Planning Successful and Educational

School trips need meticulous planning and careful preparation, and for the party leader there is a lot of responsibility to undertake. From deciding where to go and who to book with, to risk assessments and packing lists for the students, there is so much to think about. This article outlines a few tips to help you break down the planning process into manageable pieces.

Educational Aspect

Every school tour must be justified to both the students and the school you are working for. The amount of organisation involved and financial implication has to be worth it and the potential educational benefit to the students must be considered. School trips have to be passed by the head teacher and a detailed proposal of the itinerary must be presented. Local Educational Authorities can be contacted for access to the correct procedure that must be adhered to when planning such tours; this procedure is designed to help you, as the organiser, tick all the boxes.

The Financial Implication

Educational budgets are always tight, so school trips have to be priced carefully. Many museums and venues are free to students but some will incur a cost; this must all be costed out so that parents are aware of the financial responsibility. For many schools and Local Educational Authorities, any contributions have to be voluntary but the parents must be relied upon to foot the bill. A letter must go out to parents detailing the costs and advising them that the cost is their responsibility.

How Many Adults Are Going?

The ratio of adults to students is very important and this ratio will vary depending on the age of the students and what activities they will be involved in. Parents will often volunteer to accompany the group, but they will have to be recruited well in advance so you have adequate supervisors.

Assessing the Risks

Risk assessments are of paramount importance, especially where children are concerned. Risk assessment forms may be required and must be completed along with any additional forms for specific activities included. The forms highlight any potential hazards and how these will be controlled. All forms must go to the head teacher before the excursion is approved. Booking with a reputable education travel company means risk assessments will all be comprehensive and simple to complete.

Food

Foreign countries mean, of course, foreign food, which, especially for younger children on their first trip away from home, can cause upset. Make sure you will have access to a variety of foods and that any vegetarians or children with specific dietary requirements are provided for. Trying new foods should be encouraged but there must always be something for the children to eat so they keep their energy up and maintain their concentration levels. It is always a good idea to plan more educational excursions in the mornings, as this is when the students will be more able to concentrate.

Preparation is Key

Children should be encouraged to research their trip and corresponding subject so they know what they are visiting and its significance to their learning experience. In turn, parents must be armed with as much information as possible so they are comfortable with their child heading off on their own.

Good planning is key to successful school trips, so break down the process and make sure yours is as smooth, fun and educational as possible.