Schools which cannot afford the travel expenses of taking pupils on trips will be able to apply to get their costs covered by English Heritage in future, it was announced today.
The organisation is making available enough money to finance around 7,500 coach trips to take children to English Heritage’s historic sites each year.
It should make long term financial sense for the organisation because it is acknowledged that those who visit such sites as school children are more likely to return in adult life, so the move should help maintain visitor numbers.
The money will come from donations and legacies which have been made to benefit public body.
English Heritage said that around 10,000 state schools in England will be eligible to apply for the History Bus scheme, and it expects around 30,000 youngsters are expected to benefit this year.
Admission to the 400-plus sites in the organisation’s National Heritage Collection is already free for schools, it said.
English Heritage chief executive Simon Thurley said: “People are more likely to visit historic sites if they first visited them as a child. The sites in the National Heritage Collection are free to all schools but the cost of actually getting to them is beyond the reach of many.
“Our History Bus scheme changes all that and it means that more teachers and children can get out of their classrooms and visit the places where history was made.”
Education Secretary Michael Gove backed the initiative, saying it is “fantastic” that tens of thousands of schoolchildren will be able to visit sites that played a significant role in English history.
The move comes as English Heritage celebrates the centenary of the Ancient Monuments Act of 1913, which effectively established the National Heritage Collection.
Sites in Yorkshire include Rievaulx Abbey, Brodsworth Hall and York’s Cold War bunker.
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