Brilliant Residentials campaign launched in Scotland

Our campaign has been launched in Scotland to encourage schools to provide more residential experiences for children and young people of all ages and from all backgrounds. The #BrilliantResidentials campaign will promote and champion school trips with an overnight stay and disseminate the compelling findings of the Learning Away programme, which has produced overwhelming evidence about the numerous positive impacts a residential experience can have on pupils, staff and the wider school community.


Through its action research, spanning five years, the Learning Away programme developed 10 guiding principles which can transform residentials into highly effective, brilliant residentials. These principles include: residentials being led by teachers; co-designed with students; fully integrated into the curriculum; and affordable for all. If delivered in this way, residentials can have a huge impact on schools, teachers and on children and young people of all ages, improving their: resilience; achievement; relationships; and engagement with learning.


The Learning Away action research programme involved 60 schools across the UK; one of these schools was Calderglen High School in East Kilbride. Describing the residential experiences the then headteacher, Tony McDaid, said that the Calderglen residentials were an active ingredient in transforming the life of the school.


“Our residentials have not only affected students and staff; they have also integrated with and impacted on the ethos of the school, its partners and the wider community. Brilliant residentials have played a significant part in raising attainment and aspiration, encouraging cohesion within and beyond the school, and transforming teaching and learning in and outside of the classroom.”

 Watch Tony McDaid on film here.

Learning Away was founded and initially developed by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and is now led by a consortium of organisations including Education Scotland who is committed to ensuring more young people have access to high-quality Brilliant Residential learning experiences.

Remarking on the findings and the campaign, Natalie White, Outdoor Learning Development Officer for Education Scotland, and chair of the Learning Away Scottish Working Group said:

“Our vision is simple, we want more Scottish children and young people of all ages and from all backgrounds to benefit from the life changing experience a school visit with an overnight stay can bring. The independent evaluation of the Learning Away programme provides us with hard evidence to encourage schools to provide these experiences for all pupils. We hope the campaign will encourage schools to make use of the range of free resources on the Learning Away website to develop more brilliant residentials.”

The campaign was launched at the National Network for Outdoor Learning on 14 March at the Millport Field Studies Centre on the Isle of Cumbrae, attended by representatives of local councils and residential centres who are united in their belief that residentials should be an entitlement for all children and young people.

The campaign calls upon schools, teachers, parents, pupils, residential providers, Initial Teacher Education providers, youth groups and all those concerned with the development of young people to pledge to work together to provide more and higher quality #BrilliantResidentials.

Those involved in the campaign will be supported through this website which now hosts over 100 good practice case studies, alongside material to help ‘make the case’ for residential experiences to school leaders, governors, parents and education policy makers. This includes a series of practical free resources developed with partner schools from the Learning Away programme for teachers and visit leaders, including planning information, activity ideas, downloadable templates, presentations and films. Talks and workshops will also be running across the UK.

Join the #BrilliantResidentials campaign


You can make your pledge to work with others to provide more and higher quality residentials here.


Share your stories and photographs of high-quality residentials on facebook and on twitter, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #BrilliantResidentials

Campaign Pack

Wherever you are, you can use the tools in the campaign pack which can be downloaded here to put Brilliant Residentials on the map.