It’s getting to that time of year when schools start planning their trips for the warmer months and it’s not uncommon for even the younger children to have the opportunity to go away for a few nights in the great outdoors or to visit historic sites in the UK or beyond. Many parents feel very anxious about their children going on school trips and come up with a long list of potential hazards and disasters waiting to happen. But need it all be so stressful?
Do They Have To Go?
In most cases, parents will be given the choice as to whether or not their child goes on the trip. If it is a one day trip to a museum or other local site as part of topic work for younger children or to a historical battlefield for A-level history students, parents will be told that it will greatly benefit their child’s education for them to attend. Decisions about whether or not a child can go on an end of term trip to a theme park or a week-long trip to Paris or Rome will depend on the child, the parent and their budget. Parents cannot be forced into sending their children, but if every other child in the class is going, it can be difficult to refuse.
Before any trip of longer than a day, most schools will organize a parent briefing meeting or a question and answer session with the teachers who will be leading the trip. This can offer a great opportunity for reassurance and to find out exactly what will be happening on the trip. Kit lists will be given out for residential trips as well as a detailed timetable of arrangements for transportation and emergency contacts. Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions if there are any points which remain unclear.
For residential trips, parents will always be given a list of what their child should take. There is no need to rush out and buy jeans, designer hoodies and expensive trainers, especially for “outward bound” types of trips where children are going to be doing water sports or crawling through muddy bogs on an assault course. To keep costs to a minimum, borrow items like sleeping bags, jeans, waterproofs or rucksacks, and find out what the school will be providing themselves. Most schools put a ban on taking expensive gadgets like smartphones or iPods, and parents should encourage their children to stick to this.
While They’re Away
Don’t expect endless phone calls from your child while they are away as they will be too busy having fun and seeing new things to worry about how Mum and Dad are feeling at home. Try to resist the temptation to call or text as there is nothing more embarrassing to a teenager than a parent checking up on them. In emergencies or cases of genuine concern, text or call the teacher or group leader rather than your child for reassurance.
Morag P writes for a large range of bloggers and website owners on family, travel and many other subjects. Read more about Morag Peers on her Google+ page.