It was a pleasure, once again, to both attend and contribute to the National Conference for Leaders of Outdoor Education in schools. This annual event brought politicians and industry experts together with the teachers who have the greatest impact on the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. In a changing world of austerity measures; school inspections; perceived risk aversion and increasing obesity; it is essential to recognise the important impact that teachers have on the future of our young people, and how they view healthy activity and exercise in the fresh air.
The opening keynote: Cross Party Support for Developing Outdoor and Adventurous Experiences in Schools was expertly delivered by Huw Irranca-Davies MP and David Rutley MP. As well as their personal passions for the outdoors, it is encouraging to hear politicians, of two parties, recognising and promoting the essential benefits of Outdoor Education for young people. This is especially topical as we launch the insight from our recent project for Sport England and the OIA next week.
I was lucky to follow the superb presentation by Tori James and delivered a session on Engaging with the Outdoor Sector. Navigatingthe complexity of Awarding bodies; Accreditations; Qualification and Licensing must be a nightmare for people outside of the outdoor industry. So this was a whistle stop tour of how to profile the desired outcomes; how to find the right provider; and how to ensure the governance and qualfication of the activity is up to scratch . . .