A misconception of the term ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’

How can you offer Learning Outside the Classroom in winter?

Due to a misconception of the term ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’, the practice of learning outside the classroom is often abandoned in winter.

The misconception is that ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ means learning in the outdoors, when this is not at all the case. Indeed, Learning Outside the Classroom implies any environment other than the typical classroom setting.

Winter is therefore a great time to plan indoor activities (outside the classroom) such as visits to museums and theatres, to name a couple. But for this you will need cost-effective transport, which is where Benchmark Leasing comes in.

Leasing a minibus with Benchmark can often work out cheaper than buying a minibus outright (especially if one takes into account the re-sale value of a school bus at the end of its working life) or indeed hiring a coach each time.

If you would like to find out more about leasing a school minibus with us, please do call us on 01753 859944 or click here to see what we can offer.

And if you know that your colleagues are frequently searching for school trips or Learning Outside the Classroom ideas, please direct them to our Facebook & Twitter pages where they can see press releases and news about what other schools are doing.

School Minibus Myth #2

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need to have a minibus licence to drive a school minibus. Here’s why…

A school minibus can be driven by any member of staff who holds a standard car driving licence, providing that the gross weight of the vehicle is below 3500kg, the driver is at least 21 years old and isn’t being remunerated for driving the minibus.

To see if you meet the requirements to drive a minibus on a regular car driving licence, you can have a look at the ROSPA leaflet: Minibus safety, under the section entitled “Entitlement to Drive a minibus”.

If it turns out that you can drive a minibus on a regular car driving licence, it is now likely that you can increase your pupils’ opportunities and experiences for LotC because you no longer need to rely on the appointed school minibus driver to be available.

But there is a problem. Although you no longer need to worry about the appointed minibus driver’s availability, you’ll need to ensure that the minibus itself is available – especially because (I can imagine) you are going to share this myth-busting email with your colleagues.

Indeed, the only option here is to acquire an additional minibus – but buying a new school minibus is expensive, to the point of being unaffordable.

Fortunately, a growing number of schools are discovering that by sharing an additional minibus with another school in the same cluster, trust, or council, buying a new school minibus becomes an option.

Better still, if you lease a minibus with Benchmark, there is the added benefit of improved cashflow (as you pay a set fee each month) and it often works out to be much cheaper than buying a minibus outright (especially if one considers the re-sale value).

Furthermore, a full maintenance programme is included, so no matter the outcome of the vehicle’s services and MOTs, the cost of repairs won’t affect the lease price.

If you haven’t leased a minibus or thought about sharing one, please do give me a call on 01753 859944 and I can talk you through how it all works.

But if you want to take a look at who we are and what we do before you call, you’ll find more information about leasing at www.minibusleasing.co.uk.