The heart-warming sea

Sometimes at Christmas there are some really heart-warming stories.  But rarely have they much to do with minibuses.

I mean, minibuses are good, but generally a minibus is not exactly “good news” of the Christmas variety.

Except it is now.  For the Times Education Supplement has just run the headline

How a school turned around its GCSE results by taking learning outdoors

The story is that when Julie Hazeldine took over as headteacher of Flixton Girls School in Manchester, only 39 per cent of the school’s students achieved five or more GCSEs.

In 2015, 74 per cent of students got five or more A* to C grades, and the school entered the top 7 per cent of schools in the North West.

The centrepiece of her story is that a “major factor was that we decided to move learning outdoors”.

Now we all know that one of the great things that learning outside the classroom does is enhance self-esteem.   And when Ms Hazeldine surveyed the girls in her school she found that “A common theme among the responses from the girls who were underachieving was a lack of self-esteem, self-belief and confidence.”

The pathway she followed was to use the Outward Bound Trust, and her vision was that “of creating a culture that gives students an opportunity to discover hidden talents, let them know what’s out there in the world and really widen their horizons.”

She writes about overnight camping, fell walking, climbing, canoeing, blackberry picking, learning about glaciation, and even standing in the sea in a wetsuit in February promising to catch the girls as they jumped off a boat.

Now I will openly admit that in this report the head makes no mention of the minibus – it is a short article, and the question of getting to and from each venue is not covered.

But I find it hard to imagine that such a varied and extensive range of activities could have been arranged without transport such as a minibus, simply because sometimes a coach full of students is just too many to take and look after in such challenging occupations as jumping off a boat.

However, I do know that whenever I talk about this sort of activity I do receive comments about the fact that the school can’t afford a minibus – or another minibus.

Which is where the leasing comes in.

With a minibus lease you will know how much you need to pay each month – and you will also be able to estimate how much the PTA might be able to raise for you each month towards that sum.

From then on there will be no question of waiting and waiting until the money is in the bank.  Now, this year’s students will be able to benefit from the extra minibus as well as next year’s and the year after’s.

You can find more information about Benchmark Leasing’s school minibus packages by visiting our website. Or, if you’d prefer, you can call us on 01753 859944 or email us at

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street

Tel: 01753 859944

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