Planning your trip

This page offers help and guidance with planning your trip. You can click on the links below to skip to the relevant sections:

Planning your trip

Safely managed educational visits with a clear purpose are an indispensable part of a broad and balanced curriculum. They are a fantastic opportunity to extend the learning of all pupils, including an enrichment of their understanding of themselves, others and the world around them. They can also be a catalyst for improved personal performance, promote a lifelong interest and, in some cases, lead to professional fulfilment.

As always there is a need for planning, including a risk assessment. The key aims are to establish the proposed learning outcomes of the activity and to select an effective method of evaluation. With effective planning, the trip can be as valuable as other learning opportunities within the school and maximise the well documented benefits of learning outside the classroom.

Throughout the planning process of a school trip, teachers need to foresee and evaluate risk to ensure the children and the environment that surrounds them can co-exist safely. You can read more on our Risk Assessment pages.

Planning a School Trip: checklist

  • Before planning a school trip, make sure you have read and understood the school’s and the LEA’s policy on school trips
  • Follow the school’s procedures and ensure you are aware of your legal and moral responsibility as group leader
  • Next, search for local out-of-school education venues and providers here.

The following questions or considerations may help you to plan the trip:

  • What is the total individual budget for the trip?
  • What additional costs will be associated to the trip?
  • Will food be included in the cost?
  • Are the insurance arrangements suitably sufficient for the trip?
  • What will be the payment procedure for the trip?
  • How much deposit is required from each pupil?
  • Does the venue/provider offer pre-inspection visits?
  • Is the trip suitable for all students?
  • What staff will be available for the trip?
  • Will a member of accompanying staff have a relevant first-aid certificate?

Accredited providers

You can also visit the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) website for information about providers accredited with the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge.

The CLOtC is the managing and overall awarding body for the LOtC Quality Badge, which recognises providers offering good quality learning outside the classroom and managing risk effectively. They are responsible for:

  • Influencing and challenging learning outside the classroom policy and practice
  • raising the profile of learning outside the classroom and promoting the benefits
  • providing support for education and LOtC professionals, aiming for good quality learning outside the classroom that meets the needs of young people

Supported by the majority of Local Authority Outdoor Education Advisers, the LOtC Quality Badge makes it easier for anyone organising educational visits to gain approval and provides assurance that their chosen destination has met six nationally recognised quality indicators

The LOtC website is an excellent source of information designed to help schools, educational practitioners and other groups plan and carry out inspiring and varied school trip activities. Useful checklists and planning tools for teachers and educators at various levels can be found here.

Information that parents will require prior to the school trip

  • A brief overview of the trip, including dates, times, venue, details of staff accompanying the trip and details of the destination
  • A clear itinerary including departure and arrival details
  • Request for Nationality and Passport details, if appropriate
  • Travel arrangement details and approximate duration of travel
  • Accommodation details, if appropriate.Details should cover the name, full address and telephone number of the accommodation
  • A list of items required for the trip such as clothing, footwear, stationary, waterproofs, books, bags etc.
  • A clear summary of the possible risks on the trip
  • An overview of the expected conduct of pupils, and a polite notice concerning discipline and appropriate sanctions
  • Details about the cost of the trip
  • Payment schedule and amounts required by specified dates. Clearly indicate that deposits are non-refundable
  • A description of what is, and what is not, covered by the cost
  • Recommended additional money needed by each pupil for general expenses
  • Date of a parents’ information evening
  • Emergency contact name and number at the school and at the venue
  • A consent form requesting special medical and diet information and permission to take appropriate emergency measures

Useful links

You can find expert guidance and step-by-step advice for planning your educational trip on the Outdoor Education Advisor’s Panel website

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