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Funding for School Trips

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 13 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
School Trips Holiday Education Children

School trips can offer unprecedented learning opportunities for students of any age, be it a day-long visit to a local farm or museum, or a week’s adventure holiday with fellow pupils. School trips enable kids to grow in confidence, learn outside of the classroom, make new friends and consolidate their education by seeing animals, exhibitions or events first hand.

But at the same time, for parents having to foot the bill of their kids attending a school trip, these can become a burden on household expenses. The cost of residential trips can soar into the hundreds, whilst if a school asks parents to pay for travel such as coach hire, even a day trip can easily cost between £10 and £30. Sometimes this bill might come through quite quickly, if a school wants to capitalise on a one-off experience, for example, such as a visiting foreign diplomat being in town, and this might mean parents do not have long to budget and plan for the cost.

What Can Schools Charge?

The good news is that there are a number of funding initiatives in place that should help prevent children from lower-income families missing out on school trips. The amount schools can actually charge depends on the type of school; this is not limited for private schools, but in the state maintained sector, while schools are allowed to ask parents for money to cover residential lodging fees, they are not permitted to ask for funds to cover activities that take place during school hours, such as, for example, museum entry fees - although this may not stop them from asking parents for “voluntary” funding.

In 2006, the then-Education Secretary Alan Johnson laid bare a plan to increase the quality and availability of learning outside the classroom with a £2.7 million funding package to improve school trips. These funds should certainly be trickling through to schools, and should help remove some of the obstacles to school trips.

In families where the income level means that children are able to claim free school meals, parents should not be expected to pay any charges for a school trip, including residential trips. Speak to the school, in confidence if preferred, if your family is in this position. Speaking to the school in advance of any school trips being planned, say as soon as a child has a new form tutor or directly to the headteacher, should alleviate any last-minute problems and save any potential embarrassment for your child.

Other Sources of Funding

Families who are not eligible to receive help with free school meals but are nonetheless facing significant financial pressure, to the extent that their child would not be able to attend a school trip due to a lack of funds, might be able to find help elsewhere. It’s best to look into this on a local level, because a lot of small charities work locally to help kids in this kind of position. Other charities that might be able to help include Gingerbread, Parent Line Plus, or The Family Welfare Association. The Citizens Advice Bureau might have more information on sources of funding help in your area, and families should approach them for further advice on available grants or loans.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi, I'm looking for funding to run out of school courses and school trips for children. I aim to promote Welsh culture, craft, teach the design process, out door education, give the chance to local Yong people to run courses and teach, and funding for transport and accommodation for school trips. So I'm looking for funding where I can meet the criteria then the schools can apply for the funding perhaps. Thanks, Jocelyn
Joce - 13-Oct-17 @ 11:26 PM
My child is a full bursary student at an independent school. Her class is going on sking trip and although her bursary helps with the cost of trips it does not cover friend bonding as educational. Do you know of any charities I might apply to for help? Even if the school paid part of trip I would still need to raise the remainder. Thank you
Neena - 19-Jun-17 @ 8:08 AM
lj - Your Question:
Hi. can I aak here? my daughter is having a school trip soon? where can I get help for the cost? am in a low income. and also want to find out about free school meals? I have child tax credit and working tax credit? but am only working 16 hours?

Our Response:
Please see CAB link here. You should also speak to your daughter's school directly as there is usually some provision to help those pupil's whose parents are on a low income attend school trips etc. Please also see Turn2Us link here for more information.
FundingEducation - 13-Jun-17 @ 10:37 AM
hi.. can i aak here? my daughter is having a school trip soon? where can i get help for the cost? am in a low income.. and also want to find out about free school meals?i have child tax credit and working tax credit? but am only working 16 hours?
lj - 12-Jun-17 @ 10:25 AM
My daughter spanish class is going on a trip to spain and Barcelona for ten days the trip cost 3,000 she has her heart set to go i'm a single mother she works part time as a cna to come up with the money its alot but she really wants to go i could really use some help she is 17 good grades working and she deserves to go spanish is her favorite class this trip would be educational for her but i need help to pay for it this would mean the world to her.
Tee - 12-May-17 @ 2:20 AM
I am a single mum with three brilliant kids the 2nd child in an independent school, they are going on a school trip I can't afford. Can you please help us. I will be soo grateful. There is a lot going on in ourselves we have a social worker taking care of us due to domestic violence. So we will need and appreciate all the help you can give us. Thank you. Poco.
poco - 4-Nov-15 @ 12:16 PM
Educational Visits - Your Question:
I would like to take my Year 6 class on a residential school trip, but nearly half of my children are entitled to free school meals. If the school had to pay these costs, we not be able to afford the school trip, but it is such a great opportunity for the children, that I wouldn't want them to miss out. Are there any grants or bursaries which I and/or the parents themselves can apply for, to help with these costs?

Our Response:
You may be able to apply through the YHA, see link here. The Henry Smith Charity, may also be able to help and while applications are now closed for 2015, there will be new grants made available for next year. Please see link here. Hope this helps.
FundingEducation - 6-Oct-15 @ 10:24 AM
I would like to take my Year 6 class on a residential school trip, but nearly half of my children are entitled to free school meals. If the school had to pay these costs, we not be able to afford the school trip, but it is such a great opportunity for the children, that I wouldn't want them to miss out. Are there any grants or bursaries which I and/or the parents themselves can apply for, to help with these costs?
Educational Visits - 5-Oct-15 @ 10:51 AM
Hello my name is Brandon,ime 15years old and hopefully be going on an expedition with my school and 12others to Ecuador,in July 2016with Camps International.The cost is £4000 per student,we will be working with the local communities teaching English understanding their way of life,helping them to earn and sustain a good living.Animal conservation and protecting the environment are also on the adenda.I am working very hard and have raised £1000 to date through car boot sales,coffee mornings ,raffles,quiz nights and donations from generous family,friends and neighbours.I was wondering if I could be considered for a grant or informationto help me fulfill my dream.MANY MANY THANKS.Brandon.
Bran - 30-Jul-15 @ 12:29 PM
@matrix_1211au - Grants 4 Schools was launched in 2006 to help schools access the many different grant schemes available to them. You can access its website via the link here. You would have to ask the provider what its pre-requisites are. I hope this helps.
FundingEducation - 24-Jun-15 @ 12:47 PM
I am looking to take a group of pupils abroad (New York) in 2017. Can I apply for funding for part of costs? any information would be very much appreciated.
matrix_1211au - 22-Jun-15 @ 9:49 AM
I am a supervising social worker who supports foster carers who ultimately look after young people and children who are in the care system. I am trying to find some funding for one young person who is going on a residential school trip. Could you offer support in this regard. I look forward to hearing from you. Heather James
Heather - 1-Jun-15 @ 2:53 PM
I would like to take my class to a farm, but transport and costs make it far too high for the deprived area that I am in. Do you know of any funding in Nottingham area?
pickles - 30-Sep-14 @ 6:56 PM
I am raising money for Celtic culture trip/ ambassadorship this summer for college credits, and am looking for funding available.
Keanna - 22-Nov-12 @ 9:43 PM
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