Since 2009 policies have changed regarding teaching cover for schools and colleges. When booking a trip, please make sure you check the situation regarding cover in your institution so as to avoid problems later on.

This has been called ‘Rarely cover’ but may come under different names.

Some teachers have encountered difficulties regarding ‘Rarely’ cover with school trip organisation, with Heads or Senior Management insisting this be implemented in relation to trips.

There have however been statements from the government saying that ‘Rarely’ cover was never intended to interfere with the running of educational trips. Such trips are clearly in the interests of young people however, and benefit them both educationally and socially. In addition they are supported by government initiatives such as the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto.

Rarely cover can be an issue in some schools, but in others not a problem at all. If you do come across problems or your management or Head interpret these rules in a way unhelpful to your prospective visit, try to:

  • Ensure that the educational aims of your school trip are sound and are thought through; this will help convince Heads of the validity of the trip and will gain their support. We know that outdoor trips and residentials are of benefit anyway; but not everyone is as enlightened!
  • Book early and get your trip in the school calendar – ‘rarely cover’ is often about planning (for management as well as yourself), so if your trip is on the school calendar early on, then you are more likely to gain approval for it.
  • Maybe change the length of the trip or the format – consider bringing a whole year group out as two halves – Mon-Weds and Weds – Fri; or a weekend. At TrekCo we offer any length of trip and don’t have fixed itineraries so we can adapt to fit your needs.

Remember that school trips are a great thing for young people – don’t be put off!