Each school needs to find its own workable solution for funding its programme of brilliant residentials. One option is through additional fundraising activity.

Here, we suggest some of the practical starting points trialled by the Learning Away school partnerships in the initial phase of the project, and signpost some trusted resources.

  • PTA (Parent Teacher Association): several schools have negotiated with their PTA to focus fundraising efforts to support brilliant residentials. Examples include a contribution to subsidise yearly costs, or for a maintenance ‘pot’ for camping equipment. Be strategic: what would really make the difference? Twickenham Primary School, whose residential is an exchange programme with students in Cornwall, has asked its PTA to fundraise for a minibus – in their residential model, coach travel is the single most expensive yearly cost.
  • Increased student fundraising: supporting young people to take responsibility for fundraising for their own residential can take a fair amount of adult coordination and support, but is a great opportunity to encourage them to take ownership of the residential from the start. It can support links with the wider community and local businesses, and can be tied into other school events (e.g. enterprise weeks) or curriculum goals. Stand-alone activities like non-uniform days, talent shows, or even selling cakes or popcorn at events already in the school calendar (like parents’ evenings and shows or concerts) can all help.
  • Securing grants or other external funding : there are many trusts and foundations in the UK, and they support all different types of activity. Researching and putting together a proposal might seem daunting, but can be really worthwhile. Having planned a brilliant residential with clear outcomes for students, you will be well placed to communicate the impact that funding your programme will have. Many school business managers have experience in securing funding, and can be a great source of expertise.

Open Futures, a skills and enquiry-based curriculum development programme, has developed a really useful fundraising tool-kit for schools. This includes guidance on how to ‘make the case’ for your project, useful templates, and a list of funders broken down by geographical area.

Several of the schools involved in Learning Away’s initial phase have found strategies for: reducing the cost of their residential programmes; ways of drawing on school funds; and supporting parents to contribute to their child’s residential experience.  You can learn more about these here.

You can also find information to help parents, senior leaders and governors value residentials more highly, so that they become a part of the school tradition, here.


Be inspired by our case studies from Learning Away schools.

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.