Fund your school trip

Everyone likes to take learning out of the classroom, but how can you cover the cost? We profile one corporate funding initiative that has enabled thousands of children to visit cultural institutions and enjoy outdoor adventures

Now in its second year, the South Korean company’s Great British School Trip programme offers bursaries towards booking fees and travel for schools most in need. It aims to support 35,000 children, aged seven to 14, to go on trips over the 2023/2024 school year, with a choice of more than 560 venues.

The £1 million programme has four themes – Breakthrough and Discoveries, People and the Planet, Journeys and Adventures and Imagination & Curiosity. It was established after Hyundai commissioned a study of 2,000 teachers and parents across the UK, which found children are missing out on school trips because of the cost of living and lack of funds. More than half of the teachers surveyed said they’d had outings cancelled or not approved in the previous 12 months and 61% said they were less likely to plan a school trip now than five years ago.

The funding available varies according to the percentage of pupil premium students, with some schools receiving help with travel costs and others receiving help with both travel and booking/entry fees. Last school year, the company provided funding support for more than 28,000 schoolchildren to go on trips. This year, having carried out research with 380 teachers, Hyundai is supporting trips that help plug the creativity gap with visits to institutions such as the V&A Museum, the Design Museum and many English Heritage sites.

Interestingly, despite the lack of investment in creative subjects such as music and the arts (as reported in FundEd spring 2023), Hyundai places a high value on this attribute in its Imagination & Curiosity pillar. Its research found one in three teachers say that students struggle to express their creativity within the confines of a classroom. And 85% of 18 to 24 year olds surveyed said the UK education system should have a greater emphasis on individual learning needs.

‘Creativity is something we truly value at Hyundai, with design, innovation and technology at the core of our business,’ says Ashley Andrew, president of Hyundai & Genesis UK, which has headquarters in Surrey. ‘We know from speaking to teachers that school trips are an important way to bring more creativity to children’s education, helping to ignite their imagination. As part of our £1 million investment into UK school trips annually, we hope to help break down more barriers to creative learning.’

‘We took 20 students to see The Lion King at Bristol Hippodrome’

As an SEN school, the logistics of organising a trip can be a barrier. Our students love the creative arts but most had never been to a theatre due to financial restrictions and the severity of their needs. A lot of the students have severe learning disabilities and difficulties, as well as sensory processing disorders, so they require bespoke experiences.

The free tickets provided by the Great British School Trip programme were a wonderful opportunity for the families and staff to take Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils to the theatre. The team at the Hippodrome were very accommodating, providing wheelchair access and ensuring there was space for the students who needed movement breaks. The students still talk about the trip and how much joy it brought them.

  • Laura Hines, middle leader and class teacher, New Fosseway School, Bristol

‘We took 26 children to an outdoor education centre’

Due to the rise in costs for transport, the price for travel can often outweigh the cost of a school trip. Moreover, our school is in an area of high deprivation so the opportunities for trips are limited. The bursary we received from the Great British School Trip meant we could offer more Year 6 pupils the opportunity of going to Lancashire’s Hothersall Lodge outdoor education centre.

Enabling children to experience outdoor and adventurous activities is an important part of their development and the trip to Hothersall Lodge meant the children could explore activities that they may otherwise not have access to, such as canoeing, climbing and a zip wire. These activities helped give the children a real sense of independence and they developed close relationships with peers and staff.

It was also great to see changes in the classroom after the trip. The children were willing to take on new challenges, when previously they’d have been too nervous to give them a go. The whole experience reinforced the important role that school trips and learning outside the classroom has on development inside the classroom.

Following the trip, Hyundai’s West Riding retailer brought three cars to the school. The children had great fun exploring the cars and getting up close to new technology, and we were able to talk about the importance of sustainability and link it to the school’s curriculum.

  • Yasmeen Abbas, Year 6 teacher and senior leader, English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School, Preston, Lancashire

Find out more

For help and advice on how to fund school trip and enrichment opportunities, see FundEd Summer 2022.

See also

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