NAHT support motion to campaign to protect funding for outdoor education and residential experiences

Update to news item. On 29 April 2017, 97% of school leaders at the NAHT Conference passed motion 4 ‘to campaign for protected funding to ensure children have greater access to outdoor education and residential experiences’. Learning Away are delighted that we have a collective commitment from the NAHT to recognise the value of residential experiences enabling us to campaign together to find ways of making these life changing experiences happen, more of the time, for more children.

On 26 April we reported that …. Learning Away Consortium member, Louise Edwards, chair of The Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC), will be taking a motion to National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) annual conference.  The motion will urge the National Executive to campaign to protect funding to enable children to have greater access to high quality outdoor education and residential experiences.

Over 300 school leaders will attend the conference at the Telford International Centre in Shropshire from 27-30 April. The conference presents an annual opportunity to discuss relevant issues with delegates that represent all sectors and regions of NAHT membership. Hosting hundreds of school leaders with a myriad of specialisms and backgrounds under one roof will lead to three days of lively debate and policy making.

For this years motions, the spotlight will be on the funding crisis and the impact that this lack of funding is having on schools across the country.

The full motion put forward by AHOEC is:

‘The benefits to pupils experiencing outdoor education that provide invaluable, often life changing, opportunities to apply learning beyond the classroom in real world settings are indisputable.  Leaders of outdoor education centres have been adapting the delivery of education in their sites to ensure that schools receive the very best quality learning and value for money. However there is a significant threat in the take up of outdoor education as budgets are squeezed.

Against the backdrop of the crisis in education funding there is a clear risk that fewer pupils will be able to enjoy the unique benefits of outdoor learning and the inevitable negative impact this will have.

Conference instructs the National Executive to campaign for protected funding to enable children to have greater access to high quality outdoor education and residential experiences.’

Louise Edwards will have five minutes to present the motion to delegates and will argue the case that there is a wealth of compelling evidence which clearly demonstrates the benefits of outdoor education and residential experiences.  Including the compelling evidence produced by Learning Away, Natural Connections, RSPB, EEF and many others. She will call for a collective commitment from the NAHT to recognise the value of outdoor learning so much that we they will campaign to find ways of making it happen, more of the time for more children. Louise will also share that AHOEC as providers, are committed to working with NAHT more closely and being more creative about outdoor education services so that there is greater access to more outdoor learning and residential experiences for all pupils for the future.

Whether you’re attending the NAHT conference this year or looking to stay up-to-date with the latest news from afar, you can join in on the conversation using the dedicated Twitter hashtag #NAHTConf.

Learning Away urge all NAHT members to support this vital motion to ensure more children have more access to outdoor education residential learning experiences.