Coronavirus Information

Last updated: 3 July 2020

Since 1957 we have provided learning experiences for schools and young people. It has been challenging to provide our usual levels of service and whilst we have been in contact with many party leaders, we do understand that some schools and their parents may have questions regarding the cancellation of trips. We hope that the FAQs below may help. We are immensely grateful for the support that so many of our customers have shown our team during this unprecedented time.

Why has my school trip been cancelled and what should I do?

All those schools whose trips have been impacted, i.e. those who were/are scheduled to travel before 31 May 2020, have been advised to claim any monies not recovered on their insurance as this has been acknowledged by The Government, the Association of British Insurers and various trade, professional and other organisational bodies within the school travel sector as the best method to secure cash in order to refund parents.

We communicated this information on 27 April 2020 to just under 2,000 school bookings whose trip has been impacted by Government advice and are currently supporting these impacted schools in making an insurance claim.

Where can I get further information?

On 12 March 2020, the Government, based on guidance from the Department for Education "advises schools and colleges to cancel overseas trips for children under 18 until further notice". This same advice went on to state that “The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced information on travel insurance implications following the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools and colleges should contact their travel insurance provider and the Department for Education will continue to monitor the situation.”
Recognising that this advice would constitute a cancellation by an educational setting, the Government further stated that the educational establishment should contact its insurer.

On the same day this advice was put into formal guidance which remains on the UK Government website.

The ABI position is clearly stated on their website and advises that "most schools will be covered under their insurance policy".

Subsequent to this, "National Guidance" dated 24 March 2020 was issued by the Outdoor Advisers Panel, The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom and the School Travel Forum (STF), published a statement from the Government, via the Department for Education (DfE"), as follows:
“For domestic visits and visits abroad, which have had to be cancelled as a result of government advice, contact your insurer. For those schools who have committed to educational visits which can now not go ahead, the government’s advice issued is sufficient and will allow schools to make an insurance claim against their policy. This includes more complex overseas expeditions, where the duration of school closure and the subsequent lack of organisational and preparation time with the students may mean that a future expedition has become unviable for a school to undertake safely even after the school re-opens."
Read the official statement here

The STF also has confirmation from the DfE that schools who are members of the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) scheme will be able to claim for trips cancelled in this academic year.

The DfE has also asked the STF to forward details of any insurers who advise that their policy does not cover.

What happens next?

We will issue your cancellation statement and all the paperwork you require to make an insurance claim.

This will state the cancellation charges calculated in accordance with clause 4 of our terms and conditions.

Please do get in touch with us if you need any further help at customerservice@pgl.co.uk

What is the status of future trips?

We are closely following government advice and look forward to welcoming groups to our centres as soon restrictions are lifted. We understand that there is considerable uncertainty about when and how restrictions on school travel will be lifted, yet as things stand, we are faced with no option but to treat trips scheduled to start from 1 June 2020 onwards as going ahead until Government advice changes.

Conscious of the fact that parents will be reluctant to make the further payments which become due as the travel date approaches, we have written to schools travelling in June or July 2020 to advise that we have extended the deadline for payment of final balance until 14 days (instead of 56 days) before travel date.

We are also conscious that schools and parents will be aware of increasing cancellation charges as the date of travel approaches and so to ease the time pressure on a cancellation decision, we have also decided that if school travel restrictions have not been lifted at least 21 days before the travel date, and they have not previously cancelled, then we will treat the booking as having been cancelled with effect from 12 March 2020 or 23 March 2020, the date on which the UK Government advised against overseas and UK school trips, respectively.

Equally, if you wish to cancel before this date, provided you cancel at least 21 days before your travel date and by reason of travel restrictions, we will deem your cancellation to have been effected on 12 March 2020 or 23 March 2020 for the purpose of applying our cancellation policy, being the date when school travel restrictions became effective on overseas and UK trips, respectively. We are offering this flexibility to ensure that if you cancel anytime from today, and at least 21 days prior to your travel date, you will only pay the cancellation charges that were applicable at the time the UK Government advised against overseas or UK school trips (12 March 2020 or 23 March 2020, respectively).

We communicated this information on 6 May 2020 to just under 2,000 school bookings whose trip is not currently impacted by government advice with a commitment to get back in touch ahead of the cancellation trigger that will occur 21 days before date of travel unless Government advice has changed.

I am not a school, is my situation different?

PGL offers a wide variety of trips to young people. If you are the leader of a group or have booked an adventure holiday for your child or family, then please contact us to discuss your specific situation.

Please do get in touch with us if you need any further help at customerservice@pgl.co.uk