There is no doubt that school trips are hugely rewarding for children educationally and socially but, as I know from experience, they can be great fun for the teachers too, says the Schools and Skills Minister.
I have fantastic memories of taking a group of sixth-form pupils on a camping trip to southern Italy when I was a social studies teacher in Woodley, near Reading, in the 1970s.
The transport might not have been too luxurious we made the two-week trip to Pompeii (below) in a minibus but the classics pupils got an invaluable insight into their subject, and we saw some breath- taking sights.
Stopping off to take in historical locations such as Rome, Pisa and Florence let the pupils see their subject come alive, and the stunning gardens at Lake Como made our jaws drop in awe.
The classics teacher heading the trip and I negotiated our bus down to the lost city of Pompeii despite some hairy roads and we toured the ancient Roman ruins.
The pupils developed hugely over that trip and grew up so much over the little time we were away.