The first hurdle when planning a school trip is getting the go ahead from the decision makers at your school – and we know this can sometimes be a long process. So to help you out (because we know organising a school trip is no mean feat), we’ve got some useful tips to help things run as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Highlight the benefits of learning outside the classroom
We realise that taking students and teachers away from the classroom during term time doesn’t just impact those going on the trip, but also those at the school who aren’t. Supply teachers may need to be brought in to cover lessons, so it’s important to highlight the benefits a school trip can bring and how they outweigh any potential logistical issues.
We recommend pointing to the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) studies which have shown that it’s “not only about what we learn, but most importantly, how and where we learn.”
The opportunity to go away on a school trip opens up doors for students who may never have been away from home before, and can therefore improve their personal, emotional and social skills, relationships with peers and teachers, as well as open up their mind to different cultures and possibilities.
Not all students learn in the same way. Some simply don’t thrive in a classroom environment, so by going out into the field and seeing their subject up close and personal, it can re-motivate them at a critical point in their education.
Reassure them about the students’ health and safety
One of the most important questions your decision makers will have will be around the health and safety the students – something you can let us take care of. We’re School Travel Forum (STF) Founder Members and can provide you with risk assessments, so you can assure your SLT that all services used are health and safety audited as per the STF.
You also have our support 24/7 whilst you’re away with an emergency number that’s manned by a member of staff ready to help you with whatever you need. Your permissions for a trip to go ahead should be no problem with all of the supporting documentation we can provide.
Reassure them about financial security
Choosing a company that’s financially secure and knowing that parents’ money is safe is extremely important. Rayburn Tours has been operating for 55 years and we hold a variety of important accreditations. We’re ABTA members, ATOL licenced, Founder Members of the STF and have an LOtC badge. Your school can book with us knowing that they’re in safe and experienced hands.
Highlight the benefits of tailored learning and support
As everything we do is tailor-made, we can design your trip to match your learning objectives and make sure that your students are getting the right trip for them.
We can hand-pick experiences that’ll complement the curriculum you’re teaching in the classroom. We can even provide experienced Field Study Tutors and History Tour Guides to accompany you on your trip and engage your students in the subject, taking the pressure off those staff accompanying the students.
Happy to do the teaching but a bit worried about the language barrier? Not a problem. We can include a Tour Manager who speaks the local language and will take care of all the local logistics for you.
Speak to other schools who have travelled with Rayburn
We can provide you with contact details of other party leaders who have travelled with Rayburn Tours so you can get a first-hand account of their experience with us. Sometimes hearing from other schools is the final piece of supporting information your SLT will need to allow you to get the trip off the ground.
Getting parents on board
So, you’ve been given permission to run your trip and you’ve spent time working with your dedicated Rayburn Tours consultant to create the perfect tailored itinerary – now to get the parents on board!
As a parent, the internal struggle between wanting your child to go out into the world and have different experiences and to wrap them in cotton wool is an age-old one! The best way to get parents to sign up their children for your trip is to give them as much information as possible through a variety of methods.
Hold a parents information evening
One of the best ways to give parents as much information as possible, as well as the opportunity to ask any questions, is to hold a parents evening.
We can help you prepare for this by providing you with a PowerPoint, template letters/emails to send home and posters to put around school. If you’d like some additional support, we can always come out to your school depending on where you’re based and deliver the presentation for you.
Alternatively, we can arrange a live video meeting where we can present directly to the parents from the comfort of their own homes.
Highlight the benefits
Just like when you’re trying to get permission for the trip in the first place, make sure you highlight all of the benefits the students will take away from a school trip. The obvious ones to mention are of course how it supports their child’s learning and can give them a different insight into the subject. But don’t forget to mention all of the additional benefits, such as confidence building, motivation to continue with a certain subject, life experience and resilience!
Reassure them about the safety and financial security
Bring to their attention all of the health and safety procedures that have been followed in order to get the trip signed off in the first place (the hotels and coaches which have been audited and the risk assessments that have been looked at for the excursions).
Have information to hand about what procedures you have as a school should anything happen and they need to get in contact with their child or you, the party leader, whilst you’re away. Reassure them that having spent the last 55 years running school trips, you’re using a company that’s experienced in what they do.
Again, it’s important to let them know that you’re using a company that’s ABTA and ATOL bonded so they can be sure their money is protected should anything happen.
Get them excited about the trip
Showing pictures of where their child will be staying and the experiences they’re going to have will get parents just as excited as their children! Make sure the presentation has a nice balance of important factual information, but also great colourful images and even videos of hotels, excursions and scenery to ignite the interest of both the students and parents.
Draw on previous students’ experiences
A first-hand recommendation goes a long way, and what better way to get parents on board than showing pictures of previous school trips? Many schools will have a blog or social media account where they’ll have documented their trip – use this to show the students having fun and learning new things.
Try to get some quotes from students about what they took away from the experience and, again, don’t just focus on the curriculum and subject outcomes, but also the personal things such as new friends, a love for travel, and a desire to learn a new language.
Still got questions?
That’s what we’re here for. Message our team and we’ll help answer any questions – no matter how big or small.