The browser you are using is out of date and is no longer supported. To view and use this site correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.

We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Opening up Scotland's heritage to schools

11 May 2010

Thousands of young people across Scotland are to benefit from an extension to a scheme which makes school trips to Scottish heritage sites more accessible.

School travel subsidy scheme - Fiona Hyslop with school party

Trips to the New Lanark World Heritage Site are to be included in the educational travel scheme for the first time, helping schools deliver heritage education through active and outdoor learning - all in the context of Curriculum for Excellence.

School visits to all Historic Scotland properties and three iconic National Trust for Scotland sites (Bannockburn, Culloden and the Robert Burns’ Birthplace Museum) are also covered by the travel scheme, which is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Historic Scotland.

Launching the scheme at New Lanark, Fiona Hyslop,  Minister for Culture and External Affairs said:

“New Lanark is a world class heritage education facility.  As we approach the anniversary of the birth of Robert Owen I am delighted we can support a legacy for learning through visits to sites of historic cultural, social and economic importance.  This joint scheme is providing valuable support for schools and shows the strength of heritage education in Scotland.”
During her tour of the sandstone cotton mills the Minister saw a mill worker’s house,  textile machines in action and a school lesson which took place in an 1820’s classroom.  P6 pupils from Knightsridge Primary in Livingston were one of the first schools to benefit and took part in an interactive classroom lesson as part of the launch.

Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, said:  

““Learning about Scotland’s history, heritage and culture is a vital part of Curriculum for Excellence and this scheme provides a breadth of opportunities for young people from across the country to actively learn about our past and how it has shaped Scotland in the 21st Century.”

Lorna Davidson, Director of the New Lanark Trust said:

“We are delighted that New Lanark is included in the school travel subsidy scheme, especially because education is such an important part of New Lanark's heritage.  Robert Owen was a real pioneer, and he actually advocated the value of taking children out of the classroom to visit museums, explore the countryside and so on.  The experience of visiting a historic site can be really memorable for children and certainly deepens their understanding of how our lives have changed over the centuries."

Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland said: “A visit to one of our fascinating properties gives pupils the chance to get hands on with their heritage and see history brought to life. This scheme enables more young people to engage with the story of our nation and inspire a lifelong enthusiasm for its cultural heritage.”

Catriona Webber, class teacher, Knightsridge School said: “There are excellent educational  opportunities through school visits to historic sites and the travel scheme made it much easier for us to come to New Lanark.  Visiting sites such as New Lanark puts learning into context and brings it to life in an enjoyable and inspiring way.”

Notes for editors

  • 1.Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

  • Register for media release email alerts from If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please email Images will be issued following the visit.

  • The School Visits Travel Subsidy Scheme is offered to schools throughout Scotland to encourage visits to heritage sites of national importance in support of Curriculum for Excellence and outdoor learning.   Funding of up to £128,000 has been committed in 2010/11 in support of the scheme which allows schools to apply for 75% of transportation costs up to £200.  

  • The subsidy is available all year round for the sites included except Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Bannockburn and New Lanark during the month of June.

  • Robert Owen, born 14th May 1771, died 1858, was made Manager of New Lanark Mills in 1800.  He believed that education was the key to forming the character and that by providing education alongside fair working conditions, the villagers of New Lanark would become good citizens.  Children at New Lanark attended school until they were ten years old, a concept quite unique in the 1820’s.

For further information

Jennifer Johnston Watt
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8070 or 07827 956 866