Parents’ opinions on school trips I Oxford Open Learning

    Parents’ opinions on school trips

    For some, one of the best bits of childhood is heading out on school trips to fun and exciting places.

    Whether home schooled or in the education system, a change of scenery and pace can often be a welcome treat. Seeing interesting or exciting places in the flesh is often more stimulating and memorable than reading about it in a book, but what do parents think of school trips, their cost and their content? We asked 1,697 UK parents of children aged 16 or younger to find out more.

    The UK’s most popular school trip destinations

    We asked parents which types of attractions they thought were the best school trip destinations, and it seems locations such as those involving science or history and heritage were favoured. Here’s the full run down:

    1. Science and transport (63.1%)
    2. History and heritage (59.7%)
    3. Wildlife and nature (55.7%)
    4. Museums and galleries (52.1%)
    5. Activities (41.3%)
    6. Business and commerce (29.3%)
    7. Themed attractions (28.7%)
    8. Theme parks (17.3%)
    9. None of the above (1.2%)
    10. Other (0.5%)


    Stage is key

    When asked how many school trips their youngest child went on each year, it was children in Key Stage (KS) 3 that were most likely to go on more than ten trips each year (9.7%), although some 44.3% of this cohort only went on one or two trips, showing huge disparities across the country (2.8% didn’t go on any trips at all).

    41.9% of KS2 students went on one or two trips a year. and in KS4, this increased to 57.3% (with 3.6% not going on trips), showing that school trips aren’t particularlu common for kids across the country.

    Cost is an issue

    86.2% of parents surveyed said they’d pay as much as £201-£300 towards a school trip in the UK, while 1.1% were willing to pay £1,000 or more towards the cost. Just over 10% were only willing to pay between £21 and £30, while the most popular upper limit was £101-£200. 1.4% of parents said they wouldn’t be willing to contribute any money to school trips in the UK.

    Do parents think trips are beneficial?

    Just 20.3% of parents agreed with the statement ‘I think school trips are a waste of money’, while 45.8% agreed with ‘I think children learn more from school trips and visiting places than in a classroom’. Some parents were concerned with trips organised purely for leisure though, with 13.4% agreeing that ‘School trips should be purely about the educational benefits rather than as a treat’.

    Many parents also thought trips, as a treat or otherwise, were an important part of the educational process (37.6%) and that there should be more trips available to children (33.8%).

    School trips are a lot of fun and can be a great way to add some variety to the learning process, whether it’s trips to the theatre for drama students, visits to ancient ruins for kids studying history, or hands-on experiences for budding scientists!

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    Greg is the Head Of Operations at Oxford Home Schooling and has more than 25 years of experience in Distance Learning and Home Education