— 26 Mar 2021 08:20:13 by Kate Moore
This guide explains the current travel advice and summarises the options for school groups with an upcoming booking. The information below is based on advice from a broad range of experts, in particular the School Travel Forum, ABTA and DfE.
Parents please note that we are in contact with all the groups booked to travel in the spring and summer terms and so please talk directly to the school if you have questions about your child's specific trip.
We have updated our group safety and wellbeing protocols so that you can still enjoy an incredible school trip, with the same activities and quality learning experiences, but with extra COVID-19 precautions. Follow this link to find out how you can book and travel with confidence.
On 26 March 2021 the Department for Education published new operational guidance which sets out the steps towards the reintroduction of educational visits in line with the government's roadmap. The guidance includes indicative dates for the resumption of domestic trips and states that it will release guidance for school trips abroad after the publication of the Global Travel Taskforce's report on facilitating international travel. We'll share this update once it is available.
We take our lead from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the government authority on safety, security and entry requirements for British people travelling overseas. The Foreign Office's advice is under constant review and so we are in regular contact with all the groups due to visit us in the 2020/21 academic year to keep them updated.
British travellers are not able to visit France until at least 17 May 2020. You can read the latest update for people travelling to France on the FCDO website.
If, when your group is due to depart, the FCDO advise against travel to France, then we would work with you to postpone the trip to a later date or find you a suitable alternative. If that proves impossible, we will cancel your trip and your group will be eligible for a refund.
If the FCDO allows travel to France at the time of your planned departure, then your group is free to travel and we will honour your booking. However, we understand that groups might still be reluctant to travel at this time and so we are offering schools, planning to travel in the spring term, the chance to transfer their booking to 2022. Not only does this remove any uncertainty about the upcoming trip, but also means that parents need pay nothing more until next year.
Alternatively, you could consider cancelling your trip, but this option hinges on your school's insurance because your group will incur cancellations charges as per our booking conditions. We’ve provided more information about how to claim for lost deposits in the insurance section below.
We are expecting to cap the number of groups staying at the Chateau at any one time which means that if you cancel your 2021 booking, we cannot guarantee to hold your preferred dates next year. At the moment, we are giving first priority to groups who transfer their group booking to the following year.
We are making arrangements to reopen the Chateau to school groups once travel restrictions have been eased. The safety of our school groups and staff is our utmost priority and the protective measures we put in place at the Chateau will cap the number of schools groups we can accommodate and so availability will be limited, at least in the short term.
We appreciate that this is a complex decision and so if you have any questions, or would prefer to talk through the options by phone, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced information on travel insurance and school insurance implications following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you have any further questions about your cover or would like further reassurance, you should contact your travel insurance provider.
The RPA includes cover for school trip cancellation and the DfE has confirmed that members of the RPA can claim for trips cancelled due to government advice.
Our full terms and conditions regarding accommodation for your trip can be found at: https://www.the-chateau.com/safety/the-company/class-tours-limited-booking-conditions/
Our full terms and conditions regarding transport for your trip can be found at: https://www.the-chateau.com/safety/the-company/castaway-school-travel-booking-conditions/
Information correct as at 30 March 2021/