Who could be our Modern Day Shakespeare?

Shakespeare has remained arguably the world’s most well known writer, ever since he was producing comedies that are still funny today and tragedies that are still heart wrenching. But could there be a modern day equivalent we might imagine staying similarly as popular even centuries after their existence?

It is interesting to consider contributory factors to Shakespeare’s longevity. One would be the sheer volume of works that he produced. Another would be that not all writers from his era achieved fame while they were still alive, whereas he did. Because he achieved great status and popularity, a vast amount of his work was printed, and all of it in large quantities – far more in comparison to his contemporaries. As such his work was also much more accessible to the masses. A lot of his material was protected and survived because he was already a famous figure. Again, this was definitely not the case for many of his fellow writers, many of whose work has been largely lost or forgotten.

There are of course far more published and well-known writers on the shelves today, all in much more competition for public attention. To be considered a modern-day equivalent probably requires more than merely producing fantastic texts. Perhaps a modern equivalent to Shakespeare is not necessarily even a writer in the strictest sense. And perhaps they are someone who has made a significant societal impact through their work or actions, that will continue to be talked about.

An obvious choice would be Akala, who refers to himself as ‘the black Shakespeare’. Akala is a powerful figure in the 21st Century with important political and moral messages, which he presents on television and in talks to various audiences whilst his initial fame grew from his time as a rapper. He is now an incredibly well-respected figure and certainly a positive role model. He is a beautiful writer as well as someone who can contribute to the development of society. What makes Akala stand out is his fierce intelligence and the eloquent manner in which he is able to present his views.

Now for a more controversial choice; Kanye West. I am not drawing a comparison between the work of West and Akala, I think the latter has far more credibility and is better at presenting his views. However, I am comparing the impact that both have on our society. West’s fame is certainly undeniable and he has produced a vast amount of works in both music and clothing. He has millions of fans around the world and a huge online presence. He addresses issues such as racism and crime in his music. He has an important message and has found a voice to deliver this. One of the great things about West is that he gets people talking. Encouraging debate to address inequality can only be good thing.

So Akala and Kanye West are two people that I think could be equated to Shakespeare. Do you agree with either of my suggestions? Can you think of someone better suited? Comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Team building skills are extremely important both inside and outside of the classroom. They are also of key value later in life when you find yourself in a work environment. Focusing more on the present, however, there are a number of reasons why you should start building and investing in teamwork. Here, then, are a couple that will probably resonate.

1) Inner satisfaction: there’s no better reward than feeling satisfied with something you have achieved or, even better, in helping someone else achieve their own goals. That may sound a bit egotistic, but working as part of a team can be a win-win situation. Helping someone and making them feel better about themselves can be rewarding.

2) Work smarter, not harder: working in a team can go both ways; you give and receive. Your team members can help you see a problem from a different angle and reach a solution. For example, each member in the team may contribute a particular set of skills needed for a project at hand that other members may not have fully developed or refined.

3) Become a valued member of your community: team building may very well start in the classroom, but you will never forget what it offers once you are beyond it. It enables you to contribute to your community when you are still at school and can foster a team spirit throughout your life.

4) Discover your talents: joining a team can help you discover any hidden talents you may have as others around you may bring out the best in you. In school life, for instance, joining a sports team can be a good idea as you will learn fair play, cooperation, and sportsmanship.

5) Learn to respect another’s boundaries: members in a team, more often than not, have clear responsibilities. Collaborating on a team level does not necessarily mean that everyone will focus on one aspect of the project at hand; rather, it means that everyone will have designated aspects to work on and do so to the best of their unique abilities without overstepping another member’s boundaries. There is a valuable lesson here: be respectful of someone else’s abilities and allow them space to develop their talents, which, within a team, complement yours.

The bottom line is, in a team you should always offer your help when needed. Friendships and partnerships are built this way, and you will never be on your own – as someone in your team will always have your back.

Weekend jobs can be a vital part of a young person’s toolkit, teaching them life skills such as managing money and learning how to adapt in certain social situations.

Yet, with many parents divided in opinion, we asked a variety of adults to explain first-hand what they thought to weekend jobs.

Laura Evans-Fisk, 28, a Senior Account Manager from Carlton in North Yorkshire.

“I worked at the local village pub on a Sunday for around 4-5 hours. I started as a washer-upper, then ended up as head waitress, then chef and then when I was old enough I ran the bar. I first started when I was around 13/14 and I finally left when I was 22.

“The job topped up my pocket money and gave me confidence and independence, plus it taught me the value of money. I also learnt how to deal with awkward customers and how to run a business.

“In terms of school work, I think it probably made me work harder because I didn’t want to wash pots for the rest of my life! It also forced me to structure my time more, and to stop procrastinating, because I didn’t have the time to.

“It definitely gave me the confidence I needed to develop and believe in myself. If I could run a pub full of 50 drunken cricketers, keep them all in check, throw out underage drinkers, and stop grown men from dancing on tables, at just 21, I was pretty sure I could take on anything! It influenced my path as I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

Matthew Fraser, 25, a Senior Account Executive from Manchester

“I had a number of jobs form the age of 14; I did a paper round for a couple of years and then seasonal work at my local football club.

“I didn’t have to have a job and my parents never forced me to. I’m so glad I did; it really teaches the value of money, hard work, life skills such as working in teams, communication and determination. It also gives you a sense of purpose and helps you to develop life and people skills that you may not learn in school.

“My parents were strict and made it clear that a job couldn’t affect my schoolwork, which made me more determined to be organised and balance responsibilities.

“The part-time jobs I had as a teenager taught me to appreciate my current job. After working night shifts and weekends, I now enjoy my 9-5 role and really make the most of weekends and family time.”

Kate Lowcock, 31, a Dispensing Optician from Burnley, Lancashire

“I worked every Saturday in my auntie’s independent opticians practice from the age of 15. I started on reception and then went on to train to be a dispensing optician.

“I learnt the value of money, and, if anything, it gave me positive life skills such as developing good social skills through working with the general public and money handling.

“It had a huge impact on my career path, as I was originally planning on going to university to study a degree in Psychology and Criminology, but instead chose to continue in the optician industry.”

Benjamin Chapman, 32, a bank manager from Leeds

“As a teenager I did have a weekend job and, while it did help me to understand the value of money and hard work somewhat, I now see that I was getting paid almost nothing for something that was taking a lot of time out of my studies and games.

“As a parent, I think that it is important to consider whether your child is ready or not and whether they can afford to take the time out of their studies, as this needs to be the first priority.

“It is also important for young children to spend time with their friends and to have time for adequate rest as their lives can be hectic. It is most definitely a delicate balance.”

Charlotte Taylor, 26, an office worker from Leeds

“Throughout my teenage years I had a number of part time jobs, ranging from babysitting to glass collecting and waitressing. Coming from a single parent family it was important for me to have a job in order to be able to have my own money to buy the clothes or other nice things I wanted. I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom that having a job gave me, however I do regret the amount of hours I spent working.

“The negative side of having a weekend job was that at times I found myself enjoying work more than school and occasionally homework or revision didn’t feel as much of a priority. My advice to other students thinking of getting a part time job whilst at school would be to make sure you get the balance right. It’s important to remember that at school we are still ultimately children and education should come first! You might enjoy the extra money at the time, but getting higher grades at school will ultimately mean you’ll get a better job in the end.”

Essay writing is, for many people, a difficult skill to master. For some of us, in fact, the problems begin almost before we’ve even started. With this in mind, I would like to offer my own top five tips to get you past that first line.

1. Do some reading around your topic in advance of starting

It is better to use few texts well than lots of texts badly. Make notes if it helps you but what matters most is that you digest the information, so that you can build on it in your essay. To write a good essay you need to feel confident enough about your topic to write out a paragraph without stopping to look something up. An essay will always read better if it has been written in a linear manner.


2. Begin by thinking about the end point

By this I mean think carefully about what your conclusion is going to be. What is your overall viewpoint? An essay is a chance to put forward a balanced argument for a view you have on a certain topic. Your essay will be more enjoyable to write if you are arguing for a view that you truly believe in.


3. Plan your introduction

What are the key concepts that the reader will need to know about to understand your essay? The introduction is your chance to capture your reader’s attention, so keep it snappy and to the point. Any topic can be interesting if it is well written about. If you just want to scribble down some key words and come back to it later that is fine.


4. Plan the sections in the main body of the essay

Sit down somewhere cosy and quiet and get the main body planned in one sitting. Libraries are free to use and can provide an ideal workspace away from distractions. You know the key concepts you would like to include and you know your concluding viewpoint. Move on from one point to the next, thinking about how they interact with each other. Each paragraph and sentence should connect to the one before and after.


5. Get someone who has little to no prior knowledge of the topic to read through your plan

Your essay should make sense to whomever wanted to read it, not just your teacher who already knows lots about the topic. Ask them a few questions about the topic or the view you’re discussing in your essay to see if it’s coming across in the way that you want it to.


BONUS TIP: Do your bibliography as you go along! The feeling of relief when you finish an essay can be ruined when you realise you need to write out a whole bibliography. It will take a lot less time to do if you constantly add in texts as you use them, because you won’t spend so much time trying to find lost details! Make sure you have a guide you find easy to use when writing out the references. There is an abundance of these to be found online, so you have plenty of choice!


A hundred years ago, the weapons research facility know as Porton Down came into being. This will hardly see cause for much celebration due its nature, but is it something Britain still needs, or instead a grim relic of the past which should be confined to history?

Why did Porton Down come into being in the first place, though? Well, in response to the worldwide threat imposed by Germany’s use of chemical weapons during the First World War, in 1916, the UK government sanctioned the opening of a specialist investigative team known as the War Department Experimental Station, in London. The main purpose of this group of secretly operating scientists was to test and research the effects, and the possible future uses, of the terrifying nerve shattering chemicals, mustard gas, chlorine and phosgene on human beings.

By 1918, this research concentrated on the development of gas masks and respirators for the soldiers on the front line. The scientists work had become too extensive to be carried out in a heavily populated area, so the whole enterprise, now known as the Royal Engineers Experimental Station, was moved to a remote location on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire; Porton Down.

After the end of the First World War, it was decided to keep up work on the base. Now however, the work not only concentrated on defence, but also on how to use chemicals for weapons of our own. The staff at Porton, then as now, operated under the strictest secrecy. Bound by the official secrets act, very few of the scientists on site were/are allowed to talk about their work. This makes discovering what goes on behind closed doors difficult.

However, over the last century of investigation, Porton is known to have altered its approach to its work. Whereas it began by working on how to prevent and develop chemical, and then biological, weapons (in particular an anthrax bomb which – had it ever been used- would have cased death on a massive scale), its primary function now is to help with the destruction of all the chemical weapons made in the past, and to develop ways to treat those affected by exposure to such weapons, as well as extensive medical research.

In the 1980’s Porton Down was the subject of large scale and very public animal rights demonstrations in response to the number of animals used in the medical and weapon testing departments on site. Such was the public outcry when it was discovered just how much livestock was subjected to horrific experimentation in the name of science, that strict government guidelines were imposed. Now, government inspections at Porton Down are frequent, and occur without warning.

The ethos at Porton Down, 100 years on from its birth, has changed from the development of weapons to the treatment of those affected by chemical and nerve attacking agents, and on to in-depth research into worldwide medical emergencies. For example, in 1976, when there was an Ebola outbreak in Africa, the first samples for testing were sent to Porton Down.

Now split into two major departments – known as the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) and the Defence Science and technology Laboratory (Dstl) – the work at Porton Down remains topical. Although the use of chemical weapons was banned as part of the Geneva Convention, they are being used more than ever before by terrorist groups and some governments – particularly in Syria. In 2013 Porton became the base from which to test the samples of Sarin (a horrifying nerve attacking chemical) after it was used against hundreds of civilians in there.

A hundred years on, the journey of Porton Down’s development is far from over. Working hand in hand with Public Health England, Porton has recently expanded beyond Salisbury Plain into premises once belonging to the pharmaceutical group, GlaxoSmithKline. By 2024, this new base in Harlow is likely to be the main base for Porton’s scientific future.

We will never know everything that goes on behind the closed doors of Porton Down. We do know however, that it has weathered its deep unpopularity of the 1980’s, and has developed military equipment and fail-safes that have saved many lives. The unknown scientists’ continuing medical research into the treatment of major viruses and pathogens is in my opinion  indeed vital, as is their continued disarming of the chemical weapons that were made many decades ago both here and across the world.

On 28th January 1958, the very first Lego brick was made in the small town of Billund, Denmark by Godtfred Kirk Christansen. He had first designed his interlocking brick in 1949. Sixty years on, and Lego is still one of the most popular children’s toys worldwide.

Prior to being officially patented, the bricks were called Automatic Binding Bricks. After that the shorter name of Lego was adopted. It comes from the Danish words ‘Leg Godt’, meaning ‘play well.’

Lego’s bright colours and never-ending building possibilities quickly made it popular. By the 1960s there were 218 different pieces on the market, with each available in a number of different colours. Such was the demand to build specific models that in the late 60’s construction manuals for different designs such as cars, boats and houses were added to the boxes. In the 1970’s the sets expanded further still, with the addition of miniature figures with moveable arms and legs.

To mark its 60th anniversary, Lego visited the first British store to sell their iconic building blocks, Osborne’s Sports & Toys in Rushden, Northamptonshire. They covered the shop front with 277,500 plastic bricks. Measuring nearly 14ft tall and 50ft wide, the temporary Lego shop exterior took more than 600 hours to build.

In conversation with the ‘Trusted Reviews’ website, Jonathan Robson, a Lego designer who works across its Creator and Classic Ranges, said of Lego’s enduring appeal, “The principles of the design of Lego haven’t changed. It’s still putting bricks together. We’ve developed the model and experience in that time, and grown what we’ve made – many different types of play experiences – but the principles within the design as a toy haven’t changed. You can use those old bricks with the new bricks and build that model that you’ve always wanted to build.” He also noted that, “If you built a column of about 40 billion Lego bricks, it would reach the moon!”

And in terms of quantity today, In 2012 alone, 45.7 billion Lego bricks were produced, at a rate of 5.2 million per hour. It is believed that currently, on average, every person in the world owns a minimum of 94 Lego bricks!

When considering the attraction of Lego in 2016, The Telegraph newspaper agreed that the appeal of the product lies in the fact that the potential to build something is never-ending. At the opening of Lego’s London office in 2016, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp said, “Lego is a lot more than a toy – it’s a creative expression. We see a lot of adults hugely engaged with it. With Lego you can make the most amazing things — things you’d never imagine… And people continue to surprise us with their creations…”

Today in Billund, where it was invented, over 4,000 staff are employed in the production of Lego. As you might perhaps expect, Billund is also the home of the very first Legoland theme park. The number of theme parks has grown in recent years, all across the world, including one at Windsor in England. Lego has also managed to expand its brand further, into an increasingly competitive market place, by forming tie-ins with other big franchises, such as Star Wars, Batman, and Harry Potter. These partnerships, in turn, have even seen Lego enjoying success at the cinema.

In an age of high technology, when a computer game is only ever an arm’s reach away (it may also be pointed out that Lego has been hugely successful in this medium, with it arguably even being the trigger for a resurgence in the original product’s popularity), the Lego brick continues to absorb both children and adults alike. With its endless opportunities to engage our imaginations, and make – literally- anything. The perfect combination of constructive fun, Lego’s little coloured blocks have not only endured, but survived and thrived.

Romance writing has always had a second class reputation in the world of literature. It is frequently considered the easy option, both to read and to write. It’s also frequently assumed to be trashy or low grade fiction; the literary alternative to reality television.

Why these opinions are so widely held is something of a mystery when romance outsells every other genre. And what of novels such as Jayne Eyre (above)? Gothic, perhaps, but certainly romantic. One of the most successful authors of the modern world, Nora Roberts, has had novels in the New York Times Bestsellers list on 191 occasions, and yet only twice has that same publication reviewed her work. The chief accusation levelled at romance is that it’s “an easy read.” Personally, I’m not sure why that’s a bad thing. We all work hard these days; a bit of escapism, in whatever genre, has to be a good thing.

In the Victorian era romance was considered not only to be of poor quality, but dangerous. There was a very real fear amongst the male population that if women read romantic books they would get unrealistic expectations about what married life had in store for them. This concept of unrealistic expectations is still an accusation levelled at romantic fiction. It is an odd argument. You rarely hear people say “I don’t like science fiction or horror because it is unrealistic.’ Surely that’s the point. Fiction is often based in reality but it is, by definition, made up. It’s escapism. It’s entertainment. Something to draw us away from our day to day lives for a while. If being unrealistic in fiction was an issue then Tolkien would never have written a word.

Another problem laid at romance’s door is that it is formulaic. This is to some extent true. Romances have two people meeting, they get on, they then fall out, they overcome their issues and get on again; there is then another problem which has to be overcome prior to a happy ending. The mistake people make is thinking that writing with a formula makes it an easier task. It doesn’t. The reverse is true. Having rules to write by is very difficult; especially if you want to be original with your work. And finally, the most baffling anti-romance novel argument of all is “they always have a happy ending.” So do most crime, sci-fi, mystery, gothic, thrillers, and horror novels.

The situation is summed up nicely by Amy Paulussen, Chairperson of the Canterbury Branch of the NZ Society of Authors. “You may call them ‘easy reads’ or ‘beach books’, but I’m confused… is reading meant to be hard? Unpleasant? A chore? Am I supposed to get to the end of the book and feel relieved that it’s over and I can put the book proudly on my living room shelf and impress the neighbours?”

There’s a reason why parents usually push us to learn as much as we can at an early age and that’s because they want us to have time to learn and refine as years go by. You may remember being told that you need to have a certain set of skills to survive in life and to keep up with its demands. And it’s a question that will just keep on being asked. Indeed, as an adult you are going to thank your home and school environment for this. You are going to need and will start putting these skills to good use, starting at secondary school.

You may be wondering, of course, what kind of skills I am referring to. And you are right to do so. The word “skills” may take on different meanings. What I am referring to in this case are the two most important categories: soft and hard skills. Soft skills are the ones mostly connected to your personality and those around you; in other words your interpersonal or people skills. Even if you turn out to be the most introverted person you know, you will, at some point in your life, have to deal with an issue that requires you to address others around you. This is where soft skills come in to play. But which skills are these in particular? Glad you asked! Take a look at the following most important soft skills to start cultivating in school.

1) Communication: We can’t live in a world without communication. Learning to do it the right way, which means learning to actively listen and constructively contribute in order to find a viable solution to a problem, is the best way to go. You can start with your classmates and see where that takes you.

2) Team work: Combined with communication, this soft skill is of vital importance, starting in the classroom. Working with your classmates and being involved in your shared activities, whether it be sports or classwork, will boost your social skills and help you understand and adapt to the different personalities you will meet later in life as well.

3) Flexibility: This does not only concern your schedule. I would suggest that you look at it in a different light, as being flexible as to your opinions, ideas and beliefs. Tolerance is a powerful skill to possess.

4) Motivation: We all have those days when we want to do absolutely nothing. However, motivating yourself and then others can take you a long way into your relationships. How about starting to push yourself a little bit each day? According to research, it only takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Let this be yours. Start with yourself and see how that helps others around you.

5) Patience: They say that patience is key, and that’s definitely true. You can accomplish next to nothing without patience. How about trying to be patient, tolerant, a great listener, and diplomatic in your conversations with your fellow classmates?

We must not, however, forget the necessity of enriching ourselves with some hard skills as well. So, similarly, what do we mean by hard skills and why are they significant? In a few words, hard skills are the ones that you can learn, the learning process of which most likely starts in the classroom. They are also the skills that a prospective employer will be able to check and quantify later in your life. You can find some examples of hard skills below.

1) Learning a new language: did you see that coming? This is one of the most, if not the most, essential skills that you can learn in life. Apart from the fact that knowing a second language could lead to a more lucrative career in the future, possessing such a skill allows you to enter a culture, become familiar with its mindset, its people, its traditions and customs. Knowing a language other than your own acts as a beacon of cultural knowledge. Combined with soft skills such as communication and flexibility this can help you win people over.

2) Technology & Computer skills: you know you’ve got that, right? Whether you learn these at school or at home, these skills are here to stay. As technology advances, so should our knowledge of it in order for us to occupy a place in society. Of course, not all positions later in life require you to be a whizz-kid, but basic computer functions, such as emails and Microsoft Office are deemed imperative even when you are still in school. Take this opportunity and embellish these skills now, so that later you have time to refine them and learn new and more advanced ones should the need arise.

Now it’s time for you to mix and match! You may already possess some of the above and others you’ll probably wish to refine along with the others on the list. Ready, set, go!

February 2018 brings with it the 100th anniversary of women over the age of 30 being granted the right to vote. As such, it was the first step towards all women being awarded equal status to men in political society. Without women like Millicent Garrett Fawcett, though, even the initial allowance might not have been so forthcoming, let alone equality for all.

In 1867, at the age of only 19, Millicent helped form the London National Society for Women’s Suffrage. She even served on its executive committee.
Born at Aldeburgh, Suffolk in 1847, Millicent was one of ten children. She was most influenced by her elder sister Elizabeth, who in the early 1860’s became the first woman to qualify in Britain as a doctor.

It was also Elizabeth and her friend Emily Davies who in 1866 organised the first mass female petition to Parliament, asking for women to be given equal status to men. Although they were too young to sign the petition themselves, Millicent and her sister Agnes contributed significantly by going around the streets of Aldeburgh collecting signatures from the poor, ensuring they were represented as well as the areas wealthy women.

When she was 20, Millicent married Henry Fawcett, a radical Liberal MP for Brighton and professor of political economy at the University of Cambridge. Henry helped further her education, and within a year Millicent had published her first article, The education of women in the middle and upper classes. Later, in 1870, she wrote a second book, Political Economy for Beginners.

On 20 May 1867 Millicent was present in the Ladies’ Gallery of the House of Commons when John Stuart Mill MP campaigned for an amendment to the Representation of the People Bill. He wanted to replace the word ‘man’ with the word ‘person’, so that women could be included on the electoral register. His suggestion was defeated by 81 votes, but it inspired Millicent to campaign further for women’s right to vote.

In July 1869, at a time when it was unusual for women to be allowed to speak on a public platform, Millicent spoke at the first public meeting held by the London Society for Women’s Suffrage. The Brighton Herald recorded her performance: ‘She is a lady of small stature, and of fragile but very pleasing appearance; perfectly collected in her manner, and with a very clear, distinct, emphatic delivery, not at times without a sense of humour.’
Millicent continued to engage in public addresses including one on 10th May 1872, when she addressed a packed central London suffrage meeting. She spoke against speeches that had been delivered in the House of Commons on 1st May which had been anti the Second Reading of the Bill for the Removal of the Electoral Disabilities of Women.

On 6th May 1880 Millicent made a very personal speech during a large London meeting. She spoke about how, when she and her husband were making their wills, they saw how unfair the law was. She realised that if her husband died she could not become their daughter’s guardian unless he had appointed her to the role. Nothing she owned, including the books she had written, legally belonged to Millicent in the eyes of the law. Everything automatically belonged to her husband.

When her husband did pass away several years later, Millicent took a break from public life, but by 1886 she was touring as a public speaker again. In 1888 she became honorary secretary of the Central Committee of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage. By this time, more and more suffrage groups were forming across the country, and Millicent began to help the different groups unite; In 1893 she became the president of the Special Appeal Committee, which ensured all suffrage societies had the same goal.

Millicent continued to campaign until 1896, when she presided over a meeting which would, the following year, lead to the formation of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. Ten years later she became the group’s president. This was a position she held until 1918, when she finally saw her life’s ambition realised, securing the first votes for women, and giving her a place in social and political history as the person most responsible.

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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