Learning Away schools report that a good deal of staff training and development (with the exception of the legal/health and safety aspects of school visits) works best when it is experiential – go along with others who are more experienced, and you will pick it up as you go.

Where this expertise doesn’t already exist within a school, schools have worked in partnership to develop several effective models for finding more formal opportunities for staff to ‘experience’ residential practice. These include:

  • visiting another school’s residential, or visiting a school when it is planning or preparing for a trip
  • sharing a residential with staff from another school
  • holding planning and experiential CPD days with other schools on- and off-site
  • running staff residentials.

One partnership of three primary schools during the first phase of Learning Away persuaded over 30 colleagues to camp by holding a CPD day at the site planned for a student residential later in the year, bringing about a huge leap in teacher understanding of the experience and their willingness to get involved.

As more staff gain experience, competence and confidence, planning becomes less formal, giving schools more flexibility. Staff also relax, leading to more spontaneous residential experiences and less stress.


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.