Free school trips could become thing of the past as costs soar, English Heritage warns

  • Reporter Tanya Mercer was at Framlingham Castle, where pupils were on a field trip, to find out how invaluable the visits are for young people

A charity says it is struggling to fund school trips to historic sites - to make them free to families - as costs soar.

English Heritage, one of the country's largest providers of free shool trips, said costs had gone up 63% in the last two years, from £2.25 to £3.66 per child.

And the number of school trips have been down 28% since pre-pandemic levels.

The charity has launched a public fundraising campaign to help keep school trips to its historic sites free.

Megan Conway, a teacher at Stoke-by-Nayland Primary School, was leading her students on a visit to Framlingham Castle in Suffolk to learn about the Tudors on Tuesday.

She said: "In today's climate, I think some parents feel like they're constantly giving money for school trips or shows. So keeping costs down is very important and if we keep costs down, we are able to go more."

Stoke-by-Nayland Primary School have been learning about the Tudors at Framlingham Castle Credit: ITV News Anglia

The students' trip brought to life what they have been doing in the classroom.

And it was free - meaning parents and the school only had to worry about transport costs.

Emma Fernandes-Lopes, from English Heritage, said: "We do need that support from the public to enable us to keep going. It's something really really important to us, to inspire children, to involve children in education.

"To bring that to life by going to an English Heritage site just creates such a buzz about the place and also inspires the children to really want to keep learning."

Parent Jemma McKeown said: "We're so lucky to have places like this, but if it's too expensive for people to use them, it's awful.

"We've always got to pay for the bus, there are so many other expenses around working a trip like this, so it's really great that it's free."

English Heritage hopes free trips like this can continue, so children can keep learning and engaging with their history and heritage.

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