Making study trips inclusive and accessible for all students is crucial for their personal growth and academic development. These trips can have a profound impact on students, including those accessing SEN support, by making them feel welcomed and included. Exposure to new languages, customs, and ways of learning can stimulate students’ minds and encourage creative and critical thinking. Seeing historical landmarks or artefacts can bring lessons to life and deepen students’ understanding of a subject.

While school trips are not mandatory, schools have a responsibility to widen access and make them accessible for all students without support from the Government. To make study trips more inclusive during Children’s Mental Health Week, here are some tips:

1. **Make considerations early:** Involve students with SEN and disabilities in the planning process, taking their needs into account when choosing destinations and creating itineraries. Empowering these students and making them feel seen and heard can lead to increased engagement.

2. **Flexible Itineraries:** Break the day into shorter chunks to make it more achievable for all students and have backup plans in case of overcrowding. Working with a travel management company that can cater to specific needs can help create a more inclusive itinerary.

3. **Build an educated and informed team:** Provide training for teachers to help them navigate unfamiliar situations and choose inclusive vendors and activities. Travel management companies can offer advice and support in preparing for any unforeseen circumstances during the trip.

4. **Learning support assistants should go for free:** Extend access to support workers or carers without additional cost to ensure continuity of care for students with SEN or disabilities.

5. **Accessible transport and accommodation:** Ensure accommodations are accessible, with wheelchair access and other necessary facilities. Choosing a central location can reduce walking time and save energy for students. Working with a travel management company can help identify accessible locations and transportation options.

By following these tips and making study trips more inclusive, schools can provide valuable experiences for all students, fostering growth, learning, and stronger relationships between teachers and students.

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