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Choosing the Right Tour Operator

Anglia Tours followed the full tour planning process with St Peter's Collegiate School. Here's how Daniel Sheriff got his first guided history tour underway...

With the new GCSE specifications in place from September many teachers across England and Wales teachers will have spent time over the summer updating the materials they will be using in class over the coming year. Some will no doubt have been asked to review whether the content of departmental field trips is still relevant.

Whilst it is undoubtedly the case that, with the right planning, preparation and support, taking pupils outside of their normal learning environment should be highly rewarding – both for pupils and staff. The question is, with so many companies out there offering their services, where does a teacher who is looking to organise a new trip or even simply change providers start?

This was exactly the question Daniel Sheriff, at the time a new member of the History Department at St Peter’s Collegiate School, Wolverhampton, asked himself when tasked by his Head of Department with arranging a tour of the First World War battlefields. In 2014 Daniel was an NQT with no experience of organising a school trip. As such the trip would afford a great opportunity to help develop subject knowledge, both his and the pupils. On a personal level it also offered an opportunity for him to acquire some key skills which would further his personal and professional development.

So how exactly did Daniel choose which Tour Operator to book with?

There are so many companies that the choice seemed endless. Most were clearly keen to compete solely on price but I knew from having worked in industry that what mattered was real value for money. That is what Anglia Tours offered. It was clear from the start that they pride themselves on providing a quality service ”

Daniel first contacted us in December 2014 and his enquiry was allocated straight away to Judith Lawrence, one of our team of experienced Tour Coordinators. Judith was keen to understand exactly what it was that Daniel wanted the trip to achieve. She also sought to find out if Daniel had preferred dates of travel and whether he knew how many students he wanted to take. This information enabled her, very quickly, to provide Daniel with a bespoke itinerary for a 2-day tour to France and Belgium - and more importantly to give him a fully-inclusive price.

“The support I got from Judith was fantastic. We wanted the trip not just to support what was being taught in class but to focus on educating the whole person. This fits with the ethos and ideals of the school. Even though I had to re-arrange the dates, twice, this was never a problem, Judith simply sorted it all out. Having an itinerary and a confirmed price made it so easy for me to present it to the Governors for approval – something I have never had to do before. But what really sold it was the guides. The fact they are with you throughout the tour is just so reassuring”.

Having had the trip approved Daniel could now advertise it to his students.

As this was the first time we had run this trip we wanted to offer it to historians in years 10 and 11. We really didn’t know what to expect but when we sent out the letters we received far more replies than anticipated and soon the tour was oversubscribed”

So with the tour now approved and students signed up to travel, the task which Daniel had been given only a few months before was fast becoming a reality.

To ensure Daniel had all the information he needed and more importantly to provide him and his Head of Department with a chance to talk through any worries or concerns they might have, Judith encouraged the school to take up Anglia’s offer of a complimentary Consultancy Visit.

Follow this link to learn more about the benefits of the Consultancy Visit....