What describes a perfect school trip?

Teaching Times has reported on research carried out by Merlin Learning Experiences aimed at finding out how both primary and secondary school teachers would assess the perfect school trip.

In interviews with teachers, Merlin Learning Experiences was able to identify the priority that teachers placed on the various aspects and outcomes of school trips, including:


Out of these, teachers cited “links to the curriculum”, “organisation” and “cost” as the least important aspects of schools trips, with many reporting that they saw “enjoyment” and “forming relationship” as core aspects.

However, teachers clearly cited “safety” on school trips as the highest priority of all, both in terms of securing sign-off for the trip and undertaking a risk assessment.

Which naturally means that the job of maintaining the school’s minibus in top condition (for example) has to be of the highest priority.

But there is a problem. Because not only is this an issue of the utmost importance, but it can also take up a significant amount of time. And it is not a job that can be put off until tomorrow.

Of course, if the person nominated to be in charge of the School’s Transport Policy always has time at the moment when the maintenance is due, then there is no problem. But if this is not the case, it can mean that the vehicle is either being used outside its safety parameters or has to be taken off the road.

However there is a solution.

For if you lease a minibus with Benchmark we will arrange for the vehicle to receive regular maintenance and servicing checks by qualified engineers, giving you the comfort of knowing that the school minibus is fully operational and safe.

What’s more, our leasing option means that you can benefit from improved budgeting and cash flow, as there will be no unexpected bills suddenly to be paid.

It is an arrangement which very often makes it possible for schools to fund the minibus through a small payment each month. And in some cases, where trips are paid for by contributions from parents and the PTA, it is possible to allocate a part of those payments towards the cost of the minibus.

You can find more information on our website or give us a call on 01753 859944.

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street



Tel: 01753 859944

Book your new covered area now

Many UK schools are providing new outdoor covered facilities and CambridgeStyle Canopies is at the forefront of providing the solutions.

Working within schools everyday we have a thorough knowledge of the exacting requirements demanded

New facilities for staff & students alike include new outdoor covered walkways and areas for learning/play/parents waiting areas and new modern cycle storage solutions.

Extremely proud of our reputation for highest quality of both products & service at very competitive costs to our clients, why not see how we can help you with new facilities.

Don’t delay. Call or email us today to book your site survey. Please quote HH1





Brian Taylor
Managing Director
CambridgeStyle Canopies

01353 699009

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How can your school or college obtain FREE Collins English dictionaries?

Putting a dictionary in the hands of a student can not only help them develop their writing skills and make them a more confident speller but in some cases a few extra words spelt correctly can tip the balance between getting a grade D or a grade C at GCSE English..(and quite possibly in other subjects as well).

Collins English dictionaries are used in many UK schools and are widely respected for their accuracy and content.  They are ideal for prizes or incentives as well as for day to day use in lessons, homework and revision.

But did you know that it is now possible for schools to obtain FREE copies of Collins English dictionaries?

The Collins English dictionary lists approx. 15,000 words on 615 pages and is a normal paperback size (176 x 110 mm).  Suitable for students from KS3 up to A level, it has an RRP of £6.99 but schools and colleges can order @ £2.99 each, a saving of £4 per copy.

So what about the free dictionaries …..?

Orders of 100 or more copies will receive 50% extra copies free of charge, eg order 100 dictionaries and you’ll receive 50 extra copies free,  order 300 copies and get an extra 150 free…. and so on, pro-rata.  Schools can order any quantity but the FREE offer only applies to orders of 100 or more.

Further details of the dictionaries and this offer may be obtained from Signpost Educational Ltd., PO Box 999, London E14 6SH.  Tel: 020 7515 1797 or email: signpost@talk21.com.  Information may  also be found on their website: www.signposteducational.co.uk

PS. In addition to the dictionary offer, schools can also obtain “Student Essentials” sets, designed to meet the basic needs of students in most lessons.  Comprising three black ink ballpens, two full size HB pencils, metal sharpener, eraser and a 15 cm ruler…all packed in a clear “exam friendly” zip-up wallet from only 75p each ex vat.  Ideal for handing out in lessons or selling to pupils for everyday use as well as for exams.  Details on the website as above.


Although it might be tempting, you can’t do everything and be everyone – well at least not all the time

Working in a school has side effects – one of which is becoming an expert in fields which you never even knew existed. From an expert chair and workbook fixer to an expert product reviewer, particularly where stationery is concerned.

Not to mention when it comes to looking after the school’s minibus, because well… you may have noticed (if this is in your jurisdiction) that you are also an expert mechanic (at least in terms of topping up the screen wash and checking the tyre pressure), an expert driver, and an expert at shopping around for the best deals on motor insurance.

And whilst expanding your skillset is always a good thing (and can be enjoyable), sometimes there just isn’t the time in the day, term, year, or career to do everything and be everyone.

Thus the team here at Benchmark Leasing has for some time been working hard to create the most convenient minibus leasing packages for schools in order to reduce your workload – an arrangement whihc has evolved through feedback from school managers and site managers.

So here goes…

The maintenance

By leasing with Benchmark you will get a brand new minibus which means that there is a reduced chance of anything going wrong. Better yet, a full maintenance programme is included in the arrangement in which our professional engineers will undertake all the standard maintenance and servicing for you.

So no matter the outcome of the vehicle’s services and MOTs, the cost of repairs won’t affect the lease price.

This effectively reduces the onus that is put on the person who is nominated in the school’s transport policy to look after the minibus. Indeed, it was to overcome issues and difficulties such as this that we introduced full maintenance as part of our minibus leasing.

The funding

By leasing a minibus with us the cost is spread over time with fixed monthly costs, and can be accounted for in the budget. The PTA can still contribute by raising money to pay for the monthly payments, but there is no longer that long wait for a large capital sum to be accumulated.

Additionally, where trips are paid for by contributions from parents and the PTA, it is possible to allocate a part of those payments towards the cost of the minibus. In other cases the minibus can be funded through a small monthly deduction from the school’s income.

Benchmark Leasing specialises in the supply of school minibuses and because of this we are able to offer very competitive prices.

For more information about leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing you can go to our website, call us on 01753 859944 or email minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk.

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The Boardworks team

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