School ski trip organisers

Planning your school's skiing trip

A school ski trip is always an extremely popular choice with students, as it gives them the opportunity to have fun outside in the snow with their peers. Nevertheless, a school ski trip can also be valuable to their personal development as they are learning a new skill, gaining independence from home, and learning the importance of teamwork. It is also a great physical activity and therefore can help build up the students’ fitness, something which is paramount to the children’s’ health and wellbeing in their later adult life.

Make sure you have any necessary permissions from the school and the LEA. Getting the go ahead for your trip is essential before you do anything else. Every school has different procedures, but you'll probably need to make some form of business case for the school trip. Your trip provider is likely to have a safety management policy which will form part of your documentation. They will also be able to help you with all the necessary risk assessments for the resort you are visiting.

Once you have permission for your annual school ski trip, it is time to start planning. Chances are you should already have started planning long ago as there is a lot to organise. Thankfully, the company you are travelling with will have done all this many times before, and will be able to offer you lots of great advice. Make a list of everything you need to cover and leave yourself plenty of time to get everything in place. Ideally your trip won't be for quite a while yet, but use that time wisely rather than thinking you have got ages until you need to arrange anything.

A recommended course

In order to be suitably competent to instruct pupils during the trip, you should seriously consider taking the Snowsport Course Organiser (SCO) course. Accredited by the National Governing Body for Skiing and Snowboarding in England, Snowsport England, the six hour course is designed to help you lead a school or group ski trip. Safety, equipment, education, and planning, are all covered in enough detail to give you the confidence to lead your school group.

Health and Insurance

Insurance is covered in the article above on how to choose a ski trip provider, but essentially, make sure you are insured during your trip. It may be you need to claim against lost luggage, or it may be something worse. If you have your insurance in place, it is one less thing to worry about if anything does go wrong. Closer to the time of departure you will need to make sure your insurance is comprehensive by passing on details of pupils medical history, but you cannot do that until you know who is travelling in your party. As part of your health insurance cover, if you are travelling within the European Union, make sure everyone in the group has an up to date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as they are only valid for five years at a time. You should also have a robust emergency contact procedure, making sure that while you are on the trip, you are able to contact the school, and they are able to contact you.

Keep the children and parents informed

An important part of the planning stage is keeping the children, and especially their parents, informed about the trip. Initially you may need to hold a parent's evening to sell the idea of the trip. You may be one of the lucky few who are able to suggest the trip in a letter to the parents and receive the required number of permission slips over the next few days. More likely you are going to have to convince the parents that their child will benefit from the ski trip, and a presentation is the ideal way to accomplish this. Most ski trip providers can offer to attend such presentations and help you with the details.

What to take

Closer to the day of departure you should be thinking about issuing clothing requirements and kit lists. Give the parents enough time to plan and equip their child, but not so much time that they forget. Once again, your trip provider will be able to help you here by suggesting what they will need to bring to get the most from their time at the ski resort.

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