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Listen to Excess Baggage for

30 June 2007

Whether a bus trip to the local zoo or abseiling in the Andes, modest or ambitious, the school trip has long been seen as an essential part of education; but is it really just an excuse for pupils to let their hair down and for teachers to have a jolly good time, or can 'out of the classroom' learning still be a challenge?

Sandi Toksvig considers the benefits of the school trip experience. She’s joined by David Craven, Director of the NST Group, an educational travel company; Lee Ward, Musical Director of the London Oratory School who has taken children’s choirs to New York, Lisbon, Poland, Prague, Barcelona and Berlin; and Martin Hudson who is a committee member of the School Travel Forum, the trade body for school tour operators.

They discuss the history, developments in destinations and activities, and health and safety considerations that have transformed the face of the school trip.

Presented by Sandi Toksvig

School trip to Sydney Harbour

Photo: School trip to Sydney Harbour

This week’s guests:

Lee Ward
is the Musical Director of The London Oratory School. Lee is also a prize winning organist and an outstanding choirmaster with a wide ranging organ and choral experience gained at a number of churches and cathedrals.

Lee has done several tours with children mostly through NST. The cities they visited include New York, Lisbon, Poland, Prague, Barcelona and Berlin. Their tours are usually for choirs to go and sing in churches and venues that often don’t have a tradition of boy choirs. About forty children aged between 11 and 18 are accompanied by five or six adults.

David Craven is a director of the NST Group, an educational travel company, founded in Blackpool in 1967 by his father.  Vin was originally a maths teacher who organised a couple of school trips abroad.  Their success led to a demand from other teachers and before long Vin gave up teaching and founded the Northern School Travel.

NST is a market leader amongst travel companies working in the educational field along with PGL who amongst other things provides activity holidays for schools. NST can arrange trips to most countries in the world.

Martin Hudson qualified as a teacher but joined PGL in 1973 and has over thirty years experience of educational visits.

Martin is also Chairman of the British Activity Holiday Association, the trade body for private sector activity centres; a committee member of the School Travel Forum, the trade body for school tour operators and Vice Chairman of the English Outdoor Council which champions participation in adventure, sensible risk management, and tremendous benefits of out of classroom learning. 

Both companies are involved in the Department for Education and Science initiative the ‘Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto

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Sandi ToksvigSandi Toksvig:
The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Sandi has been travelling all her life more info
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