What’s the biggest problem with having a school minibus – and how can it be fixed?

The fact that over half the secondary schools in the UK have at least one minibus is not a surprise. But what is a surprise is that a recent survey conducted by the School of Educational Administration and Management found that over half of those school minibuses are over 5 years old.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with an older minibus – except for the fact that, as with all vehicles, as they get older they need more attention, cost more to run and take up more time in maintenance.

Plus there is the point that minibuses are, according to the survey, increasingly being used for regular journeys to other schools, colleges, swimming pools and the like, as well as occasional visits organised by departments.

All of which means that vehicles are not only on average older, but they are also being used more – and this adds to the problem.

The simple solution (buy a new minibus) is often an impossible option, which is why the older vehicles are being kept on the road.

However, there is an alternative, which is to lease a minibus. At present around 20% of school minibuses are leased – but the SEAM report shows that well over half of schools are now considering financing their next minibus via a lease.

What’s more, leasing still allows the school to have the school name and logo on the side of the bus – with a full range of models available.

If you would like to see what models are available, do take a look at our website – www.minibusleasing.co.uk/school-minibus.php

One final bonus: not only does leasing overcome the question of funding, it also offers the opportunity of putting the maintenance with the leasing company – thus ensuring that the bus is fully serviced throughout the year and running at the highest safety standards.

If you would like more information please email us at Minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk or call us on 01753 859 944.

Study tours for school parties that know where they wish to go and what they wish to see

One of the problems with many school trips to Europe is that much of the time set aside for the event is taken up with the journey.

Although sometimes this may not be too much of a problem, where the aim is for the students to gain experience of the country whose history they are studying, it can mean that much time is spent on the coach and ferry rather than assimilating the culture and the historical context.

It is for this reason that increasing numbers of school visits organised by history departments incorporate travel by air, rather than coach and ferry.

Given that it is normally possible to fly from an airport near to the school to an airport close to the final destination, such arrangements can add up to three more days spent in the desired destination rather than on the road and at sea.

Additionally you have the option of choosing the hotel that is right for you and your students, rather than one selected by the tour operator. You can choose the price range, and you can choose a hotel near the airport or within the city or region that is your final destination.

At GTC Travel Group we understand that each group is unique and we know the importance of finding out the exact needs of your individual group and so will offer you the best advice to make your journey as stress free as possible.

Better still, our reservation technology enables us to give you the most up-to-date travel options, all the time. We book and issue our own tickets enabling us to keep full control of your booking and ensure your journey meets your needs.

What’s more, as we are ABTA and ATOL holders you can be assured that you and your students are fully protected should the airline fail (as recommended by the Health and Safety Executive for schools).

Because we have so many locations to and from which we can fly, the best way to explore the possibilities is to either call one of our specialist group reservation advisors on 020 8429 2900 or email us at groups@gtctravelgroup.com with the details of your requirements.

You can also go to our website – www.gtctravelgroup.com/info/school-groups/ for more information.

Either way we’ll come back to you with our suggestions and prices. You’ll be surprised how much time can be saved and how low group air fares can be.