The UK government highlights the benefits of a well-organised residential study tour in The Outdoor Education Advisors’ Panel document ‘Making The Case’:

‘Learning Outside the Classroom has a vital part to play in meeting the demands of the National Curriculum, and in achieving the goal of effectively preparing young people for life beyond school. Outstanding schools have always used educational visits & residential experience as an integral part of their whole-school approach’.

‘Residential visits create powerful learning opportunities for young people, which can lead to step changes in an individual’s personal development and confidence’. 

Our Study Tours have been designed with an emphasis placed on the Department for Education’s best practice guide. We have incorporated the current best practice techniques in order to ensure that our tours are safe, secure and enjoyable for all participants.

Relevant Sections From DfES Publications:

The school must check that the external provider is an appropriate organisation to use. This could include checking:

  • their insurance
  • that they meet legal requirements
  • their health and safety and emergency policies
  • their risk assessments
  • control measures
  • their use of vehicles
  • staff competence
  • safeguarding
  • accommodation
  • any sub-contracting arrangements they have
  • that they have a licence where needed

The school should have an agreement with them that makes it clear what everyone is responsible for.

Useful information & checklists to assist group leaders

Checklist: Assessing a provider: 

Selecting Providers & Activities: 

Using external providers: 

‘Excellent tour organisation. All of our tours have been really well prepared, destinations are incredible & perfect for the students. Staff & students had an amazing time. The tour guide was extremely good, knowledgeable, supportive & always going the extra mile. We love Varsity & can’t wait for Venice with you next year.’

Mrs Dora Tennant Head of Art, All Hallows School Farnham. Andalusia 2019
Mrs Dora Tennant

‘This is just to say that the trip that you recently organised for us, to Florence, was exceptional in terms of its organisation, facilitation and implementation.
Having run Art trips for 25 years, and having utilised Varsity in recent years, I can honestly say that Varsity offers by far the best service of any tour company I have ever worked with.’

Mr Rory Browne Head of Art, St George’s School Harpenden
Mr Rory Browne