A pilot scheme designed to support educational trips to the Cairngorms National Park has proved so popular that the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has announced that the initiative will continue.
The Learning Travel Grant Scheme was launched in October 2013 and by March this year had already made 21 grant offers. The project – which is open to schools across Scotland as well as voluntary and community educational groups from in or close to the boundary of the Park – can support educational trips to the Park, with the money helping to pay for transport costs. Applicants can apply for up to 75 per cent of their travel costs up to a maximum of £200 from a fund totalling £4,500.
CNPA Board Member Mary McCafferty said: “The Cairngorms National Park is an excellent outdoor classroom and can be studied across the curriculum from history and geography to art and music. However one of the main barriers that teachers and groups face is the high cost of travel to or around the National Park. We are delighted to be able to help groups overcome that barrier by offering financial support and we hope that students enjoy and are inspired by their visit to this very special place.”
Among those to benefit during the scheme’s pilot phase were Thurso High School in Caithness, Cauldeen Primary School in Inverness and Hill of Banchory Primary who visited Cairngorm Mountain; Glenurquhart Primary School from Drumnadrochit and Merkinch Primary of Inverness went to Loch Insh and Bellahouston Academy, Glasgow went to Atholl Estates. So far students have studied a range of topics on their travels to and around the Park including land use, glaciation, conservation, wildlife habitats and social history as well as developing skills in co-operation and team work.
Elspeth Grant, the CNPA’s Education & Inclusion Officer said: “A variety of educational resources have already been produced to support outdoor learning but the Travel Grant Scheme will mean that students can actually get to where they need to be. Of the schools and groups involved in the pilot scheme, half said that their trip would not have been possible without this financial support so it’s great to be able to continue the scheme.”
For more information visit the CNPA website