from Andy Robinson, IOL CEO, Aug 2015
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from Andy Robinson, IOL CEO, Aug 2015

Author:Louise Keir
Date Added:27 August 2015

I had the privilege of attending a presentation by Leo Houlding in aid of the Mountain Heritage Trust last week.  Leo and his team have just made the first ascent of Mirror Wall (Bergahus/Mirror Wall) a remote 1,200m peak in Greenland.  It was an inspiring address.  Leo’s enthusiasm and talent for climbing was recognised and kindled at an early age and combined with his drive and focus has led him to achieve a number of fantastic first ascents in remote locations.  Even though there are logically increasingly fewer large unclimbed faces the scope for future generations to stretch themselves and inspire others through outdoor adventure remains.  What role are we playing to encouraging those we work with to consider the benefits of further adventure or how their adventures might inspire others to raise their aspirations?


Hot on the heels of the consultation to help develop an outdoor recreation strategy (a paper will go to DCMS next month) the Department for Culture, Media & Sport have announced a consultation to support a new strategy for sport.  The proposals in the paper look largely supportive of the outdoor sector and the Institute will be submitting a response.  If you wish to read the paper and/or respond to it directly here’s the link DCMS Sports Strategy Paper


The UK Government has committed to significantly increasing apprenticeships and The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has set 2017/18 as the time line for existing apprenticeships to be re-structured into an employer led format.  So what’s the implications for Outdoor Learning?  We have a great opportunity to design a suite of apprenticeships that are better suited to the needs of our sector than the existing offer.  The Institute is developing an initial proposal with a small group of key employers in the sector and will go out to a wider consultation later in the Autumn.


Once again we have seen many thousands of 15/16 year olds take part in National Citizens Service (NCS) through the school summer holidays (though more young people are now experiencing NCS in the Spring and Autumn, the majority are still in the Summer).  The programme is not without its critics but it is hard to argue that a large volume of young people have not benefited from a combination of outdoor adventurous activities, life skills development and community focused projects.  The challenge for the outdoor learning world is one of sustainability, in a number of forms.  The increasing volumes targeted in the 2015-18 contracts mean that this challenge will only increase.  The Institute continues to work with The NCS Trust, some of the large prime contract holders and our member providers seeking to ensure a sustainable approach retains good practice in outdoor learning where ever possible.


Finally, if you’ve visited the IOL website lately you will have seen a new look.  The team has spent time trying to make it easier for all to understand the different roles IOL plays and making accessing the benefits associated with those roles more straightforward.  This is an on-going piece of work, though if you have any initial feedback on the structuring of IOL’s communications around Voice, Community, Professional Development and Guidance please contact us at Institute


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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
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
The Institute for Outdoor Learning supports individuals and organisations who use the outdoors to make a difference for others.

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.

By representing and lobbying on behalf of our members, both organisational and individuals, and the outdoor education and recreation sector we can help ensure the development and progression of outdoor learning.

IOL supports your work and career whether you are a professional outdoor practitioner, field study officer, instructor, teacher, youth worker, outdoor leader, management development trainer, student or anyone involved in learning outdoors.

Whether you enjoy recreation, expeditions, bushcraft, adventure, therapy, teaching or learning in the mountains, hills or wilderness, on water or land, in rural or urban areas, there will be benefits to you to visit this site or to become an active member. IOL Membership offers you the opportunity to widen your horizons of influence and networks, develop your outdoor career and gain access to deals on outdoor learning publications, gear, training and more.

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