The latest advice from the UK Government is that "in the autumn term, schools can resume non-overnight domestic educational visits." This is fantastic news for schools, students, and the myriad attractions, museums and galleries who have been working so hard to be ready to accept schools again.
We've been through a period of national crisis and anxiety levels remain high regarding our safety, physical and mental wellbeing, and on educational standards. Many children have been out of school for several months, and we do not yet know the real, long-term costs of these necessary changes to children's futures.
As a parent of a child starting school this term, and as someone working in the creative culture, I know there are lots of changes ahead and that it is difficult to make long-term plans. However, many principals of education remain the same:
Learning outside the classroom has, is and will alway will offer many profound benefits, from exposure to new ideas, people and places, to new skills and knowledge children may not gain in the classroom
The more varied a child's experience is, the more opportunities they have to learn, grow and thrive
Exposure to other educational providers, in school and out, compliments and contrasts the lessons they learn from their teachers.
These experiences reinforce, challenge and build on the lessons they have in school.
As parents, teachers and school leaders we may be anxious about children travelling, but perhaps that anxiety needs to be addressed, embrassed, and discussed with potential partners.
Coach companies can provide clean and safe coaches to transport you group in comfort from door to door
Museums, galleries and attractions have systems in place to provide a valuable learning experience while keeping you safe, including limited visitor numbers, access to outdoor spaces, and hand cleaning facilities
Educational providers can work within your school with creative, engaging and thought-provoking resources to inspire students and teachers alike
Even if you choose not to travel now, we urge you to have those conversations with your local partners to find out how they're adapting to the new normal, what new resources they have, and how they can ease process of planning and organising a trip.
Read the full government advice here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.
Theatre Workout has undergone research and training to ensure we can provide our workshops safely in schools as part of our Outreach programme. We are also a school trip organiser and can help facilitate your trip if you need assistance. Find out more at www.theatreworkout.com.
Other useful links:
BETA (British Educational Travel Association) advice: https://www.betauk.com/
Learning Outside the Classroom: https://www.lotc.org.uk/