We understand that it is essential for the trip to be well supported, that back up is available and that all such arrangements have been made to ensure that once abroad, groups are in safe hands. In order to provide direct and immediate support, we will ensure that there is always someone close at hand to help – either by phone or in person.
Though there can be exceptions, a UK based Group Leader will normally be appointed to all of our trips. While we call them ‘leaders’, we prefer that they are seen more as being mentors and guides for our groups – to provide guidance and encouragement.
Never-the-less, the Group Leader has the ‘higher duty of care’ for the duration of the itinerary and will work to ensure that the logistics and timings of the itinerary are met and that all journeys and activities are safely managed.
Group Leaders will normally hold qualifications associated with the nature of the itinerary and the environment being visited. They will be experienced in working with young people on similarly focussed itineraries and have undergone an enhanced disclosure (DBS check).
Schools Worldwide have reliable and knowledgeable in-country suppliers, in every destination we run trips to who are always the first point of contact for the team in country, whatever the reason.
We will only use in-country suppliers that employ experienced and qualified local staff. Therefore, if your Group Leader is not familiar with the exact area you are visiting, the local guides and trek staff will have the added expert local knowledge and experience to safely support the itinerary.
24-hour UK Support
We operate a 24-hour support service which is available to all groups overseas, that endeavours to provide group leaders with immediate contact with a member of our UK office team. This is the frontline of our Crisis Management Plan, which draws upon the additional support and expertise of our parent company, The Natural Travel Collection, as well as external specialists to deal effectively with any major incident.
Remote Medical Support
All groups are registered with Remote Medical Support, providing our groups with direct telephone communication with a qualified UK doctor 24 hours a day. This is of particular importance for individuals travelling with complex conditions, for leaders who wish to seek advice on prescribing a particular item from the medical boxes, or if wishing to seek a second opinion on a local diagnosis.
All our group Leaders carry a satellite telephone with them on trips where mobile phone signal is not reliable. We operate an ‘Open Comms’ system whereby the satellite phone is turned on for a pre-determined time slot each day, in order that the Leader can receive incoming calls from our UK offices.
To ensure that groups leaders have the correct equipment available to support them throughout the itinerary, we have a comprehensive array of additional safety equipment that we will provide Group Leaders with access to, depending upon their itinerary and activities. This may include water throw-lines, climbing ropes, slings and karabiners, ice axes, emergency shelters, or climbing helmets.