We last updated this article on the 7th December 2021 with the latest advice, guidance and rules at the time.
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The Department for Education has updated their ‘COVID-19 schools operational guidance’ with the latest guidance and advice on taking school trips.
We’re pleased that, as part of the guidance, the DfE has not said that schools cannot take school trips. This means schools are still able to plan, book and take a school trip, overnight residential visit or educational visit.
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 ✔︎ (see details below)
Day School Trips to Museums, Galleries, Attractions & Theatres
As part of the Department for Education’s latest guidance, there is no mention that schools cannot take educational day visits. This means schools can still plan, book and take school trips to theatres, museums, galleries, attractions and other educational settings.
Any school trip must still be carried out in line with any 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 and ensure that any public health advice, such as hygiene and ventilation requirements, is included as part of that risk assessment.” [SOURCE].
This may include the observation of social distancing, the wearing of masks, extra handwashing and any other procedures to keep you and your students safe.
Domestic Overnight Residential Trips
From 17 May onwards, the Department for Education said schools can go on domestic overnight residential trips and this advice has not changed as part of the latest guidance.
This positive news allows schools to take domestic residential visits and enables teachers to start planning residential trips for the rest of the academic year and beyond.
Educational visits will still need to take into account relevant COVID-19 guidance and regulations in place at that time.
For more information, please see the DfE’s latest update.
International School Trips
As part of the latest advice, updated on the 2nd December, by the Department for Education they “recommend that you consider whether to go ahead with planned international educational visits at this time, recognising the risk of disruption to education resulting from the need to isolate and test on arrival back into the UK.”
This latest advice still makes international school trips possible, however, for teachers and schools to consider the extra implications for doing so.
The DfE states in the latest guidelines that:
We recommend that you consider whether to go ahead with planned international educational visits at this time, recognising the risk of disruption to education resulting from the need to isolate and test on arrival back into the UK.
You should refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice and the guidance on international travel before booking and travelling.
You are advised to ensure that any new bookings have adequate financial protection in place.[SOURCE]
Booking a COVID-secure school trip for the future
Included in the guidance, the Department for Education has set out advice regarding Credit notes and Insurance.
The DfE advises schools to speak to either their visit provider, commercial insurance company, or the risk protection arrangement (RPA) to assess the protection available in booking all future educational visits and school trips.
Independent advice on insurance cover and options can be sought from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) or Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The DfE is also reminding schools holding ATOL or ABTA refund credit notes that they may use these to rebook educational or international visits.
The below is not included in the latest guidance document, however, the DfE has previously advised schools to look out for the below – which we would also recommend you to do:
- insurance backing of ‘COVID-19 guarantee’
- extended payment terms
- financial protection in case of insolvency
- membership of industry organisations
Staying up to date with the latest school trip guidance and announcements.
We’re so pleased that teachers can still 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, attractions and other educational venues can offer.
Were here to take the faff out of planning school trips. That also means we’re always 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.
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.
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 some schools at the moment.
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.
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.
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 theatres, museums, galleries and attractions. It’s also really positive that residential overnight school trips and International trips are allowed. Though recommendations of extra consideration are advised for any international school trips.
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.
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.