The Turing Scheme offers funding to schools from across the United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories to send pupils from all backgrounds on placements anywhere around the globe.
Successfully applying for a Turing Scheme grant truly does open up a whole world of life changing opportunities for your pupils.
But what do you need to do to plan a successful trip and application? Here are our top tips on what schools need to consider.
What are your goals?
Identifying at the outset what the aim of your project is and what you want pupils to achieve will make subsequent planning much easier. For instance, is the intention to reinforce language learning? Is it to better understand the culture and economy of a certain region or country? Do you want to enhance understanding in STEM subjects, perhaps? Clear aims will help you to best set out through the application form what activity you will undertake, why, and how it will make a difference for your pupils. How do your aims align and support the four main aims of the Turing Scheme?
Where do you want to send your pupils?
Once you have identified your aims you should research the destinations that are best placed to help you deliver them. For example, if the aim is to boost language learning, a country where the language is natively spoken is the obvious choice.
Identify suitable partners
All successful placements need suitable partners who share or can help to deliver your goals. Once you have identified the destination, research and approach potential partner organisations to discuss your needs and see if they are open to collaboration. Make use of existing networks that you can tap into, such as contacting your local council about twinned towns and cities abroad.
Read our blog post for five top tips on finding international partners.
Gain approval and secure the funding
Once you have identified your goals, found a suitable destination and built your itinerary you will need to gain organisational approval and create and submit your Turing Scheme application. The delivery partner has a range of materials available to support applicants, including our Programme Guide, Application Guide and our dedicated support team.
You can also read our blog post for some top tips on writing a compelling application.
Build your itinerary
Participating pupils, their parents and the Turing Scheme delivery partner will all want to see that you have planned suitable and relevant activities and appropriate accommodation/hosts for the trip. Build a comprehensive itinerary which explains all of this, detailing logistical arrangements too.
Get parent buy-in and consent
Some parents, especially of younger pupils, may be nervous of letting their children travel abroad, possibly for the first time or, at least, the first time without them. You will need to communicate the benefits of the trip, highlighting the educational and personal development opportunities. You will also need to reassure parents that you have all care and safety aspects covered and gather documentary evidence of their approval for their child to take part in the trip.
Bookings, visas, insurance, etc.
Ahead of the trip you will need to make all the necessary bookings, for travel and accommodation, put insurance in place and arrange all documentation and paperwork. Factoring in the time and resource to do this is essential. In particular, you should ascertain whether visas will be required and check how long these will take to process, so you can apply in good time. The Turing Scheme can provide funding towards the cost for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Prepare and properly support your pupils
Once the plans are all in place, you will need to prepare your students ahead of the trip, offering guidance and information; provide support when on the trip; and make sure experiences are captured and built upon when pupils return. Excitement is natural and it is important to manage expectations, stress that it is an educational trip and ensure pupils are clear about what is expected of them. Pay particular attention to those for who have not been abroad before and may not know what to expect.
Can anyone else help?
Local authorities are able to support consortium bids from schools and will also have expertise in many of these areas to share, so it is worth speaking to yours to see whether they can help.
Find out more about schools funding opportunities under the Turing Scheme.