As far as I can remember, school party visits, if booked in advance,
were/are free at EH sites.
It is not unreasonable to expect teachers and adult helpers to ensure that
school parties do not behave in riotous fashion. It can be extremely
dangerous for gangs of children to run wild at an ancient monument - for the
I'm not talking about taking one or two or three small children to a site
who are exploring and running back to the adults in charge of them (who are
probably watching them at all times), to say what they've found. I'm talking
of 30 - 70 children on site at one time who are left to run wild, and some
of whom egg each other on to do more and more daring things, screaming at
each other, knocking into other visitors etc etc. There's a big difference.
Anyone who doesn't see it should be trying being the teacher when one of
those children gets injured or lost, or try being responsible for the health
& safety on a site - or for dealing with compensation claims when someone
injures him/herself. Would you expect children to behave in such a way in a
classroom?? If not, why not? It's a much safer environment for children to
I've seen lots of school parties visiting different ancient monuments over
the years. The classes that looked happiest as they'd left the site were the
ones that had been supervised well by their teachers. And those tend to be
the schoolchildren who write delightful letters to staff on site to say how
much they enjoyed their visit. And it's lovely to hear young adults visiting
a site saying they came back because their interest in history had been
sparked off by a school trip to that place 10 years or so earlier.
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