsall Academy in Bloxwich was revealed as the winner of the 2020/21 ‘My Best School Trip’ Award. Shadow headteacher Jon Clarke entered the Key Stage 4 Outward Bound Trust residential in the Lake District which took place in March 2020 and involved a 36-hour non-stop adventure race across some of England’s highest mountains.
The final accolade went to Andy Wright, headteacher of Bablake School, Coventry, who was presented with the School Trip Champion Award. The award is designed to acknowledge the hard work of an individual who goes the extra mile to create school trip experiences and promote the benefits of getting children learning outside the classroom.
Publisher of School Travel Organiser magazine, Rob Yandell said: “The circumstances we found ourselves in may have prevented us from staging a physical awards ceremony this year but they certainly didn’t stop us from celebrating this remarkable sector and those who work in it.
“The disruption to the education and personal development of children has been huge over the past year. We know the value of school trips and the positive impact they can have.
“Ensuring children don’t miss out on these life-changing experiences is so important to enable them to recover and reconnect after the impact of the pandemic.”
Rob Yandell, publisher, School Travel Organiser
“I would like to thank our fantastic Awards Partners for their support. We could not organise this initiative and event without them. They offer an array of fantastic experiences and support for schools. I would like to also thank all of the teachers and educational visit coordinators that enable children to escape the classroom and experience the wonders beyond the school gates.”
Thank you to our official Awards Partners for 2020/21
The ceremony also included a look back at the archives as previous award ceremonies were remembered and the impact they had on those who attended. Plus awards host, Katharine Merry talked to School Travel Organiser editor, Keeley Rodgers who said: “The last year has forced us all to think outside the box and we’ve seen some amazing innovations both from the schools and the providers as well , we’ve had things like museums putting their collections online, live streaming from aquariums and zoos. It has been fantastic in difficult circumstance and the last year has emphasised the value of getting children learning outside the classroom and to keep trips at the forefront of everybody’s mind.”
Olympic medallist and broadcaster Katharine Merry wrapped up the ceremony by saying: “School trips are going to play a big role in helping so many children recover and reconnect after the impact of the pandemic. It’s been our pleasure to celebrate this remarkable sector and the people who work in it.
“Thank you once again to everyone who voted, to our Awards Partners for their valuable support and for announcing our winners… and of course to all of you for watching.”
2022 School Travel Awards
The 2022 initiative will launch in the autumn, keep an eye out at schooltravelorganiser.com/awards to find out how to take part.
If companies are interested in supporting the initiative go to the Awards Partners page for information.