Evaluating a residential

Evaluating the impact of residentials on engagement, learning and relationships is a significant focus of Learning Away and through our action research and rigorous external evaluation we are adding to a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the particular impact of residential learning.  We have found that evaluation had to be as simple as possible and planned in as part of the residential experience itself in order for it to be meaningful to students and staff, and for it to actually be completed!

As a result we have developed an evaluation system that has been tried and tested by Learning Away schools, more information about which can be found here.  We have also developed a practical way of evaluating residential learning with younger children in the Early Years and Key Stage 1, which is available as a resource here.

In addition to our own resources, here are some sites that you might find useful when planning your own evaluation.

  • The National Trust’s Friendly Evaluation Toolkit  is a practical toolkit, designed to help LOtC practitioners to evaluate learning activities. It outlines the different types of evaluation and gives guidance for identifying what you are trying to evaluate and how, using practical examples from others’ projects.
  • The ABC of Working with Schools is a resource for the museum sector, which does what it says on the tin! It includes a section on evaluating schools work with museums.
  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation: Evaluation Resource Pack Developed by PHF and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (now the Learning and Work Institute), this practical pack was written for frontline workers and volunteers in the voluntary sector to help with evaluating their work. It explains the main aspects of evaluation in simple terms, and provides some examples of best practice.
  • KnowHow NonProfit: How to communicate your impact  Written by the National Council for Voluntary Organisation’s online community, Know How ‘How-tos’ are s series of practical, step-by-step guides to key issues. This one focuses on strategies for communicating the impact of an intervention, but you can also browse the available titles.


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.