12 Feb

Why it’s time to move into the School Travel market

There are few things as rewarding as hearing the tales of young people experiencing their first adventures away from home – the impact that it has had, the confidence that it brings, the memories that are made. 

Giving students the opportunity to study geography and history in their real settings, immersing students in a language or culture or understanding other people’s lives and beliefs first-hand, all enrich the curriculum and bring learning to life. Research also shows that residential experiences improve attainment and help students to develop skills that schools cannot within the confines of the classroom. It is clear to see why 89% of schools believe in the value of these experiences and why parents prioritise these opportunities for their children.

The school travel market is worth an estimated £500 million a year. Over 25,000 overseas educational visits are undertaken every year to Africa, America, Asia and all countries in between. It can appear a very attractive market and one that could give immense satisfaction on an emotional level. However, organising and booking a school tour is very different to booking a family holiday or a standard group trip. Travel companies need to be fully aware of the additional organisational, management and communication requirements involved.

Understanding what schools need – to gain support from the school’s senior leadership team the experience needs to underpin the curriculum. It should be clear which areas of the subject the visit supports and how this can enhance student’s understanding and meet learning objectives.

Education for all – all educational experiences including school visits and trips need to be open to all pupils. This includes being available to children with special educational needs and disabilities. Travel companies need to be aware of and understand how different environments, transport and accommodation can impact on pupils with additional needs including any difficulties that may arise and how these can be met. This can range from ensuring there is an accessible bedroom to enabling a carer to join the trip.

Managing risk – it’s important to remember that you are caring for someone’s child on what may be their first trip away from home. From the moment the group leave the school gates to the time they are reunited with their parents or carers at the end, the travel company is responsible for the group’s health and safety. Robust critical incident, contingency plans and emergency procedures are essential. This is includes ensuring all transport used meets current standards, any company staff accompanying the group have the required checks, accommodation providers have been vetted and risk management procedures have been reviewed. 

Accreditation – the Department for Education recommends that schools use a provider that holds the LOtC quality badge. This accreditation ensures that the company manages risk appropriately and provides a high-quality educational experience. 

Our school travel seminar will cover these topics and more. You will leave with an in-depth knowledge of the priorities for school leaders, children and young people, the impact of changes in the curriculum, as well as changes relating to the legal, financial protection and health and safety requirements for this unique market. We will also explore how you can improve your product offering and the key trends in this sector. 

To find out more and register, please click here