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Education Destination General FAQs

(see specific venue pages for additional FAQs)

General Questions

Education Destination is a forward thinking organisation offering bespoke, curriculum-relevant trips and tours to the Isle of Wight at a realistic and affordable price.

Excellence comes as standard. We offer the perfect mix of fun and learning in an "overseas" destination rich in learning opportunities for all age groups and ability levels.

We will support those who wish to take care of some of their own arrangements, or we can offer a complete door-to-door service using high quality, trusted logistics partners.

We're passionate about what we do. We will work alongside you to put together the perfect package for you. No hard and fast itineraries. No "same old same old" circular tours. Everything we offer is totally bespoke to you.

Book with us and you'll have a dedicated account manager who will ensure everything is as hassle-free as possible. They will arrange sample risk assessments and other safety documentation, help you arrange inspection visits (if required) and advise on educational resources if you're planning a learning trip. Your account manager will also be on hand during your visit to handle any issues that arise, and they will call in on you at least once during your visit.

Start by having a good look around our website - and when you're convinced that we are the best choice partner for you, simply request a quote with no obligation and we'll get cracking on developing the perfect package to suit your needs.

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Bringing a group of youngsters to the Isle of Wight is just like taking an overseas trip but without all the hassle of passports, money exchange, language barriers and lots of other considerations. For many of our guests, travelling on the ferry or hovercraft is their first experience on board a ship and the journey is short and manageable whilst being exciting.

The Isle of Wight has a long history of welcoming school groups and is well geared up for hosting thousands of students at a time mainly in seaside hotels either side of the main holiday season. We have an abundance of excellent attractions - from theme parks to zoos, castles to heritage railways. We are surrounded by the sea which features heavily in our activity offerings - from academic studies of coastal erosion or fossil hunting through to leisure pastimes such as sailing and coasteering. Much of the Island is designated an SSSI so we have the flora and fauna (and sheer beauty) that goes with that status.

We have a dry, sunny but mild climate, and offer a very safe environment for all. The Isle of Wight is one of those places that once you've been, you want to return to time after time.

Education Destination is an Island-based company specialising in providing first-rate bespoke trips to the Isle of Wight.




All of our itineraries are bespoke, built to your exact requirements, so they don't go out of date. Everything you see on our website is available to book for your next trip, subject to availability of course.

Being locally based, we talk to our venues, accommodation and activity partners on a regular basis, so we are fully appraised of updates and changes.

Our learning resources are regularly revised to keep abreast of curriculum and syllabus changes.




Education Destination prides itself on the quality and relevance of each of our learning resources. We encourage each of our partner activity providers to develop as many as possible, based on a detailed analysis of the main UK curriculums and syllabuses. We develop resources for all age ranges and relevant subjects, and these are also differentiated for ability within each key stage.

A selection of pre-visit (classroom), on-site and post-visit enrichment resources are available for many of our partner venues. All are developed by experienced teachers locally. Each is supported by a detailed Teacher Note and a useful Parent Note, and many also have sample lesson plans.




Safety & Wellbeing

Education Destination takes safety and wellbeing very seriously. Whilst all of the service providers you will come into contact with are third parties, we only endorse and use those who meet our stringent requirements.

Our Safety Management System has consolidated the many and varied requirements of the UK's Local Education Authorities, Academy chains and independent school trustees/owners. Each of our accommodation providers and venues is independently audited by a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health against our rigorous checklist. All venues, accommodation and service providers are required to supply a comprehensive sample risk assessment, updated annually, along with a copy of their public liability insurance. All are reviewed regularly and made available to our customers via our website.

Of course, we realise that you may wish to conduct your own inspections before booking or travelling, and we will happily help co-ordinate research visits for prospective tour leaders. We're also happy to act as your "eyes and ears" to answer any specific concerns you may have.

Before your trip, we'll provide you with a Day by Day Guide for each partner venue included in your itinerary. These documents summarise all of the key facts that you and your chaperones will need to know on arrival at each venue - including arrangements for first aid, toileting, lost children, summonsing emergency services etc. as well as useful summaries of the facilities available, site plans etc.




At this time, we are not eligible for either the LOtC Quality Badge or the LOtC Resource Provider Award. We cannot achieve the Quality Badge because we exclusively use third parties for accommodation and activities. We cannot achieve the Resource Provider Award because we do not deliver teaching ourselves. This is something we are urgently trying to address and as well as lobbying LOtC we are working with a number of LEAs to gain "pre-approval" to ease the planning and booking process for schools.

HOWEVER, we ARE members of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC). We support the aims of CLOtC as we too believe that every child should have the opportunity to experience the world beyond the classroom walls as an essential part of learning and development.




Some of our current venues or activities fall under AALA licensing requirements and all are provided by third parties that are fully registered and inspected by the AALA with current documentation available by way of proof.

Some activities will require medical information to be disclosed and ultimately it will be the decision of the venue as to whether a student will be allowed to undertake a specific activity in accordance with their own safety guidelines.

All animal attractions carry the relevant DEFRA and/or BIAZA certifications, and appropriate hand washing facilities will be made available to tour groups.




Most of our accommodation options can be booked exclusively, however in some cases with larger venues and smaller groups this could be prohibitively expensive.

Some accommodation providers however insist on sole occupancy.

For those where sole occupancy does not make sense financially, we have worked with the accommodation providers to identify opportunities for assured segregation. We can explain these to you fully before you proceed to booking. Wherever possible, depending on special requirements and demand, we always aim to offer you a choice of accommodation when you place your enquiry.




We subcontract transport provision to a small selection of trusted and proven coach companies - based on the Isle of Wight or regionally on the UK mainland. Each company has its own rules regarding DBS checks but it is a requirement of our ongoing contract with these providers that all drivers used on our tours are fully enhanced DBS checked.




Transport

Yes. As a provider of totally bespoke group tours, we can arrange transport on your behalf by coach, minibus or other options. We can also work with you if you'd like to arrange your own or are forced to do so by local policy.




Of course. Many clients arrive by train or plane and make their own way to the ferry. We can have a coach or minibus meet you on arrival, or we can come and get you from school, an airport or station.

Whatever your transport needs, we can help.




Sure. You can take care of the arrangements yourself or we can arrange the ferry crossings for you at a preferential and often discounted rate.




Any of them! It really depends on where you're travelling from/to and the order of your itinerary as to which crossing we will recommend, but you are free to nominate your preference if you wish.




Accommodation

The majority of Education Destination's school groups tend to stay in hotels, and in the main these are sized according to the group cohort and booked on an exclusive use basis with all meals provided.

We also offer a range of alternative accommodation options, including camping, holiday camps (chalets etc.), student accommodation, youth hostels etc. We will always try to offer you at least two or three choices depending on availability and your budget.




Whilst the majority of our venues and service providers can cater for wheelchair users, we can struggle sometimes to arrange accommodation (especially short notice) for groups with more than a one or two wheelchair users.

Most of the accommodation providers we use are based on older Victorian era buildings, thus tending to have limited numbers of wheelchair accessible or adapted rooms. However, there are a couple of options available for larger groups of mobility impaired visitors so we encourage you to talk to us as soon as possible when considering a trip as these are frequently booked in advance.




Education Destination offers accommodation options right across the Isle of Wight, but the majority tend to be concentrated in the east coast seaside resorts of Shanklin and Sandown. If you have a preference for area, let us know when enquiring.




Absolutely. We just need you to make these requirements known at the point of booking or as soon after booking as they become known. We will share the relevant information with service partners you will come into contact with, anonymised where possible.




Bookings and Payments

Once you are happy with your quote and proposal and wish to go ahead and book, we will issue an invoice for a deposit and a set of Terms and Conditions which will apply to the booking. This will be based on a headcount estimate that you give us at the time of booking. On receipt of both of these we will have formed a contract and we will then confirm the reservation for you.

If your booking is far in the future, we may give you an estimated total, with an allowance for inflation included. We will then give you an accurate final price in the October prior to the trip.

The initial deposit will be for a nominal amount per person - usually £25. The rest of the payments process depends largely on the proximity to the trip arrival date, but as most bookings are made up to a year in advance we will typically require 50% of the balance in the January prior to the trip, and the final 50% no later than 8 weeks prior to arrival date. Any late changes to headcount or other chargeable elements will be settled after the trip with a credit note or additional invoice as necessary.

All of this will be clearly set out in your booking documentation so that you have the opportunity to query anything before committing.




That depends on what you've asked for! In most cases where we provide a 'full service' your fee will usually include all of the travel and accommodation options detailed, including breakfast, packed lunch and an evening meal from the evening of arrival to the lunch on day of departure. It will also include entry fees for any booked visits, so all you will need in addition will be pocket money.

Your booking confirmation will be explicit about what is included for the avoidance of any doubt.




Education Destination Ltd is an Isle of Wight based tour operator since 2014. Here's the legal info we are obliged to publish.