More than £60,000 of grant funding is being made available to schools by Shropshire charity the Field Studies Council to ensure that pupils don’t miss out on outdoor learning opportunities amid growing fears school trips will be axed due to rising costs.
The Grants for Schools is one of several cost-saving measures to be launched by the environmental education charity to help schools tackle mounting economic challenges.
Philip Turvil, Eco-Business Director for the charity which has its headquarters located at Montford Bridge, near to Shrewsbury, said: “As a charity we are feeling the pinch just like every other organisation, business, school and family.
“The cost-of-living crisis and rising energy bills are impacting hard on everyone, and we know that budgets only stretch so far which is why we are doing what we can to continue to support schools at this difficult time.
“It saddens us greatly that pupils could end up missing out on valuable school trip experiences and outdoor learning opportunities because of factors beyond their control and it seems wholly unfair that a generation of young people who have already missed out on so much because of the Covid pandemic now face losing out on fun and educational trips.
“As a charity it’s always our aim to lift the attainment and aspirations of young people and teachers through a range of educational courses and our Grants for Schools scheme is designed to alleviate some of the cost pressures which schools are currently facing so that they can continue to offer a school trip experience to their pupils.”
The charity, which has been a leading provider of environmental education to schools for 75 years, is also offering schools discounted residential trips during October and February half term as part of its newly introduced measures.
It has also launched a new Digital Hub – an online treasure trove of free videos and teaching resources to help teachers and pupils make the most of learning outdoors on site at school or in their local community should trips be cancelled.
“Most schools receiving an FSC grant are able to use the reduced cost of tuition to help fund travel and reduce the cost paid by parents,” added Mr Turvil.
“In real terms the financial assistance can cover up to half the cost of a typical school residential trip.
“Our low season pricing will also provide further options for struggling schools and our online Digital Hub facility will ensure those teachers and pupils which are unable to experience a field trip to one of our 20 sites can still get access to student-friendly resources for all the fieldwork topics covered by the main biology and geography exam boards.”
Grants of up to £7,500 are available to eligible schools over a three-year-period to help towards the cost of FSC residential courses and £900 available for FSC day courses.
Funding is available to schools where at least 10 per cent of students receive pupil premium and the closing date for applications is October 24.
For more information on the Grants for Schools visit www.field-studies-council.org/fsc-grants-for-schools/.