How Do I Write A School Trip Letter?

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Resource added: 07 March 2022

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Download the sample school trip letter to parents!

Ready to launch your school trip? Then you’ll need to write a letter telling parents about it and (hopefully) getting permission from them for their children to go.

You’ll need to get a minimum number of students signed up to the trip to make it viable, so this is quite an important step (no pressure!).

So, how do you write a letter to parents for a school trip? What information do you need to give them right now and how do you encourage them to sign their children up for the trip?

We’ve been helping teachers to arrange school trips for nearly 40 years. In this article, we’ll look at what you need to include and what can wait until your parents' evening. We’ll also show you a sample letter (which you can also download) that should help you achieve the numbers you need to be able to run your trip.

What should a school trip letter contain?

  1. A rough outline of your trip
  2. Information on anything else that's confirmed
  3. Reasons to go on the trip
  4. Information on who's organising your trip
  5. Details on what and when they need to pay
  6. Next steps

1. A rough outline of your trip

A hand on a globe

Tell them where you’re going, how long you’re going for and how you’re going to get there. For example, ‘we’re organising a 3-day coach trip to the WW1 battlefields in Northern France and Belgium’.

There’s no need to go into too much detail at this point (they won’t take it in and you’ll overwhelm them – save all the exciting details for your parents' evening when you can get everyone really pumped for the trip).

2. Information on anything else that's confirmed

Two people point at a world map and hold landmark images

You won’t have started planning the itinerary with your Itinerary Coordinator yet, so let’s not get too bogged down in the details here.

But if there are any key activities that were included in the quote and are essential elements of the trip (and a reason for them to want their children to go), let parents know about them.

We’re thinking the bucket list visits - like Disneyland® Paris or whale watching in Iceland. Or those life-changing educational visits - like CERN in Geneva or Auschwitz in Poland.

You could also let them know what the teacher-to-student ratio will be (just so you know, we include 1:8 for coach trips and 1:10 as standard in our trips).

3. Reasons to go on the trip

A lined notebook with a numbered list of goals

We know it sounds really obvious, but make sure you let them know why they should be parting with their hard-earned cash to send their child on this trip.

For example, ‘the school trip to Barcelona will offer many exciting opportunities and experiences designed to reinforce and further your child’s Spanish skills in a fun and stimulating environment’.

4. Information on who's organising your trip

Halsbury Travel staff at the school travel awards

Unless your students’ parents are fellow teachers, they’re probably not that bothered about which trip company you use.

However, they will want to know that you’ve chosen a reputable company, that their money is protected and, most importantly, that their kids are going to be safe on the trip.

It’s a great idea to include some information on your tour operator’s accreditations.

Again, parents aren’t going to be completely sure what each one means for them, but it will offer them reassurance (and makes you look like you’ve really done your homework!).

For example, are they ABTA or ABTOT members? Are their flight tours ATOL-protected? Are they members of the School Travel Forum? And do they hold a LOtC Quality Badge?

Just in case you’re wondering, in our case the answer to all of these questions is yes.

5. Details on what and when they need to pay

Alarm clock in front of a calendar

Again, it sounds so obvious, but you’re going to need to let them know how much it’s going to cost and when they need to pay.

Setting out a payment schedule now will help them to budget for the trip, which is often a significant financial commitment for many families.

And, just a heads up - it’s worth mentioning the cancellation policy here.

Cancellations could affect the viability of your trip, so give them all the info on what they could be charged to cancel now. That way, they’ll only sign up if they’re fully committed to the trip (and any cancellations you do get should be totally genuine and may be covered by your travel insurance).

6. Next steps

Climbing steps

Finally, you need to explain to parents and guardians what they need to do if they want to book their child’s place on your school trip.

This will usually include completing and returning a permission slip, along with payment for the first deposit.

Most teachers choose to include a permission slip at the bottom of the school trip letter for parents to fill out.

This includes confirmation of the child’s details, trip details, confirmation of inclusion of the first deposit and confirmation of the contact details for the parent or guardian, along with their signature.

You’ll need to be really clear about when you need to receive the permission slips and deposits.

And if there are limited places on the trip, make sure you make that clear and confirm how you’ll choose who gets to go (e.g. if it’s on a first-come, first-served basis).

You should also let them know when your first parents’ evening will be arranged. And, if you’ve got a social media account for the trip where you will be sharing updates and information, now is a great time to let them know about that.

How to write a school trip letter

  1. Be concise
  2. Make sure all the important information about the trip is included
  3. Make sure the permission slip gives the appropriate permissions

1. Be concise

We’d really recommend keeping the letter itself as concise as possible. Too wordy, and parents just won’t read it.

Include the information they need to make a decision about the trip, but don’t go into too much detail. As well as the risk of them switching off halfway through, you’re also opening yourself up to follow-up questions, which would be better fielded at a parents' evening (and not with 30 phone calls and emails!).

2. Make sure all the important information about the trip is included

We know, this is the tricky bit, making sure you include all the important information, while also being concise. Below is a sample letter (which you can also download and tweak) – this gives you an idea of the really important information you need to include and how to include it without waffling too much.

Essentially, you need to say:

  • Where you're going and when
  • How much it will cost and what's included (and what isn't!)
  • What supervision will be included
  • Who you've booked the trip with, so they know their money and, more importantly, their children will be safe
  • What they'll need to pay and when

3. Make sure the permission slip gives the appropriate permissions

In the sample letter below (which you can also download), you’ll see a great example of a permission slip.

The first thing you need to include is a clear statement saying that they give permission for their child or ward to attend the trip – followed by identification of the student the permission refers to.

We recommend asking them to confirm the child has the relevant, valid travel documents, including the EHIC/GHIC (you can find more information on this in our 'Know Before You Go' article).

You then need to ask them to identify themselves and provide contact details. Plus, of course, you’ll need to get that all-important signature.

Need a sample school trip letter template to get started?

Dear parent/guardian,

We’re very pleased to inform you that the school is organising a trip to [destination] for year […] pupils, leaving on [date] for […] days.

The trip to [destination] will offer many exciting opportunities and experiences designed to reinforce and further learning in a fun and stimulating environment.

Trip details:

Destination:

Dates: [From date – to date]

Trip price: [£…]

Tour inclusions: [Transport e.g. return coach travel, flights, transfers, etc. Accommodation and visits/excursions included in price]

Proposed excursions/visits: [Anything not included in price] (please note this may be subject to change)

Recommended spending money: [£…]

Supervision: Supervision will be provided at a ratio of 1 adult to every … students.

The aim of the trip is to provide students with first-hand experience of the subject matter in the curriculum that wouldn’t otherwise be possible within the normal classroom environment. In addition to this, the trip will also offer opportunities to experience a new culture, form friendships and create fantastic memories, which we hope they will look back on fondly for many years to come.

Our tour operator:

We have chosen to book our trip through Halsbury Travel, a specialist school tour operator with nearly 40 years’ experience.

As ABTA members, Halsbury Travel are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. They can also offer you ABTA’s scheme for the resolution of disputes which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Air tours and flights arranged by Halsbury Travel are ATOL-protected by the Civil Aviation Authority, which means that you and your money are protected if the tour operator ceases to operate. This means that if that were to happen we would either be able to claim the money back for the trip (if we were yet to travel) or continue the trip and be repatriated.

For non-flight packages, Halsbury Travel’s ABTOT membership provides financial protection under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for non-flight packages. For further information, on ABTOT please visit their website: https://www.abtot.com/ (Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Halsbury Travel.)

Halsbury Travel are also Assured Members of the School Travel Forum, which means that they prioritise the health and safety of groups travelling with them.

They have also been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, which shows that they are committed to offering activities that are safe and beneficial to learning.

For more information on Halsbury Travel, please visit www.halsbury.com

Payment schedule:
Deposit to secure place:[£…] to be received no later than [date]
2nd deposit:[£…] to be received no later than [date]
Balance:[£…] to be received no later than [date]

PLEASE NOTE:Cancellations are likely to incur charges due to the provider’s booking terms and conditions.

What to do next:

Please be aware that there are only a limited number of places available on the trip and places are being allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like your son/daughter/ward to participate, please complete the reply slip below and return this to [your name] with a cheque for the first deposit of [£…] no later than [date]. Cheques should be made payable to [payee].

Once all initial trip deposits have been received a parents’ evening will be arranged to provide further information on the trip. Please follow our Twitter feed [@...] for further updates on the trip.

Yours sincerely,

[your name]

 

Please complete the reply slip below and return it to: [your name/department]

I hereby give permission for my son/daughter/ward to attend the educational visit to: ___________________ on: __/__/__.

Name of child:______________________________________ Class/year/tutor group:_____________________

I enclose £___ and understand that this is a non-refundable deposit securing the place of the above-named pupil. I will fully adhere to the above payment schedules.

I also confirm that the above-named child has a valid passport, appropriate visa and an EHIC/GHIC card.

Parent/guardian name:________________________ Email address:__________________________________

Telephone number: _________________________ Signature:___________________ Date:________________

Download this sample letter >>>

We hope this guide has been helpful!

And if you need any further information from us to be able to send out your school trip letters, please just get in touch!

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