Cost is often identified as one of the main barriers preventing schools from offering residential experiences to all of their students as an integrated and progressive part of their curriculum.

To help schools make decisions about how best to run their own residentials, we have produced a series of case studies that explore the costs involved in a range of different models. Each case study gives the cost pupil per night (cppn) for each Learning Away residential, describe what was provided and why the model was chosen, while also detailing some of the planning and delivery issues.

Lower-cost and camping (both on and off school sites)

Several Learning Away schools took a DIY approach by organising their own residential experiences, often using camping experiences to keep costs down.

Two Learning Away partnerships – Bulwell and Walney – developed camping models on school sites, which, at an average cost of £18.30 per pupil per night (cppn), delivered some of the lowest cost residential experiences within the project.

Find out more about:

Centre-based residentials

Many of the Learning Away schools based their residentials at provider centres. These residentials were among the most expensive used by the Learning Away schools, but schools had specific reasons for using centres, including the need to use specialist facilities and activities to meet particular student learning needs and widen their perspectives on life. Find out more, here

The Christ Church partnership in Merseyside has developed a flexible relationship with a local centre, reducing costs by offering a progressive series of day visits and short residential experiences for every year group from Years 1 to 6. Learn about the Christ Church model, here.

A school exchange

The two schools in the Twickenham and Goonhavern partnership have developed an exchange approach for Year 6 pupils. Each school spends a week in the other’s community; spending time in school together, exploring the local area and attractions and staying in self-catering situations nearby. Learn how they keep costs down, and how they raise funds, here

Using a holiday cottage mid-week

Running three residentials in quick succession with individual families, with an average of five members each visit, sounds expensive. Yet by thinking creatively, the SMILE Trust Partnership found a way to work that was close to the average cost of all Learning Away residentials. Learn how.

Visit the Getting Started section of our website for more guidance and information about lowering costs, fundraising, and making the case for investing in residential learning.

Discover all these case studies, and many others, in our Case Studies library.