Please click here to make an enquiry about a booking.
Our services are very popular and during busy times of the year, you may need to book a few months in advance to secure the date you want. To ensure you get the date you want, we are happy to provisionally book your school in and hold the date until you have made a decision (dates will be held up to 1 month for quiet periods and 2 weeks for busy periods). It is therefore essential that once you have made a decision, you contact us as soon as possible so we can secure your booking. Once your booking is secure you will receive a booking form as confirmation.
We will always try our best to fit you in on the day you require or as close as possible to this date.
Please also remember that we are only able to offer this service because the places we visit are willing to open themselves to us in the best interest of community understanding. We are very grateful for this cooperation and it has benefited tens of thousands of pupils over the last 40 years. We do not want to jeopardise the excellent relationships we have built up with the places of worship we use.
Minimum Group Size
Our minimum group size (to make our work financially viable) is 25, although we can cater for smaller groups so please Contact us if your group will be smaller than this.
Recommended Ratios of Staff
We recommend a minimum number of adults for visits as follows (Children aged 4-7 – ratio of 1 adult to every 6 children, Children aged 8-11 – ratio of 1 adult to every 10 children, Children aged 11 to 14 – ratio of 2 or 3 adults per 30 children) This ensures health and safety as part of visits.
If you are visiting more than one place of worship, please arrange with your coach company to go to the Open Centre first (Pear Tree Road) so that pupils may drop off bags etc. Please note that only food prepared in the places of worship’ kitchens is allowed to be eaten there. Pupils will walk from the Open Centre to all places of worship and then back again to collect their belongings.
At the Open Centre, we want to ensure that all visitors have the best experience as possible as a result, when you make a booking you will be sent detailed information regarding your visit.
Health and Safety is very important to us so as part of your booking you will be sent all appropriate risk assessments, that have been carried out based on our premises, places of worships and all our activities. However please note – these risk assessments cover general risks that apply to the majority of visitors to the Open Centre and is only a guide. Schools and organisations should carry out additional risk assessments of their own to ensure specific needs are accounted for regarding visitors. If you wish to conduct a pre-visit please contact, Sam, the Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to discuss this with you.
Letters to Parents/Carers
If you would like any help with what to send out to parents in your letter for the trip, please download our Template Letter for Schools which you can edit and amend based on your trip. We recommend sending out trip letters at least 4 weeks in advance.
Some schools are finding that some parents have reservations about their child becoming involved in activities concerning other cultures. If this is the case for you, the Open Centre has created a leaflet with a step by step guide on how to help you with situations such as this. Please email Sam Hussain, Manager, on email@example.com for this support guide and to discuss things further.
LEA RE Advisors recommend that all organisations/schools use the Open Centre to book visits. All our visits are led by our trained and DBS certified staff, who are also members of the local community – they know how to present appropriate information in a sympathetic manner which can be appreciated by all visitors. The Open Centre also carries out detailed risk assessments for each place of worship which is sent to all organisations/schools when they make a booking.
Warning about Booking Direct with Places of Worship
We (and all LEA RE advisors) strongly advise you against making a direct booking with a place of worship.
We have had unfortunate reports of inappropriate language and material being used with groups in some places of worship where schools have not booked through the Open Centre, as these visits can be led by anyone that may or may not have been trained or DBS checked.