We have been asked by some parents about Risk Protection Arrangements or Schemes in relation to the ongoing cancellation of school trips and visits. Risk Protection Arrangements (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-risk-protection-arrangement-rpa-for-schools) were introduced as a government scheme for Academies to buy into, to compensate for the fact that they were no longer covered by Local Authority Insurance. This was not made available to Local Authority Maintained Schools (LAMS in some of the literature) until 1/4/2020, so Wednesday of this last week. We therefore obviously have not been able to buy into this scheme for any of the trips currently under consideration, as they have all been arranged prior to this date.

All of our trips and visits are covered by either Local Authority Insurance or, in the case of some, trip organisers have offered their own insurances. We are currently working with all insurers to recover as much of parents money as we possibly can. This is unlikely to be the whole sum if it is in the form of a refund, as some of the funds have already been paid to hotels, resorts and travel providers, many of whom are currently facing bankruptcy and liquidation as a result of the global health crisis, so do not have money to refund. For some of these trips the ‘best offer’ might well be to postpone the trip to a later date when the full value of what has been paid will again be accessible to the students.

We thank you for your patience, whilst our exceptional finance team are working tirelessly with support from Worcestershire County Council to resolve these issues. These are part of a wider situation that the whole developed world is dealing with and whole industry sectors facing collapse. Our teachers are working extremely hard to create a whole online curriculum from a standing start. Whilst the frustrations around these issues are perfectly understandable, your patience and support in resolving these complex matters systematically leaves teachers free to focus on supporting their students, in this very challenging circumstance.

Thank you as ever, for your ongoing support.