With the mounting cost-of-living crisis, school children are now at risk of missing out on essential education due to a lack of resources and funds. For teachers, it’s devastating to think that students are not getting everything they need from school due to something completely outside your control. But there are ways to plan fun, engaging activities for students that don’t require a massive investment. <br> <br>
What is the point of a school trip?
While it’s fun to travel, by thinking about a school trip in a different light you may be able to come up with innovative ideas for how to engage your students, without spending more than the school is able to.
Outings encourage students to see their education in a more playful manner, and can engage those students who may not be able to focus well inside the classroom. And if there’s no resource for a longer school trip, you may be able to find an outing that suits your class that is closer to home, but still encourages learning. Take a look at our 10 free school trips e-book for ideas on what to do. <br> <br>
How do I make the most out of the resources I have?
Teachers tend to be resourceful, but the fewer resources you have, the more creative you have to get. Here’s some things you can do that will help you stretch your budget further, and make it easier to plan a school trip in the cost-of-living crisis. <br> <br>
Start as early as possible
The earlier you can start planning, the better. By booking tickets and accommodation well in advance, you can often access better deals and save money. It’s also worth getting in touch with attractions to see if they can give you a bulk rate that’s not advertised on websites – sometimes, it’s as easy as just making the ask! <br> <br>
Get clear on your priorities
While schools are not notorious for giving their teachers unlimited budgets to play with, there may have been a time when they would more easily approve expenses for things like school trips. In the current climate, approvals may be scrutinised in a way that you’re not used to. But that doesn’t have to mean that you don’t get to plan a school trip at all – it may just mean that you have to think again about what your priorities are.
If you think your students will benefit from a trip to a particular location, but it seems like it’s out of reach, consider whether there’s places where you could cut corners. By finding more remote hotels or hostels, as well as free activities to do, you may be able to stretch your budget further. <br> <br>
Apply for funding
In some instances, you may be able to apply for extra money to support your students. There are various options, including Local Authority sponsorships in low income areas (find more information here) as well as grants and private sponsorships. One of the simplest options is to ask parents to join in on a crowdfunding campaign, where they can donate as much or as little as they can afford. And while this is a simple option, if you’re teaching in an area that has been particularly affected by the cost-of-living crisis, it may not be appropriate.
In that case, approaching a local business may be a better option. You may also be able to access grants through Rotary or Lions clubs, or local charities. Research what’s available in your local area and if they have any particular requirements. And if it looks like a big job, why not ask for help?
Parents who aren’t able to donate money, may be willing to donate their time. Ask if any of them are able to help you research organisations that can help their children have a fun, educational trip. Above all, it’s important not to be discouraged. Teachers are consistently at the top of the list of which professions put in more overtime, and when you may be worried about your personal finances as well, it’s important not to allow stress to take over.
Remember that there are many people, businesses and organisations out there who want to help you do what you do best – giving children a quality education.