European Study Tours are proud to be Assured Members of the School Travel Forum (STF) and, whilst apologising for any duplication, we are passing on this important message form the STF which we full endorse and support.
Skiing Europe Investigation
You may be aware of the on-going investigations into the activities of Skiing Europe and its proprietor Chris Reynard, which has left a number of schools and youth groups unable to travel on paid for skiing trips and others which have had to pay again for accommodation, transport and services that they had already paid Skiing Europe for. The School Travel Forum has assisted Radio 4 and BBC News in their recent reports and subsequently a police investigation has been instigated, a development we fully welcome.
This highlights the difficulties for teachers, schools and Local Authorities in meeting their need to identify reputable companies; our view has always been that it is easy for companies to appear to be trustworthy and safe, but very difficult for that to be thoroughly investigated, particularly for those outside the travel industry and with significant other duties to undertake. Regrettably such problems have the potential to put schools off organising trips, denying children from the indisputable benefits they bring. It was for this reason that the STF, a not for profit organisation, was established; our aim is to provide a robust means of identifying reputable travel providers, which satisfies all due diligence and guarantees high standards in the school/youth travel industry.
The STF sets the benchmark for school travel companies; setting demanding standards and overseeing rigorous annual inspections of all members to ensure those standards are being maintained. Membership is open to all school travel companies, both small and large, providing they can meet and maintain our standards;Skiing Europe is not a member of the STF. Our organisation sets the benchmark for school travel companies; we are an Awarding Body of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge scheme and are supported by major teachers’ unions and headteachers’ associations. The OEAP endorses the LOtC Quality Badge and requests to Local Authority Members to recommend the use of LOTC Quality Badge Providers.
There is no cost to check a company’s accreditation, simply visit the web sites; it is quick and easy to use, whilst ensuring the most rigorous check of potential suppliers. School trips are proven to be of immense value and STF members are committed to fulfilling their responsibilities. For confidence and protection it makes sense to use providers who have proven standards; insist on using suppliers that display these logos.