FAQ

Q: What is included in the price?

A: The price always includes accommodation, bedding and all meals. Free staff places are offered on a ratio of 1:10. The Monday-Friday price also includes a full programme of tutored arts activities. The price does not include transport to and from the centre, or insurance. Non tutored school holiday weeks are also available at a reduced cost.

Q: What will the group be doing during the activities?

A: We liaise closely with you to tailor the course content to your requirements. Most school groups will select a theme for their course (usually linked to their curriculum, but it doesn’t have to be) and our Senior Tutor will be the main point of contact with regard to planning the programmed arts activities. Tuition is included in all Monday-Friday Arts Weeks and can be provided for weekend bookings for an additional charge. Please explore our website to discover more about the activities and facilities that will be available to your group – we believe that it will be a unique and unforgettable experience for everyone.

Q: What about dates and prices?

A: Prices and availability are listed on this website, but do also contact us on 01889 270225 or email us at ingestre_hall@sandwell.gov.uk  to discuss your requirements.

Q: How secure is Ingestre Hall?

A: We ensure that our centre is kept secure both day and night, just as you would expect your school buildings to be.  We have a secure entry system with CCTV for visitors so that no one can come into the centre without our knowledge.  We provide a duty manager to ensure that our building stays secure throughout the night.

Q: Do you have fire drills?

A: All group leaders are given a full briefing on what to do in the event of a fire on arrival. A fire drill will be conducted on the first day of your visit for all Monday-Friday bookings, and instruction on the evacuation procedure is given to all weekend groups.

Q: What are your accommodation arrangements like?

A: Groups stay in dormitory accommodation and there are a variety of room sizes all inside the house. All bedding is provided but towels and washing kit are not provided.  Children will be making their own beds during their stay, so you might do well to prepare them in advance by teaching how to make up a bed with a duvet!

Q: Where are staff accommodated?

A: School staff stay in twin and three bedded rooms amongst the children’s dormitories, and all of which contain first aid and tea/coffee making facilities. Staff have their own bathrooms, some of which are ensuite. For more information about the accommodation please see our Facilities page and dormitory lists on the Downloads page.

Q: What is your booking process?

A: Please refer to the downloads section of our website for full details of how to go about booking, planning and paying for your visit.

Q: What care is available during the night?

A: School staff are accommodated within the same dormitory corridors as the children and are responsible for the pastoral care of their group. There is also a duty manager provided by Ingestre Hall each night of your visit, who will be resident on site in separate accommodation in the hall.

Q: Will pupils need additional spending money?

A: We provide all the food, snacks and drinks that your group will need. We do have a small tuck shop available for you to run each evening and a souvenir shop selling gifts.  It is up to you whether you would like to make use of these facilities and to recommend how much pocket money would be appropriate to bring, although we would suggest that £20 for a week would be appropriate. Please try to ensure the children bring change not notes.

Q: What about pupils with special needs?

A: We will liaise closely with you prior to your visit with regards to children with special needs and disabilities. We will help you in assessing the needs of the individual in the context of Ingestre Hall and will endeavour to provide appropriate accommodation and activities. Where the special needs of a child are severe, we are happy for them to come on a preview visit with a carer/parents to familiarise themselves with the Centre and ensure that we have adequate provision. We have a small suite of rooms with full disabled access, allowing children to share with friends while providing provision for carers to stay close by. Although we do not have full disabled access to all of the rooms within Ingestre Hall, we are able to make reasonable adjustments to our provision to ensure that everyone can be included in the activities.

Q: Do pupils from different schools mix?

A: Secondary schools do not share and our minimum of 50 students applies. Our minimum numbers for one school to have exclusive use of our centre is 50 students and this applies to both Primary and Secondary schools. You do not have to bring 50 students but your school would be charged for them as specified on your CBF at the time of booking. If you wish to share with a another school you are welcome to do so and we encourage you to find a partner school to share with, your minimum numbers are then reduced to 30 students from EACH school. You will have been made aware if your group is sharing with another school if you are not paying for exclusive use and if you have not already arranged your own share. We would expect all children and staff to mix and participate jointly in the activities, recreational times and mealtimes, and would highlight the importance of making new friends as one of the aims of the course.  In most cases children from different schools would not share dormitories but this is up to you, in consultation with your partner school.  We would expect school staff from partner schools to take an equal share in the running of their course, including maintaining aqequate supervision of children during breaks, meals and recreational times.  We always say that it should feel like a ‘new school’ has been created, especially for the duration of the course!

Q: How can we be contacted in an emergency?

A: The office is manned from 9.00 – 5.00pm and emergency phone calls can be taken. Outside of office hours an answer machine will be in use.  You should ensure you have adequate mobile coverage for the evening if you wish to be easily contactable. Please contact us if you have any queries.

Q: Can parents telephone students?

A: We would prefer parents to telephone your school emergency contact number rather than attempt to contact their child at the centre directly. Should a parent contact us during office hours we will always ask you to speak to them in the first instance, you decide how you wish to proceed. You must ensure that you have been provided with each parents’s full contact details so that you can contact them in any emergency.  Please note that there is no payphone at Ingestre Hall but the office telephone is available to school staff for emergency use.

Q: Do you have first aid cover?

A: If at all possible and we recommend that groups should bring at least one of their own qualified first aiders and appropriate first aid kit. In addition, we have a number of fully qualified first aid staff, including all overnight duty managers. They are available to help and support the group first aider should they be required.

Q: What do children need to bring?

A: Clothing and shoes worn during activities need to be comfortable and may get dirty – so old clothes are best.  Art students will require an old shirt or apron, and those taking Drama will need loose comfortable clothing. Dance will need black comfortable clothing if at all possible. Specialist dance shoes are not required.  Students in the Music group may wish to bring their own musical instrument, if they play already, but you should remind parents to check that it is adequately insured. We strongly recommend that parents name all items of clothing so we can send them back to you if they are found after your stay.  We ask that each child brings at least one indoor and one outdoor pair of shoes, and that slippers are only brought to be worn in dormitories, not around the centre during the day.  You can find further guidance in our downloads page.

Q: What about Risk Assessments?

A: All of our site and activities are subject to annual risk assessments, which you are welcome to view during your visit or pre-visit to the centre.  We also have a simplified general risk assessment that we can send to you should you require this for planning purposes.  You may also wish to carry out your own risk assessment of our facilities during a pre-visit to the centre.  If your group is from a Sandwell school or academy then you will not need to undertake a risk assessment for your visit, as this has already been done for you by the Council, unless you have opted out of their services.  However, all groups will need to undertake their own risk assessments for the journey to and from the centre.