School improvement

Learning Away aims to support schools to develop progressive residential experiences, integrated with the curriculum and the life of the school, and – as far as possible – inclusive of all students.

It is not surprising, then, that many participating schools cite their residentials as a key factor in school-wide improvements in culture, attitude and progression.

During the first phase of the project, staff reported changes in classroom behaviour even when only a few students participated in a residential, and several teachers have claimed that a residential has been worth half a term of progress. Teachers and students report how the trust and respect they now have for each other helps young people settle to learning. School leaders report improved school-wide punctuality, enhanced collaboration in the playground, student leadership of school classes, clubs and events, raised aspirations of students and staff, new teaching and learning strategies, and changed attitudes of parents to school.

Head teachers also value the opportunity for collaboration between schools (including feeder primaries and special schools), the development of a common sense of purpose and an increased appetite for continuous learning among staff. In some cases, the impact of the Learning Away approach has been noted by inspectors as responsible for significant improvements.

“I have introduced a range of strategies alongside residentials to lift the standards in this school. Standards are rising from a low ebb and this year especially will take a big upward jump. Many things are contributing to this but I feel the residentials are a big part of this. They change the way teachers think of the children and teach in the classroom, the way they see the children, the expectations they have of pupils.”

Head teacher, South Hetton Partnership


Be inspired by our case studies from Learning Away schools.

Explore Getting Started and access free resources to help you plan your own brilliant residentials.

Have a look at our theory about how change happens on brilliant residentials.

Read our recommendations for schools, providers, policy makers and researchers. 

Read our independent evaluation report.