In the early 2000s a how we arranged holidays and trips was changing. The internet and the world wide web was opening up new opportunities. Ferries and flights could be booked in just a few clicks. Same too for hotels.
We were becoming our own travel agents. The incentive to 'do it yourself' was very appealing and there was the chance to save some money along the way. But many were entering this world oblivious to the potential pitfalls and problems, especially when organising a trip for a large group.
Giving teachers confidence to organise school trips
In 2002 a small group of specialist tour and travel operators came together united in the desire to support schools and ensure children and young people enjoyed the transformational benefits that school trips could provide.
Their focus was to look at how the process of organising a school trip could be made easier, how the burden of bureaucracy could be reduced and how the sector could provide assurance as to standards of health and safety so teachers, and pupils, could travel with confidence.
Setting the standards for school trips
The group created a set of standards that worked across the sector, whether it was a sports tour, languages trip, historical tour, geography, arts, music...These guidelines set agreed minimum standards for each aspect of a school trip, from the transport to the accommodation to activities offered.
Creating a school trip community
Wanting all companies in the sector to benefit from these developments, the group formalised and became known as the School Travel Forum. A forum open to anyone working in the educational travel sector.
Run by its members, for its members, for 21 years the School Travel Forum has been safeguarding standards in educational travel. In 2008 when government introduced the LOtC Quality Badge, STF adopted this award as the benchmark for safety and standards.
Supporting schools and the sector
Over the years, STF has grown and now represents the leading providers of educational travel opportunities for schools and groups. Our members benefit from a range of support including guidance and access to a dedicated member helpline. While teachers know that when they see the School Travel Forum logo they can be assured that their travel operator has passed a detailed and independent audit of their safety management processes and the quality of the educational experience.
We are delighted to have reached this milestone and look forward to celebrating with our members and partners at our national conference in London on Friday 24 November.
Be part of our 21st conference
Celebrate with us and align your brand with the best in educational travel - join us as sponsor of our 21st anniversary conference. We have a range of sponsorship opportunities, get in touch to reserve the best slot for your company.