The complexity of this makes it hard for schools to ensure that they are not breaking the law. Cost of visits, especially residentials, can be expensive and so some schools (especially those in deprived areas of economic deprivation) have a problem with this. OFSTED in their recent ‘How Far Should You Go’ report highlighted cost as a barrier to Learning Outside the Classroom. Although schools may want to organise an out of classroom experience their hands are tied if they try to pass on the costs to parents, and of course with imminent cutbacks and restricted budgets Head Teachers can be reluctant to use school budgets in this way. The consequence being that fewer LOTC experiences are organised.
Under the Education Act it is illegal for a school to make a charge to parents for an Educational Visit that falls wholly or mainly within the school day. The calculation of this is also complicated depending on comparison of lost school sessions to sessions on the visit, but with school and visit sessions being different i.e. a school session is about 3 hours but a visit session is taken as 12 hours!