Institute of Education
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IOE and Education Travel Group win prestigious bid to run First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours

The Institute of Education (IOE) and Education Travel Group are delighted to announce they have been selected to run the prestigious First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Project on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The £5.3 million venture was recently announced by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and is designed to provide two pupils and one teacher from every state-funded secondary school in England with the opportunity to visit battlefields on the Western Front from Spring 2014 to 2019.  The battlefield tours are a key part of the Government's plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

The IOE and Education Travel Group offer a unique and powerful partnership of education and travel expertise and through leading edge teaching and learning approaches they will enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of the significance of WW1.

Stuart Foster, Professor of Education, at the Institute of Education, said:

"This is an inspirational project to be involved in and we are looking forward to partnering with the Education Travel Group to develop an innovative and engaging First World War education programme for schools in England.

"As well as helping pupils to explore the Western Front in more depth, the project will encourage them to think critically about the War's social, economic and political consequences and its continuing significance.

"We are keen for the project's impact to be widely felt. Pupils will have opportunities to work with their local communities to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, while teachers will be empowered through the project's pioneering professional development programme to deliver more effective lessons on the War across their schools.

"It's vital that the legacy of the War is sustained by future generations."

John Bentley, Chief Executive Officer, at Education Travel Group, said:

"We are delighted to be able to support the Government's Centenary Battlefield Tours Project with our partners at the Institute of Education.  Our selection is a demonstration of trust in our expertise, having arranged and operated educational tours for 80 years under the banner of STS School Travel Service.  With access to our Kingswood residential centre in Ashford, we also have the opportunity to provide an enhanced immersive experience before they even cross the Channel.  
"Together with the IOE, we look forward to providing a unique package of thought-provoking tours which will ensure the next generation of young people appreciate and remember the sacrifices made by our troops a century ago."
The tours form one aspect of the Government's Centenary Education Programme and will be piloted from June this year – with 40 schools initially taking part. From Spring 2014, every maintained school in England will be encouraged to participate and funding will be available to send at least two pupils on one of the tours, along with an accompanying teacher.

Project webpage:

Project email:

For more information please contact the IOE press office:

James Russell:, 020 7911 5556


The Institute of Education is a college of the University of London that specialises in education and related areas of social science and professional practice. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise two-thirds of the Institute's research activity was judged to be internationally significant and over a third was judged to be "world leading". The Institute was recognised by Ofsted in 2010 for its "high quality" initial teacher training programmes that inspire its students "to want to be outstanding teachers". The IOE is a member of the 1994 Group, which brings together 11 internationally renowned, research-intensive universities.

Education Travel Group is the UK's largest independent educational travel group, supporting schools, colleges and universities in the UK and overseas for the last 80 years. Its leading tours brand, STS School Travel Service (founded 1933) is Britain's most experienced school tour operator, offering party leaders the highest standard of educational trips. Kingswood has 30 years of experience of providing residential education and adventure activity programmes across 10 centres in the UK and France.,,

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