Travel Specialist Welcomes Scottish Government Announcement On WWI Centenary Trips
Thursday, 23 May 2013
One of the UK’s largest providers of UK school trips to Europe has welcomed news that the Scottish Government will help to fund educational trips to European battlefields to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
STS School Travel Service said the First Minister’s announcement of supporting schools meant there was now “a level playing field” across the UK.
Last year UK Prime Minister David Cameron had pledged £5.3m to help fund school trips to European battlefields, with the government’s funding offering free places to at least two pupils and one teacher participating in WWI battlefields trips between 2014 and 2019 in a nationwide drive to commemorate the Great War.
Initially it was feared Scottish pupils would miss out as Scottish schools were excluded from the deal - which applies solely to state-funded secondary schools in England.
However, the First Minister has this week confirmed that £1million will be made available to Scottish schools to assist in meeting the costs of trips to battlefields and war graves so pupils can learn more about the sacrifice made by the many thousands from Scotland and elsewhere during the First World War.
STS said the move was a welcome one and it would continue to match the UK government’s offer by providing three free places for Scottish students on their 2014-2019 battlefield trips.
“The Great War saw all four UK countries fighting together in a united British Army but Scotland saw the largest percentage of recruits; over 140,000 Scottish soldiers lost their lives fighting for us,” explained STS spokesperson Steve Stewart.
“The UK Government’s programme of funding is a fantastic offering for students in England, and at STS we felt it was very important that Scottish students received the same opportunities to learn about their history.
“That’s why we pledged to match the offer of three free places for schools in Scotland, but it’s great news that the Scottish Government has also made funding available to ensure that there is a level playing field for pupils throughout Great Britain.”
Scottish schools which take advantage of the offering from STS can expect a tailored visit that will allow students to learn about the key figures and Scottish divisions that fought in the war and, as well as gaining a comprehensive understanding of the era, the chance to trace their own heritage through monuments that commemorate those who gave their lives.
The offer is initially valid to all schools that book by 31 July 2013 for travel in 2014. For full information go to http://www.equityschooltravel.co.uk/subjects/battlefields-tours/ioe .
STS School Travel Service is the UK's oldest school travel company, founded in 1933, and is part of the UK's largest independent educational travel group. They are also exclusive travel partners in the UK's Centenary Partnership Programme, see www.1914.org.