So, you’ve decided to run a school trip. You’ve booked the destination, planned the itinerary, and now you need to make sure there are enough parents available to support the teachers. Parental support is a great way to help with supervising the students on the journeys to and from the destination, as well as for the duration of the trip itself – making sure everyone is as safe as possible, and that all issues can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
There are currently no official supervision requirements in place for the UK. According to the Department for Education, it is the school’s responsibility to determine this, based on a risk analysis for the trip, as well as common sense. However, it is generally accepted that schools should provide: one adult for every six students in Years 1–3; one adult for every 10–15 students in Years 4–6; and one adult for every 15–20 students in Year 7 and beyond.
Here are some tips on how you can get parents involved with your school trip and make sure everything goes to plan.
Make the academic benefits of the trip clear
Explaining the academic reasons for your school trip is a great way to gain support and persuade parents to get involved. For example, if your class are preparing to study Shakespeare, taking pupils to visit Shakespeare’s Globe in London has many academic benefits you can inform parents of: helping students contextualise the play, boosting their understanding of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre, enhancing their enjoyment of literature.
Explain the benefits of parental involvement
Studies have suggested that a parental involvement in a child’s schooling can have a very positive influence on the student’s academic performance and behaviour. While these studies note activities like supervising homework sessions as key, taking part in school trips is also an ideal way for parents to boost involvement in a child’s education.
Make it affordable
It is important to choose options that stick to a budget when it comes to your school trip. It’s a good idea to enfranchise parents early in the process by sending a list of initial ideas before setting anything in stone – enabling you to make sure that the majority are happy with the cost.
Give plenty of notice
Parents’ diaries are often booked up months in advance, so you are far more likely to encourage them to get involved if you give as much notice as possible – contacting potential supervisors in advance will give them time to book time off work and make necessary arrangements.
Have all the details readily available
Once parents have agreed to take part in your school trip, make sure you give them all the necessary details in advance –letting them know what their child needs to wear, bring and prepare. If they are helping with the organisation and planning side of the trip, it is important that everyone has the same details such as timings, meeting points and travel. Parents that get involved in well-organised trips are far more likely to take part again than those on disorganised trips.
Reassure them with health and safety information
It is important to make sure that all parent volunteers are equipped with information about the school’s health and safety policy, as well as emergency contact numbers so that they know what to do if anything unexpected occurs during a trip.
These are just some of the ways you can encourage parents involved in your school trip and make sure it runs smoothly and efficiently. Remember, plan well in advance and make it fun and educational for their children. For more ideas and information about organising school trips for your students, contact us at Study Experiences.