— 29 Mar 2021 14:25:09 by Kate Moore
The DfE's new operational guidance relating to the resumption of school trips published 26 March 2020, states that all school trips must be conducted in line with relevant coronavirus (COVID-19) secure guidelines and regulations in place at that time. This includes system of controls, such as keeping children within their consistent groups and the COVID-secure measures in place at the destination.
The DfE is working with Public Health England on what coronavirus (COVID-19) secure residential visits will look like and we expect further advice to be published soon. In the meantime we have set out our additional COVID safety measures below to support your enhanced risk assessment. This guide should demonstrate that we have the expertise, financial security and emergency back-up in place for you to return to our centres in confidence.
While schools from the UK haven’t been able to travel France, we’ve been welcoming French schools to the Chateau so that they can practise their English with our bi-lingual team. The pop-up programme has allowed us to establish our COVID safety protocols with French school groups and so you can be confident that when you return to Normandy, our procedures have been tried and tested.
We have been hard at work adapting our two Normandy centres so that we can welcome schools back as soon as they are able to travel. Although some things have changed, such as more stringent cleaning procedures, the core of our French immersion programmes have not changed. Please see our COVID-19 enhanced protocols below to find out about the measures we’ve put in place to protect everyone.
The downloads below should provide enough evidence for you to complete an enhanced risk assessment for your next visit, but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require specific information or have any questions.
Of course, if you would like to see the new controls for yourself, we can organise a subsidised inspection visit to the Château or La Grand' Ferme as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.
You can be reassured that we are in control of every aspect of your stay and so we can ensure the highest standard of care for your group.
All groups have 24/7 emergency back-up from our experienced UK travel team and so if you have to change your plans at short notice, we will use our coach fleet and travel connections to get you home quickly and safely.
We have been hosting school groups in Normandy for over twenty years and so we have the experience and local knowledge to look after the specific needs of your group. In the case of a suspected COVID case, we are here to liaise with local medical services and to advise on local health protocols on your behalf.
The benefit of staying at our Normandy centres cannot be underestimated, not only in terms of the service levels and language programmes designed for UK schools but also our ability to accommodate your group for as long as necessary if that were required.
We are proud of our close relationship with our schools and we promise that if your plans have to change, we will treat your group fairly. Over the last six months we have had to reorganise the travel plans of hundreds of groups, but over this challenging period we have retained the goodwill of our groups, a testament to our individual approach.
Though 2020 was a challenging year, you can be confident that the company is secure. We are part of a diverse group which includes a leisure travel company, a coach company, as well as a hotel and other properties in France which have been rented out to private groups bringing in welcome additional income. What’s more, a large proportion of school groups have already rebooked for 2021 and 2022 demonstrating teachers’ confidence in our standard of care and faith in the benefits of our French immersion programmes.
To read the latest travel advice for France and information about your current booking, please go to our Coronavirus travel advice page.
If you have any questions or need any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be very pleased to help.
Though the centres are booking up fast with postponed groups from 2020 and 2021, there is still time to reserve your place and have something positive for your students to look forward to.
We can sometimes offer more flexible booking terms for schools who are worried that their travel plans may change. If your school is unsure about authorising your next trip, we can reserve your dates now and you confirm things once things are more settled. This additional flexibility depends on the dates and size of your group and so please do contact us to find out more.
Please note that this content is subject to change and was last updated on 1 April 2021.