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Save Outdoor Centres Campaign

16 Nov 2020

 

Outdoor sector bodies have got behind a national campaign to "Save Outdoor Centres" as many well established centres face an existential threat as a result of the pandemic. The campaign is supported by the British Mountaineering Council, Mountain Training, Institute for Outdoor Learning, Outdoor Education Advisors Panel, Outdoor Council and UK Outdoors.

UK and Welsh Government policy currently prevents overnight outdoor educational visits in England and Wales. The campaign is calling on the governments to ask them to decide urgently on when outdoor residential centres will open and for the UK and Welsh Education Departments to provide clear guidance to schools on allowing children to participate in overnight stays.

 


 

Outdoor Education Centres across the UK are facing enforced closure due to the current UK and Welsh Government decisions to advise against school residential trips in the UK.  Without any definitive dates for the safe re-opening of centres, schools are now being forced into cancelling trips up to Easter 2021. Further delays will quickly leave outdoor centres with no courses for the entire academic year. 

The sector has already seen nearly 3,000 job losses, with 3,000 more likely before the new year, and over £500m in revenue lost since the shutdown. In summary up to 15,000 jobs are at risk and the UK stands to lose over half of its outdoor education centres permanently if no action is taken.

The campaign urges supporters to write to their MP and sign a petition to "Change the Department for Education school guidance to allow overnight educational visits". It urges the DfE to immediately allow overnight education trips for schools, subject to them risk assessing the trip whilst following the government advice in place and making informed decisions based on the actual venues. To allow pupils to attend in the same groups they already have contact with in school. 

Read full campaign report.

Watch the "Save Outdoor Centres" campaign video.

Sign the campaign petition.


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