How you can help make visits more affordable for schools without reducing your entrance price
You might be surprised to learn that the cost of getting into your venue is not necessarily the biggest financial barrier schools face. There are often hidden costs such as the high cost of transport or if schools are required to pay for a number of additional adults.
The rising cost of fuel has mean that transport costs, particularly using coaches, can sometime make the visit unaffordable. You may want to explore setting up an arrangement with local coach companies to offer special deals for repeat business to your setting. It is also worth reminding the teacher who is booking that traveling outside of school hours is always cheaper. They can stay with you longer and possibly spend more!
Having to pay for additional adults
We all know that there are recommended adult to child ratios for different age groups, but some groups need additional supervision due to the particular cohort of children. This will be for a range of reasons – physical, emotional or educational needs, even safeguarding requirements. Teachers are sometimes surprised at how rigid certain venues can be when it comes to allowing free adult places and are put off by this.
When offering free adult places, consider the upselling opportunities – how much tea, coffee and cake will the adults buy while they are with you? How many of them will take up your offer of discounted return visits, bring their entire family, buy lunch in your cafe and take home souvenirs?
Contact us if you would like to know more about how to help schools overcome the financial barriers they face and attract more school groups to your venue. We are the experts in helping you adapt your offer to attract more school visitors to your site. Our team is made up of currently serving teachers and school leaders.
Our next blog – Safeguarding barriers and how you can help
Barrier 2 Awareness – Do the key people in schools know what you currently offer? How do you let schools know that you have the perfect venue for their educational visit?
Awareness barriers can arise on both sides.
Schools may not be fully aware of what educational experiences your venue can offer different age groups.
Venues are not always fully aware of what schools are looking for and their current offer may not fit what schools want. Thankfully, there are solutions to both of these barriers.
How you can help
As explained in our last blog, first plan, prepare and perfect your offer to schools and make sure it is linked to the current curriculum and high profile areas. Once that is done, the schools need to know what makes you better than the rest! Here are some of our top tips:
Clarity on the education section of your website is key. Schools need to be able to see what you offer and know precisely how it meets their current curriculum needs.
A targeted marketing program, focusing on your specific curriculum offer, aimed at the right people is essential. As you have probably discovered, traditional marketing methods don’t work well with schools; blanket emails to schools will not get to the people you want.
Search engine optimisation and the use of specific, specialist websites can help get your message out there in the right places.
Contact us if you would like our help to tailor your offer, website or marketing plan to fit the current curriculum requirements and attract more school groups to your venue. We are the experts in helping you adapt your offer to attract more school visitors to your site. Our team is made up of currently serving teachers and school leaders.
Our next blog – Affordability barriers and how you can help without reducing your entrance price.
Barrier 1 – Your offer doesn’t fit the current school curriculum requirements
Knowing what schools want and how to provide it within your setting is vital
Schools are required to teach a rich, challenging curriculum and this can be tricky to fit into their current timetable. You can help them by offering curriculum based learning opportunities in your unique setting.
How you can help
Seek professional, up to date advice on what schools want – don’t presume.
Your offer must meet the needs of the current national curriculum at the level of challenge required whilst playing to the strengths of your unique setting.
Curriculum expectations change with new government policies and things are probably very different from when you were at school. Make sure your offer is updated whenever these changes happen. This can make a huge difference.
If what you offer is an add on to the curriculum, schools won’t have time to fit a visit in.
It helps if your offer meets the current high-profile areas that schools are looking for. If you can offer these learning opportunities within your setting, then it is likely you will attract more visitors.
Contact us if you would like to know more about how you can increase visitor numbers. We can help you design learning opportunities for schools built around the current high-profile educational visit areas bespoke for your venue. Our team is made up of serving teachers and school leaders who are experts in their field.
Our next blog – Awareness barriers and how you can ensure every school knows that you can offer an Exciting Education experience relevant to the current curriculum.
Some children are extremely sensitive to unfamiliar people, unexpected noises and new experiences. There are simple things that your setting can do to help visits run smoothly for these people and ensure that their experience with you is delightful rather than stressful.
Offer materials to help school groups and parents to plan in advance. Having a sensory or autism-aware pack available on your website for staff or carers to download prior to their visit is very easy to set up and can make the world of difference for some people.
The pack doesn’t need to be complex. Include photos of key staff and their names. Pictures of important places the children will be visiting are vital. Show them some of the things they will see and where they will eat their lunch. Don’t forget to include a photo of your toilets as this area can be particularly challenging for some children. If they can see in advance what they toilets look like it can often help them to be more relaxed and prepared. If you have a hand dryer, consider turning it off, if you can, for particularly sensitive children. Offer them towels instead.
Make sure your information packs include directions to quieter areas. Where can children go to calm down if things get too much for them? Can you provide simple ear defenders for them to wear? If you have any autism friendly education materials, this is a great opportunity to explain what you have and how to access it.
We can review your provision from the eyes of different clients and help make your setting more inclusive and accessible for all. Contact us at Exciting Education if you would like help reviewing your educational and SEND provision.
Damien Hinds, Education Secretary, recently stated that he believes there are 5 foundations for building character that encompass an extensive list of activities. They are:
Sport – which includes competitive sport and other activities, such as running, martial arts, swimming and purposeful recreational activities, such as rock climbing, hiking, orienteering, gym programmes, yoga or learning to ride a bike.
Creativity – this involves all creative activities from coding, arts and crafts, writing, graphic design, film making and music composition.
Performing – activities could include dance, theatre and drama, musical performance, choir, debating or public speaking.
Volunteering & Membership – brings together teams, practical action in the service of others or groups, such as volunteering, getting involved in the #iwill campaign, litter-picking, fundraising, any structured youth programmes or uniformed groups like Beavers, Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Scouts, Cadets and Duke of Edinburgh.
World of work – practical experience of the world of work, work experience or entrepreneurship. For primary age children, this may involve opportunities to meet role models from different jobs.
We have created character building programs this year that have resulted in a significant increase in school visitors to our clients.
We can work with you to design a school offer that encompasses these values and attracts more school visits to your site. Contact us if you would like to know more about how we could help you with this.