Before students arrive, they should be allocated a coach/excursion number which will be their group for the duration of the stay. This is the responsibility of the Leisure Manager/Excursions Manager and Excursions Co-ordinator with the assistance of the Centre Manager. This needs to be done before every arrival day and be ready before registration starts.
This is a very important element of the role, as you are to divide the Master List of students into manageable groups for each excursion, whilst ensuring the following objectives are all met. Although not difficult, this will take time and cannot be done last minute.
- Group sizes are to make the maximum use of the transport method and assume all staff (welfare ratios) and IGLs, i.e. a 49 seater coach could have 44 students, 2 IGLs and 3 LAL Summer Schools staff.
- No student is to ever go on the same excursion twice (unless specifically requested in writing by the agent or parent and approved by the Centre Manager). If a student is staying for more than 4 weeks they will have to repeat some excursions. Check with the UKSS Operations Manager that this has been discussed and agreed with the student/agent/parents.
- All groups are to stay together with their IGL, unless expressly requested by the agent or LAL Summer Schools Head Office. Please discuss this with the IGLs on arrival so you can make changes at the start.
- All students staying for a minimum of 2 weeks must see all destinations on the Programme/Excursion Schedule.
- All three and four week students need to be planned for, as they will have different destinations for their third and fourth week. This can be done by placing them in the same groups initially, or being prepared to amend their Student ID Card for week three. Note: To maximise efficiency they will sometimes do the 3 or 4 week excursion in their first or second week so they can go together with other students who have longer bookings, thus saving money on multiple half-full coaches.
There are many different ways to manage this list, so a specific method has not been prescribed. The key is to check and check again.
As groups must stay together, start with them. Try to separate groups of the same nationality amongst different coach/rail groups.
When we have large numbers of students we split the excursions to reduce our impact on the destinations, so although all students will get a full-day excursion to Stonehenge for example, one half will go week 1 and the other half will go week 2. This decision is yours, but you have to ensure that you have checked all requests and agent information before finalising these.
You can then use the individual students to fill in the gaps amongst your groups but be prepared for them to request changes. This decision ultimately lies with you again but, if possible, please accommodate their wishes as they may have made new friends.
Once you have finalised the excursion group lists, input them into the primary Master List so the Office Manager can ensure these details are added to the Student ID Cards during registration.
All long-stay students should be placed together, including any groups which are staying for longer. This will enable the students to travel together on the same coach/es to the alternative destination from the rest of the school who are staying for two weeks.
Alternatively, replacement Student ID Cards can be issued to long-stay students if this is easier, following the above procedure. However, make sure these students are re-issued with new Student ID Cards, while taking the old ones from them, and advised of the change.