A petition has been launched calling for the government to protect outdoor education centres from imminent closure. One in three local authority centres are threatened and closures could deny millions of children the opportunity of potentially life-changing experiences.
The petition calls for the government to create a fixed-term transition fund and provide business training, which would enable Local Authority centres to survive long enough to become self-sufficient. It is thought that many of the threatened centres would then be able to remain open. If they are forced to close now, many would never reopen.
Leading education organisations including the Field Studies Council, Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres, English Outdoor Council, Institute for Outdoor Learning and National Association of Field Studies Officers have launched the campaign and are asking people to support it by signing the petition. If the petition receives 100,000 signatures this year the issue will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.
Dr Steve Tilling Director of Communications at the Field Studies Council said: “The potential loss of these opportunities comes at a time when health, physical activity and contact with nature are all declining. It will also impact the most on children from poorer and more disadvantaged groups who have little or no other opportunity to share an overnight experience away from home and visit places they would not otherwise see. The FSC is constantly working to ensure that everybody has the chance to get outdoors to learn and be inspired by the environment.”
Watch the Save Our Education Centres campaign video
Sign the petition