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Latest Government Guidance on School Trips, Residential Trips & Educational Visits

By Tom Sanderson
Last updated: May 2021
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The Department for Education has confirmed that schools are now able to plan, book and take a school trip, overnight residential visit or educational visit.

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The latest government advice on taking school trips

  • Day School Trips to Museums, Galleries, Attractions & Theatres ✔︎
  • Visits to outside educational sites (Rivers, Lakes, Woods, etc.) ✔︎
  • Domestic Overnight Residential Trips ✔︎
  • International School Trips ✘

Day School Trips to Museums, Galleries, Attractions & Theatres

In line with the Government’s roadmap, the Department for Education has confirmed that schools can resume educational day visits from 12 April. This includes school trips to museums, galleries, attractions and other educational settings.

“We recognise the significant benefits of educational visits for children’s educational
development, as well as their mental health and wellbeing. We are taking steps to allow pupils to enjoy visits in line with the government’s roadmap.”

[SOURCE]

Any school trip must still be carried out in line with relevant coronavirus guidelines and regulations in place at that time of taking the educational visit. 

As usual with all school trips, the Department for Education is advising schools to undertake “full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits to ensure they can be undertaken safely” [SOURCE].

This may include the observation of social distancing, the wearing of masks, hand washing and any other procedures to keep you and your students safe.

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We’re here every step of the way to help you find the best teaching resources, activities, virtual school trip ideas & more.

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Domestic Overnight Residential Trips

From the 17 May, the Department for Education has said schools can start to go on domestic overnight residential trips.

This positive news allows schools to take domestic residential visits and enables teachers to start planning residential trips.

Trips will still need to take into our and relevant COVID-19 guidance and regulations in place at that time. The DfE also advises that children should stay within their “consistent groups” or “bubbles” for the purpose of the visit.

For more information, please see the DfE’s latest update (page 48) and their Annex C on domestic residential educational visits (page 67).

International School Trips

The government has now published its Red, amber and green list rules for entering England. However, and unfortunately, there is no published date that international school trips can take place.

The DfE states in the latest guidlines that:

“Given the complexities attached to international travel at this stage of the pandemic, we recommend schools do not go on any international visits this academic year up to and including 5 September 2021. The position beyond 5 September will be reviewed again in advance of Step 4”

[SOURCE]

Read the full advice from the DfE on taking school trips.

You can also find the latest advice from National Guidance. 

Booking a COVID-secure school trip for the future

Alongside the roadmap of dates, the Department for Education has set out advice regarding Credit notes and Indemnity in the latest guidance.

The DfE is reminding schools holding ATOL or ABTA refund credit notes that they may use these to rebook educational or international visits.

The DfE has also laid out guidelines and best practice for booking a trip, including secure appropriate travel insurance coverage. They also advise that schools should look for providers “offering no cost deferral to a later date or a full cash refund of all
monies paid against a new booking should a deferral not be acceptable.”

Other measures that schools should look for include:

  • insurance backing of ‘COVID-19 guarantee’
  • extended payment terms
  • financial protection in case of insolvency
  • membership of industry organisations

You can also speak to either your commercial insurance provider, the Risk Protection
Arrangement (RPA) or an outdoor education adviser to assess the protection available
and make sure it provides suitable protection. If unsure, you can also contact organisations such as the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) or the Association of British Insurers (ABI) for independent advice on cover and options.

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Staying up to date with the latest school trip guidance and announcements.

We’re so pleased that teachers can once again plan, book and take school trips. After over a year of schools not being able to take educational visits, students will once again be able to enjoy the wealth of educational experiences that theatres, museums, galleries and attractions can offer.

Over the next couple of months, we’ll stay on top of all the latest guidance. As well as all the exciting new announcements, trips and activities that schools can access. 

If you have any questions or would like us to help you find the best ideas and activities for you – please do get in touch.

If you haven’t already, also sign-up to our newsletter for all the latest, updates direct to your inbox.

Get in touch to ask us a question, get advice or receive your free personalised ideas.

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We also recommend taking a look at The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC). The CLOtC are champions of promoting learning outside the classroom and support schools all across the country.

Their national accreditation badge is given to venues that recognise effective risk management and quality of education. There are 100s of accredited providers across the UK including museums, visitor attractions, parks, farms and activity centres – and it’s recommended by the Department for Education. 

Here you’ll also find all the latest information, guidelines and more to help you plan.

Find out more about the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.

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Bringing school trips into the classroom

We’re really excited that schools can once again take school trips. However, we know that educational visits will still not be possible for many schools this academic year.

That’s why we’ll still bring you all the ways you can bring your school trip into the classroom with free teaching resources and virtual school trip ideas.

Virtual School Trip Ideas

Arts & cultural venues across the country have created innovative new virtual school trip ideas that you can beam directly into your classroom!

To help you find the best virtual session, we’ve added a new Virtual School Trip Ideas section to the site.

Here we’ll feature all the things you can do to bring school trips into the classroom. We include everything from online exhibitions and online performances to virtual tours and virtual sessions.

See all of our Virtual School Trip Ideas.

Download our Complete Guide to 50+ Virtual School Trip Ideas you can do for free!

Virtual School Trip Ideas Download

Download your free guide!

Get our Complete Guide to Virtual School Trip Ideas including online performances, virtual tours, online exhibitions and other virtual sessions.

All available for FREE!

Free Teaching Resources

Our Teaching Resource Library also includes hundreds of education packs, worksheets, educational videos, educational games and more – all of which you can download and use for FREE!

They’re a brilliant way to still connect with museums, galleries, attractions and theatres to find fun teaching ideas and activities.

Our resource library is split by subject and Key Stage, plus you can also search for a particular topic. And if there’s something particular you’re looking for – do get in touch!

See our Free Teaching Resource Library.

Get your list of personalised ideas.

Summary

We’re here every step of the way to give you the latest advice and guidance, plus all the new announcements, updates and ideas.

We’re pleased that schools can once again plan, book and take school trips to museums, galleries and attractions. It’s also really positive that residential overnight school trips are planned for 17 May onwards and International trips are currently being looked at.

For those schools that are currently unable to take a school trip but are still looking to bring their learning to life, there are loads of options to help you bring school trips into the classroom.

Do take a look at our Free Teaching Resource Library and our new Virtual School Trip Ideas section to find some great alternative options.

If you’re looking for something in particular, please do get in touch – we’re here to help! We can help you find suitable trips, virtual sessions and resources based on specific subjects, topics and more. You can email us at any time or get in touch through our online form.

If you haven’t already, also subscribe to our weekly newsletter as a quick round-up of all the latest news, guidance, ideas and resources you can use to bring school trips into the classroom.

Want more FREE resources, tips & guides?

We’re here every step of the way to help you find the best teaching resources, activities, virtual school trip ideas & more.

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