Over the October half term a group of students visited Andalucia in Spain. My thanks to the staff who gave up the holiday to run and supervise this trip. All school trips carry an additional burden of responsibility and going abroad at least quadruples this. It is a 24/7 activity.
School trips fall roughly into two categories – curricular and extra-curricular or enrichment, the latter not being essential to the curriculum. The Andalucía trip, along with others, for example the ski trip and the trip to Iceland are good examples of this. However, trips like these can also provide a unique and rewarding learning experience for students. It can open their eyes to the world around them, as they develop skills throughout the experience. The true educational value of school trips is apparent when seeing the impact that they can have on students; individuals often acquire transferrable skills that can be taken into everyday life. The importance of school trips in giving students the chance to character build and develop their resilience, as well as grow in confidence and adapt to different social situations, is not to be underestimated. There is evidence that the knowledge and skills gained from such experiences simply cannot be taught inside the traditional classroom setting.
Unfortunately, little money is provided by the DfE to fund curriculum or extra-curricular trips. For this reason, we have to ask for payment. It stands to reason that without payment the activities cannot go ahead.
Oaklands is an inclusive school, and all reasonable adjustments will be made to enable students to access educational trips and visits, particularly so when it is a curriculum related trip. However, a problem arises when the activity is extra-curricular or an enrichment activity. Who pays for the enhanced level of supervision or support when a child with complex needs wants to access this these activities? To take a child with complex needs may involve an additional member of staff not covered by the trip provider. The cost of the additional member of staff would then have to be covered by the other participants, is this reasonable?
For more information about trips and visits please see our policy on the website