FAQs for Teachers/Leaders

Everything you need to know – faq’s for teachers/leaders

What happens if I need to increase numbers?

Please let us know as soon as possible. We’ll always try to accommodate additional participants, but we need to ensure that we have enough beds and instructors available. Additional students will be charged at the agreed rate, and additional leaders over the 1:10 leader student ratio are £40 per person per night. When numbers or gender splits change, it isn’t always possible for all leaders to participate in every activity – we need to keep groups to a maximum of 1 instructor for every 6 participants.

What happens if my group is smaller than booked?

To ensure we allocate rooms and instructors fairly, please be as accurate as possible when making a booking. We know that recruitment doesn’t always match aspiration, so please let us know as soon as possible. There are cancellation charges for number reductions within 8 weeks of the trip – please read our T&Cs carefully.

Is my group eligible for funding?

Our ‘Leave No Child Behind’ funding is available to support young people who due to family circumstances would otherwise not be able to join their class or group on the trip. Funding is based on a range of criteria, including free school meals. We have separate funding for Isle of Wight students and for Sea.Change and careers courses.
The school/group applies for funding, not the parent. Ask us for a funding application.

Do you cater for additional needs?

Yes, everyone is welcome at UKSA. Dietary, cultural and health considerations are not necessarily a barrier to enjoying a residential trip. Tell us in advance what support your group needs.

What happens in bad weather?

We can usually provide a full range of watersports in most weather conditions. If we have adverse weather while you are at UKSA we may need to alter the programme to keep your young people safe, but we will discuss this with you at the time.

Are groups kept seperate?

Yes. Each group/school has their own accommodation, allocated mealtimes and separate activities. You won’t formally mingle with other groups, but you may meet in the dinner queue and could mingle in free time.

What are the bedrooms like?

All accommodation is dorm rooms with bunk beds, sleeping between 4 and 8.
Rooms either have ensuite facilities or shared washrooms.
Every group has separate accommodation.

Is bedding provided?

Yes. Every bed has a duvet and pillow (hollow fibre, not feather) with a sheet, duvet cover and pillowcase. The bedding is washed between visits in a commercial laundry at 80 degrees and ironed at over 100 degrees.

What are the facilities for teachers and leaders?

Teacher/leaders have separate bedrooms and bathrooms. These are twin rooms, but occupancy will depend on the number of leaders accompanying the group.
Leaders not taking part in activities can use the UKSA waterfront bar or common room in the Sea.Change building. Leaders feeling active can take advantage of a free daily early morning adults-only session in our indoor pool.
Cowes High Street is a 15-minute walk from UKSA, and the nearby cycle path is popular with walkers and runners. We need mobile numbers for any leaders going off site.

Can we ask for specific accomodation?

Our accommodation areas suit different sizes of group, so we allocate based on the group size and male-female split. If you have a preference, we’ll do our best to meet it, but we can never guarantee accommodation allocations.

Is our choice of activity guaranteed?

We’ll use the day/evening activities you select on the Booking Form to build your trip programme. If we can’t deliver your preferred activities, we’ll talk with you about alternatives.

What are the responsibilities for adults leading the group?

We ask all group leaders to manage student behaviour and to be actively involved during mealtimes and after hours in the dormitory.
Our staff manage safety and instruction on the water and during activity sessions. They’ll ask you to help with behavioural issues as you know the students best.

Can leader/teachers join in?

Group leaders can join in with watersports if we know in advance – we run on-water activities at a ratio of 1 instructor for 6 students – and that includes teachers.

What clothing is needed?

We provide wetsuits, safety helmets and buoyancy aids for all water activities.
Participants need clothing that can get wet – a swimming costume, shorts and t-shirt or rash vest to wear under wetsuit, and a pair of secure wetsuit shoes or old trainers for wearing in the water.
We recommend that all clothes are labelled.

What else is useful to bring?

Bring two towels – one for watersports and one for showering.
Pack a plastic bag or dry bag for wet clothes for the trip home. A roll of bin bags is useful.
Everyone needs a water bottle.
If you want tea and coffee, bring a lidded mug.
Laminated name tags for wetsuit hangers.

What about pocket money and personal items?

Everything is provided at UKSA, so you don’t really need any money unless you want us to arrange a visit from the ice cream van. We have a vending machine and small selection of souvenirs.
Schools can choose whether to allow mobiles, games consoles and other electronics – we discourage expensive kit, but we don’t ban anything.

What about looking good?

Watersports is not glamorous – please encourage everyone to leave jewellery at home and keep hairstyles suitable for wearing a helmet. False nails are likely to get broken!


Download a copy of our FAQs here