Why work with providers?

Established residential providers offer a popular, more straightforward way to cater for the large groups bigger schools want to take away. They can cater for whole or half year groups and provide the extra staff, activities and skills a school cannot always provide alone. Learning Away schools have been finding new ways to engage creatively with providers to enhance the quality of their brilliant residentials.

Some providers have developed special facilities to meet individual schools’ needs. Others have been willing to co-construct the programme with staff and students in order to create a more integrated experience with the school curriculum.

In many cases school staff have been able to learn from the centre staff and use these skills to run other day-long and overnight trips, increasing their outdoor and residential provision.

Schools developing student leaders have found similar training benefits from leadership camps at a staffed centre. The young people are then well-placed to assist on camps with other students.

Some schools have found the specialist services of providers set up to work with young people with complex additional needs and disabilities invaluable, giving them the confidence to open up their residential programmes to all of their students.

Long-term relationships

In a number of cases schools have developed close, long-term relationships with a nearby residential provider, building up an extensive and integrated programme of day and overnight visits led by school staff, buying in specialists and accommodation as needed.

This approach can have many practical benefits for both parties, including:

  • The provider benefits from the increased and sustained custom.
  • Regular arrangements help the school to control costs and can help it extend its residential and outdoor provision.
  • In some cases, residential providers and schools have undertaken successful joint fundraising projects.

Learn more about co-constructing brilliant residentials with providers.

Non-traditional residential venues

Some schools involved in Learning Away have been encouraging places from farmers fields to holiday cottages, and walled gardens to stately homes, to become new residential venues. Learn more about Bulwell EAZ’s Year 2 camp at Wollaton Hall, or The Canterbury Academy’s summer 2013 residential at Hampton Court Palace.


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.