Advisers act to keep visits running after government withdraws guidance
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Advisers act to keep visits running after government withdraws guidance

Author:IOL FE
Date Added:24 May 2012

Advisers act to keep visits running after government withdraws guidance

Last year the DfE withdrew its detailed guidance on educational visits - Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits (HASPEV) – a move widely condemned by teaching unions and professionals in the field.

Now Outdoor Education Advisers have acted to issue detailed advice and support to school staff and others leading groups of young people on visits and learning activities outside the classroom. Launching their new National Guidance website today Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel Chair David Faulconbridge said:
“This is a big step forward for all staff leading visits – the guidance is simple to use and readily available online. It provides advice on good practice with a balance between simple procedures and safety. National Guidance promotes proportional measures and minimal bureaucracy.

Sections of the website provide specific advice for parents and governors as well as visit leaders, heads and other managers. From experience of supporting visit leaders in the field and training thousands of leaders and visit coordinators in schools we know that staff feel more confident when they know they are operating within clear, supportive guidelines. This new guidance provides that framework and it will help to ensure consistent high standards across the country and encourage staff to run high quality learning experiences outside the classroom”.

National Guidance has been welcomed by professionals in the field. Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers said
“NAHT welcomes the panel's new "National Guidance" and recommends it to school leaders as the definitive source of advice on good practice when running visits and learning outside the classroom. It is particularly welcome as it is free of red tape and enables participants in outdoor education to focus on enjoying a valuable learning experience."

Other unions have also endorsed the guidance including Aspect and the National Union of Teachers (NUT). Speaking for the NUT, Senior Adviser Amanda Brown said,

“The arrival of comprehensive, web-based advice on school trips from the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel is timely. The NUT recommends that, where employers have not already taken steps to counter the withdrawal of HASPEV, they seriously consider adopting the OEAP’s authoritative guidance as soon as possible”

The guidance is available to all staff and establishments - free of charge - at www.oeapng.info
Staff should ensure that their employer has adopted the guidance before using. Wales and Scotland publish their own guidance for school visits.

About National Guidance:

National Guidance has been in development for the last year and has undergone extensive peer review from Advisers and visit leaders. The guidance on the website is already being used by nearly two thirds of Local Authorities in England – either as a key reference document or adopted as their guidance to their employees.

The guidance is suitable for visit leaders in all settings – including all types of schools as well as youth groups in the Local Authority and voluntary sectors.
It incorporates research that shows how outdoor learning can improve personal, social and emotional development as well as contributing to academic outcomes.

It will be regularly updated to ensure it remains current.

About the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel:
The OEAP has members in most Local Authorities in England and Wales. Members provide advice, support and training to staff leading visits including teachers, youth workers and others in a wide range of establishments in the maintained sector as well academies, voluntary aided schools etc.
More information: www.oeap.info/
For information on the wide range of training members deliver: www.oeaptraining.info/

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The Institute for Outdoor Learning supports practitioners and providers of Outdoor Learning. Our mission is to increase participation in outdoor learning in the UK and to recognise and improve the quality of outdoor learning in the UK. - See more at: http://www.outdoor-learning.org/Default.aspx?tabid=40#sthash.CUZDhwSj.dpuf
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