COVID-19 | OUR RESPONSE
We are determined to support group and visit leaders in planning for the future with as much certainty and assurance as we can.
We want you to know that we are here to support you with flexibility, and at the exceptional standard that you would expect - whether that be planning for or delivering outreach work, day visits, and residentials,
We are constantly monitoring latest government advice for England and Wales regarding off-site and residential visits, so that when circumstances allow, we can re-open.
For now, we encourage you to plan ahead with us, with confidence that there will be no financial risk if we are unable to operate.
This brief guide outlines what we are doing at Sandwell Residential Education Service, national guidance, as well as practical resources that will support your children and young people in the challenging weeks ahead.
New & existing bookings
We have contacted all 2020 bookers directly. If you haven't heard from us please do contact us below.
Summer term 2020
Sadly, no residential visits will take place during the summer term. We continue to monitor latest Covid-19 guidance and, should circumstances allow, have draft plans to support schools with outreach work.
Schools and groups with bookings are invited to plan ahead with us and provisionally book for next academic year. There will be no charge for any visit in the summer term 2020 that is unable to proceed.
Autumn term 2020
Schools and groups are welcome to keep bookings open - and we encourage that for November and December - but courses will only go ahead if the latest Covid-19 advice and regulations allow, and if we are confident that we can meet those regulations appropriately.
There will be no financial loss to schools and groups if courses do not go ahead, or if schools wish to reschedule. If courses do go ahead but with fewer participants than originally agreed, only those attending will be charged for.
In September we shall contact all schools due to visit in the Autumn to review the position. Because of current uncertainty, the course planning forms (pupil lists etc) for these visits will not be sent out until September.
If schools have concerns or wish to discuss rescheduling, please contact the centre you have booked with or complete our contact form below.
We'd be delighted to speak to you about a visit!
We do not ask for a deposit, and if the centres have not reopened due to COVID-19 by the time of the planned visit there will be no financial penalty to the school or group.
That means that there is no financial risk to schools or parents, or other booking groups, in planing ahead with us and scheduling a visit.
You can email us or complete our contact form and we’ll be delighted to receive an enquiry from you. Do also send any questions that you have.
In the short term, we anticipate that day visits and outreach work might be in place before residential visits. We may be able to deliver learning and activities at your site, an area within walking distance of your site, or indeed at our centres when it is safe and permitted to do so.
Support for returning pupils, families & staff:
We will be as flexible as possible in meeting emerging requirements of schools. If pupils, families or staff teams would benefit from facilitated outdoor learning or creative arts activities focussed around transition, wellbeing, re-engagement, motivation or forming friendships, then, where permittable, we’d be delighted to offer day visits or short, small-group residential programmes.
Planning Ahead - Support from Sandwell Council
Our top priority is ensuring the wellbeing of our team, visitors and partners, and making sure that we are able to deliver the same high standards of learning, arts and outdoor adventure in whatever circumstances we are presented with.
Our risk assessments and operational procedures covering activities, transport, accommodation and food will take full account of the latest Covid-19 guidance. It is likely that initially, we will be working with smaller groups than before; and delivering a modified range of activities. We are planning ahead and getting ready to deliver programmes, and when circumstances are more clear we will outline full details.
With so much to learn and apply, we are extremely grateful to our colleagues around Sandwell Council for helping our service to navigate the current situation. From Public Health, to Educational Visit Advisors, to ideas and resources from Educational Psychology; we will be confident in our capacity to reopen safely, and deliver the most impactful programmes to help our groups to recover.
We will update our Safety and Care pages, and stay in close contact with our partners.
Resources & official guidance
Sandwell Council's home page has a page compiling everything that you may need to know, including:
The latest NHS advice on coronavirus
Updates from the council
Advice for parents
The Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel provide advice, support and monitoring of visits and outdoor learning. They have published a paper summarising current government guidance directly related to educational visits, and guidance for planning and managing off-site visits and learning outside the classroom during the coronavirus.
The Outdoor Alliance Wales Post Covid-19 Recovery Plan is an "at a glance" guide for the outdoor sector in Wales, and highlights how the sector can work together
to alleviate issues arising from the lifting of restrictions.
With good detail about how the sector is seeking to manage its recovery, it could help demonstrate they way participants and providers can recover to deliver outdoor activities.
Our talented teams from around the centres are creating resources and activities that you can use at home or in the classroom.