Boost for Field Trips

Every secondary school in Scotland will be offered financial help to carry out educational visits to European battlefields as part of the Scottish Government’s plans to commemorate the centenary of the Great War, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.

A £2,000 grant will be made available to every senior school in the country to help them meet the costs of trips to Western Front battlefields and war graves so pupils can learn more about the sacrifice made by the many thousands from Scotland and elsewhere during the First World War.

The £1 million fund, which will be administered by Historic Scotland, will include additional subsidies for groups travelling to the continent from schools not on the Scottish mainland.

The educational grant scheme, which will span the six school years from 2013, comes after the First Minister announced a £1 million fund to allow communities across Scotland to refurbish and maintain their war memorials ahead of the commemorations.

A full programme of commemorations in Scotland is expected to be announced by the First Minister shortly.

The First Minister said many schools already run educational trips to the European battlefields, but this additional £1 million in funding will ensure that every secondary school in Scotland is offered financial help to take pupils and teachers to Europe during the centenary of the War.

“This will broadening the pupils’ knowledge of the conflict and ensuring that a new generation of Scots never forgets the unimaginable price paid by their forbears a century ago,” Mr Salmond said.

Denise Dunlop, President of the Scottish Association of Teachers of History, said that this is a fantastic initiative that he hopes all of Scotland’s secondary schools will welcome.

“Battlefield visits are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for school pupils to learn first-hand about war and its horrible consequences,” Mr Dunlop said.

“Many of these conflicts are glamourised in today’s society, and these trips offer a chance for young people to learn the truth about what happened to so many thousands of soldiers – many of whom were not much older than school age.”


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