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Last Updated: May 2024

Your child should be included in all school trips. Tips and ideas from Parent/carers we have talked to give the following tips and suggestions for making this happen:

Your child may find these will make a difference to comfort and inclusion:

  • Portable hoist
  • Toilet / shower chair
  • Manual handling sling
  • Back-up manual chair (in case of puncture or battery running out)
  • Folding bench / table plus a roll mat for changing
  • A kerb ramp that will fit in a bag on the back of the chair
  • Profiling bed (can be hired for overnights, as can most equipment)

“There are more accessible coaches and minibuses these days so transport shouldn’t be an issue. Sometimes the school used a coach and an accessible minibus. A few friends would go with my daughter and her Teaching Assistant (TA) in the minibus and the rest of the class or school went on the coach.”

“My key advice is to make sure your school has contacts with an accessible coach company and make sure the coach is booked well in advance. Even then get the school or Personal Assistant (PA) to call the coach company the day before to check the lift is working and that the driver definitely knows how to use it and how to strap the chair down!”

“I often drove my daughter but would take friends in the car with us if parents sent letters of permission, as that was more comfortable for her.”

"The PA on many occasions went to do a site visit and health and safety check and to ensure the ‘real accessibility’ of the venue.”

“I offered my services to go on trips in the early years as I could lift for toileting and TAs weren’t allowed."

“My husband and I have gone along to many school trips as ‘parent helpers’ to make sure that everything is ok. There have been two ‘overnight’ trips so far – one was in the school hall so we helped with getting him ready and into his bed, and getting him up again in the morning. One of his night-carers went to do the overnight so that he felt independent (she deserves a medal – 30 over-excited 7 year olds full of sugar overnight in a hot and sticky school hall!).”

“For a longer residential at an activity centre my husband and I did one night each. We just turned up at bed-time and left again first thing so that he felt independent. We are glad we did this as we would have felt uncomfortable with leaving anyone else in charge of his bi-pap. We also set up the room to make it work for us (bed blocks, portable hoist, toilet chair etc.)”

“We started each September with ‘what are the trips for this year?’ We would look at contacting places, planning ahead for access, inclusion, transport and if need be, alternatives!”

“Sometimes you have to accept there are some inaccessible places, for example castles.”

“Schools have a duty to risk assess and plan ahead for you, they just often forget to do it!”

“Both the school and ourselves have worked together as a partnership – so we usually get there in the end, but it definitely is never as straightforward as it is for everyone else in the class.”

“With planning most things can be done! Our attitude has always been ‘where there is a will there is a way’. Our school always had a very inclusive attitude.”