Ted's tips

2nd February 2001 at 00:00
* Preparation is the secret of successful school trips. If you cannot tell people why you are visiting somewhere, or what they will do, how can they gain from it?

* Parents must be fully in the picture: arrival and departure times, money, appropriate clothing, food and drink, safety, purpose. Is there a "telephone chain" for messages home, like transport delays?

* Do you know about any medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes, travel sickness, allergy, and is appropriate medication to hand?

* Find things to do on the journey: look for landmarks, stories, games. Short plane trips are fine, time is filled by wolfing and then moaning about the plastic chicken, but long bus journeys canget tedious. "Right everybody, all singing together, after me, one two three four."

* You can always recognise teachers on holiday because they are the ones counting everybody on and off vehicles.

* Automatically check luggage racks before leaving the bus, train, plane. "Anyone claim this camera before I stamp on it", usually gets attention.

* The legally required "duty of care", means teachers must act as a careful parent would (there is also the "higher duty of care", i.e. with children who are vulnerable, like the very young, or those with special needs).

Advice from Ted Wragg, professor of education at the University of Exeter, will appear throughout Going Places.

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