As the numbers of school trips are reported to be dropping because of overly bureaucratic health and safety rules, Unicom has partnered with Parklands High School, Wythenshawe, Manchester, to help provide ‘learning outside the classroom’.
Northenden-based Unicom, which specialises in telecoms for small business, has donated a £13,000 bursary to The Outward Bound Trust and has specifically identified Parklands High School in Wythenshawe as the recipient of the donation.
“Most adults have fond memories of the school trips they went on when they were kids, but sadly the numbers of school trips are falling due to health and safety regulations, and kids aren’t able to experience life away from home or school as readily,” said Chris Earle, Operations Director, Unicom.
“We wanted local kids to benefit from the bursary – and as we have a number of Unicom employees that are ex-pupils of the school, it makes sense to partner with Parklands High.”
Wythenshawe can be described as a deprived area – and the school’s demographics show that the kids are likely to be from low income families eligible for free school meals, with a significant percentage having special educational needs and poor educational attainment.
The bursary will mean that 80 students from year seven – the majority of the school’s new intake for academic year 08-09 – will be able to attend a residential Adventure & Challenge course at The Outward Bound Trust’s Aberdovey centre in North Wales.
“It’s realistic to say that many of the kids have never experienced the outdoor learning associated with the courses run by The Trust,” said Phil Fitzpatrick, Head Teacher, Parklands High School.
“Health and Safety regulations are making it increasingly difficult for school trips to take place, but with the bursary from Unicom and a fantastic organisation like The Outward Bound Trust, we’re able to offer students the chance to see some of the countryside and experience time away from home and the classroom.
“Learning outside the classroom is important for building relationships and it emphasises that whilst academic achievement is important, so is having fun.”
Chris Earle, Operations Director, Unicom, said. “It’s a key responsibility of businesses at all levels to make contributions to the welfare and development of the wider community – and where better to focus it than on children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience time away, having fun and developing their confidence and characters in spectacular and natural environment.”