CHILDREN are missing out on essential educational school trips – due to the cost-of-living crisis, lack of funds and staffing issues.
Studies polling teachers and parents revealed school trips are swiftly on the decline, with cost of travel and parents not being able to afford to cover additional expenses key reasons.
Also cited were the cost of entry fees and lack of staff.
The research of 433 teachers across the UK found, of those who organise school outings, 61% are less likely to plan trips now compared to five years ago.
Too much paperwork or ‘red tape’ is also a key factor into why trips aren’t going ahead, in addition to teachers not having the time to organise excursions and having difficulty getting sign off.
As a direct response to the study findings, Hyundai, which commissioned the research, has announced its ‘Great British School Trip’ programme which has been designed to inspire school children aged seven to 14 and to support shaping their future goals.
Through the ambitious initiative, the car manufacturer is investing £1million to send 25,000 students on school trips across the UK throughout this academic year, kicking off from January 2023.
It will offer bursaries to help the schools most in need to fund their school trips, including booking fees and travel costs.
Ashley Andrew, managing director, Hyundai Motor UK, said: “School trips should provide some of the most exciting and memorable times for our young people.
“They help to bring their learning to life, encourage greater engagement and inspire their future ambitions.
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“I know that’s what they did for myself and for my children.
“I firmly believe that they are an essential part of our young people’s development and something that every child should have access to.
“As a company that strives to support humanity and to foster an ambitious next generation, we are delighted to launch this pioneering initiative, which will deliver these life experiences as well as supporting teaching staff and parents.”
The study of 1,600 parents of school-aged children also revealed 60% agreed more needs to be done to ensure all children have an equal opportunity to go on school trips.
More than half (52%) of children have intentionally not told a parent about an upcoming trip, with 54% of mums and dads under the impression it was over their child’s concerns of their ability to afford it.
It also emerged three in 10 parents said their own finances and being able to afford school trips is the main barrier to sending their children on these outings.
The study of teachers also found 56% of educators who organise school trips have had outings cancelled or not approved in the last 12 months.
And so more funding to help cover the costs would benefit them hugely in supporting them to run more school trips.
The research has subsequently drawn attention to the benefits of school outings, according to teachers, with the opportunity to visit places outside of the classroom cited as the main advantage.
As well as being able to link topics and subjects in a more meaningful way and allowing children to contextualise their classroom learnings.
School trips are an integral part of a child’s education.
Parents also acknowledged the pros of educating children outside of the classroom, with 38% saying the new experiences it gives them beyond the classroom is a huge plus.
As well as this, they also listed that creating fond memories (34%), building confidence (34%) and it simply being more fun for their children (31%) were other advantages.
And 39% of mums and dads recognise there is a chance their youngster won’t be offered the opportunity to go on school trips during the 2022 to 2023 academic year because of a lack of school funding and volunteers.
As many as 70% of the parents polled via OnePoll said their children enjoy the visits they go on, with science museums, the zoo and adventure activities, like kayaking or climbing, among the favourites.
The Great British School Trip has been shaped around Hyundai’s vision for the future, Progress for Humanity, which focuses on how connections and collaboration can help accelerate progress and innovation.
All trips on the programme will cover important subjects such as art, maths and STEM.
As part of the initiative, the brand is working with Tim Campbell MBE as its Educator in Residence.
He said: “School trips are an integral part of a child’s education and not only are a fun day out but allow children to properly cement their learning outside of the classroom.
“I firmly believe in education as a facilitator of social mobility, therefore it’s shocking that so many of our younger generation are missing out on this opportunity due to circumstances outside of their control.
“I’m thrilled to be involved with this programme and feel that it is exceptionally timely, not to mention necessary, to put school trips firmly back on the agenda.”
Teachers can now register their interest here to be among the first to access the full programme when bookings open in January 2023.