More school trips are needed to inspire a passion for heritage

books and pencilsResearch carried out on behalf of insurer Ecclesiastical shows that millions of young people never visit museums, galleries or theatres.

image: News Ecclesiastical 

Research by The Sutton Trust, which focuses on improving social mobility, has found educational outings such as going on trips to museums and galleries help bright but disadvantaged students to get better A-levels2. While schools are under increasing financial pressures, the charity recommends that enrichment vouchers should be funded through the pupil premium for both primary and secondary pupils. While many young people are missing out, some schools are using methods such as whole-school fundraising, with the proceeds pooled, to help pupils attend school trips.

Ecclesiastical writes:

  • Young adults prefer to stay in and watch TV or use social media than go out and visit a museum, gallery or theatre
  • More than a third (36%) of 18-30 year olds never visit galleries, and almost a quarter (24%) never visit theatres. While just under one in five never visit museums (19%)
  • Engaging children with heritage and culture early on is important as people who were not taken to heritage locations as children on school trips are far less likely to visit them as adults

Schools have a vital role to play in engaging young people in heritage, according to new research by Ecclesiastical, the specialist heritage and education insurer. The research revealed that school trips to historic houses and museums help to inspire a lifelong passion for heritage. The survey of 2,000 18-30 year olds1 across the UK found people who were not taken to heritage locations as children on school trips are far less likely to visit them as adults. The research revealed millions of young people in the UK never visit heritage organisations….

The perception that heritage organisations are ‘boring’, distance to travel, and cost are the top three reasons that prevent young adults from visiting heritage organisations. More than a third (36%) of 18-30 year olds never visit galleries, and almost a quarter (24%) never visit theatres. While just under one in five never visit museums (19%). Almost half (48%) never visit stately homes, while a third (33%) never visit castles. The research revealed a stark gender gap in attitudes towards heritage with young men far less likely to visit heritage buildings than women.

Millions of young people never went on school trips to heritage organisations

Many of the young adults surveyed had never visited heritage organisations as a child. More than a third (37%) had never visited a stately home, while a quarter (25%) had never visited a gallery as a child. Just under one in five (19%) had never visited a castle as a child. People who were not taken to heritage locations as children on school trips, are far less likely to visit them as adults. For example, 60% of those who went to museums as children visit at least once a year now they are adults. While of those who never visited museums as children, 69% never go as adults. In contrast, engaging children with heritage and culture early on can help to inspire a lifelong passion for heritage. For example, 50% of those who visited galleries as children visit at least once a year now they are adults.

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