Buying in ‘experts’

As school staff have become more experienced in, and confident about, running Learning Away residentials, they have developed a clearer idea of their aims – both for the residentials themselves and for their integration with the school curriculum.

As a result, staff have kept more control over residential activity programmes and have increasingly designed and run more activities themselves.  This development has kept costs lower and brought additional benefits in terms of improvements to group cohesion and to staff-student relationships, which are sustained post-residential. Learn more about the benefits brilliant residentials can offer to teachers and schools.

In some school partnerships, staff have been able to pace their energy levels by working with student leaders to deliver activities so that staff get a break from leading themselves.

As part of the move towards increasingly ‘DIY’ residentials, staff have also become more adept at buying in ‘experts’ in a more focused way.  During their planning for the residential, they have identified activities that need specialist training or knowledge then commissioned either someone from the residential site, or an outside ‘expert’, to deliver these.  This process has meant that school staff can be much more specific with commissioned staff about the aims of their session, what they would like students to get from it, and how it fits with the overall programme.

It is absolutely possible for schools to design and deliver their own bespoke programmes with specialist input as needed, rather than go with a set programme totally delivered by others.  It may need some extra thinking and planning time, but the benefits of this far outweigh the time costs.

Learn more about building partnerships and co-constructing brilliant residential programmes with existing residential providers.


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.