School trips are generally a wonderful experience for our children. They are a great way to enrich what children have learned in the classroom and bring it to life, but they will likely have no idea of the time and effort that goes into planning a trip before they even get on the bus.
There is a bit more to organising a school trip than simply choosing a venue and picking a suitable date. Here are some things to think about if it falls to you to arrange the next one.
Sadly, these days, schools as with so many other businesses are being squeezed on budgets, so any spend is scrutinised and your plan must be carefully costed and broken down by detail to give a cost per child. Many venues do not charge for school visits, but there will be transport, subsistence and insurance to factor in. Parents might be willing to contribute, although donations must be voluntary.
The overarching aim of any school trip must be to add educational value. It costs time and money to be out of the classroom, so the educational benefit for the children involved must be obvious and it must be relevant – something that ties in with topics that have been covered in class. Write a detailed proposal that is fully costed to present to the head teacher for sign off.
It might help to consult your local LEA (Local Education Authority) for their guidelines, as they might be able to talk you through their procedures and will probably have suggestions for trips that other schools have taken.
The ratio of adults to children is one of the most important considerations for taking children off site. Check with the LEA for their guidelines on the age and activity being undertaken, and whether additional adults will require a basic DBS check. These days, the checks can be undertaken relatively quickly through online companies such as http://www.carecheck.co.uk/basic-dbs-checks/. Some venues might insist on a higher ratio than others.
Personnel Checks go into more detail about requirements for a DBS check to help out on a school trip.
Of course, different schools and different trips will have different requirements, so it’s a good idea to take each trip on its own merit and start from scratch with organising.