Here are some of our top tips for schools, colleges and universities when applying for the Turing Scheme.
Identify Your Project Aim
At the outset of your project, you should identify what the aim of your project is and what you want your pupils to achieve. This will help make subsequent planning much easier for you. Having clear aims will help you to best set out your Turing Scheme application form with what activity you want to undertake, why you want to do it, and how it will make a difference for your pupils.
Research Your Destinations
Once you have identified your aims you should research the destinations that are best placed to help you deliver them. For example, if your aim is to boost language learning, a country where the language is natively spoken is the obvious choice! All successful placements need suitable partners who share or can help you to deliver your goals. Once you have identified your Turing Scheme destination, research, and approach potential partner organisations to discuss your needs and see if they are open to collaboration. Make use of existing networks that you can tap into, such as contacting your local council about twinned towns and cities abroad. Once you have identified your goals, found a suitable destination, and built your itinerary you will need to obtain organisational approval and create and submit your Turing Scheme application.
Plan Suitable Activities
Participating pupils, their parents and the Turing Scheme delivery partner will all want to see that you have planned suitable and relevant activities and appropriate accommodation/hosts for the trip. Build a comprehensive itinerary which explains all of this, detailing logistical arrangements too. Now you’ve found a suitable destination and built your itinerary, you will need to gain organisational approval and create and submit your Turing Scheme application.
Some parents, especially those of younger pupils, may be nervous of letting their children travel abroad, possibly for the first time or, at least, the first time without them. You will need to communicate the benefits of the Turing Scheme trip, highlighting the educational and personal development opportunities. You will also need to reassure parents that you have all care and safety aspects covered and gather documentary evidence of their approval for their child to take part in the trip.
Make Necessary Bookings
Ahead of the trip you will need to make all the necessary bookings, for travel and accommodation, put insurance in place and arrange all documentation and paperwork. Factoring in the time and resource to do this is essential. In particular, you should ascertain whether visas will be required and check how long these will take to process, so you can apply in good time. The Turing Scheme can provide funding towards the costs for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds - for more information about this topic read the following blog: Can Financial Disadvantaged Students do a Turing Scheme Internship?
Prepare Your Students
Once the plans are all in place, you will need to prepare your students ahead of the trip, offer guidance and information about the Turing Scheme; provide support when on the trip; and make sure experiences are captured and built upon when pupils return. Excitement is natural and it is important to manage expectations, stress that it is an educational trip and ensure pupils are clear about what is expected of them. Pay particular attention to those for who have not been abroad before and may not know what to expect.
Top Tip! Local authorities are able to support consortium bids from schools and will also have expertise in many of these areas to share, so it is worth speaking to yours to see whether they can help.