- To download the minutes from AGM 2013 (20/3/2013), Executive meeting minutes and the 2011 AGM minutes see the members only documents web page - click here
- Teacher education - outdoor learning and play. Scottish Natural Heritage. Sharing Good Practice event. 26th June in Perth. Share good practice in addressing the new standards for teaching and initial teacher education, with a particular focus on Learning for Sustainability. Much of the day will take place outdoors, where you will learn about some of the innovative approaches your colleagues are using. Reflect on current policy and practice and enhance teaching by sharing research and methodologies. Meet the local and national organisations who can support your outdoor learning.
Mapping Scotland's wildness and wild land. On 30th April 2013 the Scottish Government published its Main Issues Report on the National Planning Framework 3 and revised Scottish Planning Policy. The new map of areas of wild land character can be viewed by following this link.
- Scotland's Nature Festival, 18th to 26th May. They have free wildflower seedpacks, three designs of bookmarks and PVC banners to support your Nature Festival events.
£1m investment for Edinburgh outdoor centres. A £1 million investment is being ploughed into the Capital’s flagship outdoor education centres to make them fit for the 21st century. The cash will be injected into Benmore and Lagganlia residential centres to modernise them and boost their appeal to schoolchildren and families across the city. Education bosses said recent figures showed the council-owned centres were being used more than ever and that the investment would be critical to their long-term future. Full report here.
Masters Scholarships at the University of Edinburgh
For details of 20 funded full-time or part-time places on Masters programmes (MSc Outdoor Education; MSc Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education) see this web page
. For full details of these programmes please see this web page
. These places are available for programmes starting in September 2013, and are expected to be offered annually until further notice. They are for Scottish domiciled and EU residents only.
Woodland Trust launches online poll to find Scotland's national tree.
- Mountaineering Council of Scotland Responds to Scottish Government Consultation on Adventurous Activities Responding today to the Scottish Government's consultation into developing a safety system for Adventurous Activities the MCofS stated that it believes that a licensing scheme for mountaineering club activities is unwarranted and unnecessary and urged member clubs to respond individually to the consultation.
The MCofS response also stated that clubs organise their activities effectively on the basis of shared knowledge and experience, leading to the improvement of individual skills and self-reliance, and that there is no evidence from either experience or Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland statistics that there is a need for a mechanism for regulation for recreational mountaineering activities. In fact,, mountaineering incident statistics show that the number of incidents is decreasing whilst there is an increase in participation levels.
The MCofS further believes that the introduction of a mechanism for regulating adventure activities in the context of volunteer- led clubs would be a barrier to increasing both volunteer support for, and participation in, mountaineering activities, and would in turn have an adverse impact on the Scottish Government’s stated purpose to increase ‘healthy life expectancy in Scotland’.
Details of the background to the consultation and how to respond may be found here.
Full details of the MCofS Response to the Consultation may be found here.
IOL Scotland AGM 2011. Download the minutes of this AGM Meeting HERE (you need to be a logged in Member to see this page)
The Scottish Government has opened its consultation to identify an appropriate replacement for the current AALA regime. This is independent of the work currently being undertaken by the HSE working group and reporting to Westminster DWP minister Chris Grayling.
The Scottish Government is considering 3 options:
Option 1. The same voluntary code of practice based regime being developed by the HSE working group for Westminster
Option 2. A non-statutory and voluntary safety accreditation scheme with Government input limited to promoting and encouraging participation
Option 3. A statutory scheme (largely self funding) with a re-defined scope of adventurous activities
Both options 2 & 3 would currently result in separate regimes applying in different home nations across the UK.
IOL will formally respond to the consultation but if you wish to respond personally the link to the Scottish Government’s website is attached. If you wish your comments to be incorporated into IOL’s response please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information click HERE http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/01/04112146/0
CPD sessions planned for the future are... accreditation systems, games sharing, additional support needs / inclusion. Keep an eye on the website. As always, let us know if there’s anything else you’d like!
IOL Scotland/Alba Committee - Email IOL Scotland
- Liability and Claims Defence Workshop - presented by Activities Industry Mutual. Feb 27th in Aviemore, with speakers from our supporting insurers, Scottish legal advisers and Marcus Baillie of AALS, amongst others.. For info contact Cathy Atkinson at AIM, T: 01892 888 472
- Consultation on developing a safety system for Adventure Activities in Scotland - January 2012.
- “Meanings, markets and magic” - 2012 Adventure Conference. 16th/17th February 2012. School of Adventure Studies, Fort William. Click HERE to link.
- Scottish Biodiversity Week Nature Photography competition is now live. More here
- Outdoor Pursuits Scotland 2012: the date for the next Outdoor Pursuits Scotland is 21-22 April 2012. 100 exhibit stands will be available. f you'd like to get involved and take advantage of our 10% early bird discount, please contact Gerry Carney on 0131 620 8371 or email
- Residential Outdoor Education in Scotland is under threat. Once the residential outdoor education centres are closed due to financial challenges, they be will be closed for good.
Associated Heads of Outdoor Education Centres [AHOEC] has produced and distributed the linked document (below) in an effort to influence political parties manifestos, which are currently being refined, in preparation for the MSP election in May. All IOL members are encouraged to use the document to influence your local political candidates.
- Scottish Biodiversity Week free wildflower seed packs. The packs contain corn marigold, corn poppy, meadow buttercup, ox-eye daisy, St John's wort and yarrow. This mix is attractive to bumblebees, honeybees and other insects and can create a haven for wildlife. As well being ideal for a corner of the garden, the seeds can also be sown in planters or window boxes, making them easy for everybody to use. If you would like to order packs for your event, simply complete a Scottish Biodiversity Week events form - you can access this from the website and send this to email@example.com and they will post you the seeds.
- Learning and Teaching Scotland [LTS] National Network for Outdoor Learning in the Curriculum of Excellence
The first meeting was held in February 2011. It was attended by 36 participants including 14 LA 's and partner organisations which support schools in their delivery of outdoor learning.These include SNH, Forestry schools, Youthlink, DofE, IOL, Play Scotland, Scottish Adviser Panel for Outdoor Education [SAPOE] The Scottish Government representatives included Gordon Currie.
If IOL members have issues that they wish IOL to raise at a LTS meeting pleases send emails to
The LTS notes of the meeting are here.
- Scottish Adventure Actives Forum [SAAF] www.thesaaf.org.uk
SAAF has launched a web site to disseminate agendas and minutes of the meeting. If IOL members have issues that they wish IOL to raise at a SAAF meeting pleases send emails to
SAAF open meeting was held to both inform and gain feedback from the outdoor industry in Scotland, following the abolishing of the existing legal licensing which is to be replaced by a code of practice. Minutes here
- Flexible Training Opportunities gives businesses with under 50 employees the opportunity to apply for up to £5,000 towards employee training costs.
- Managed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and supported by the European Social Fund, it aims to help small businesses become more resilient and to boost productivity and success.
- Funding is available for up to 10 employees per business and the money is not a loan so there's no need to pay it back.
- SDS will refund 50% of the cost of up to 10 training courses with a maximum value of £500 per course. And it’s flexible, so 10 employees can do one course each or one employee can do 10 courses, with any combination in between.
- It effectively means businesses can double their training investment. Or it might help them introduce some training when they thought it wouldn’t be possible.
- The application process is simple and the rewards can really make a difference. Many businesses have already taken advantage of the offer.
Click here to find out more..
For advice on how to apply, call free on 0800 783 6000.
A good online resource to support teachers and others in implementing Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning.
"Ministerial foreword: Our vision for Scotland is that our children and young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens. This is one of the national outcomes set out in the Concordat with Local Government and lies at the heart of Curriculum for Excellence."
"I encourage everyone in the school community to study Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning and pursue the opportunities presented by Curriculum for Excellence to provide creative, sustainable and progressive opportunities for all children and young people to participate in a range of outdoor learning experiences."
Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, website at http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/outdoorlearning/index.asp
The Scottish Conservatives have called for all teenagers to be given the right to outdoor education, such as climbing, hiking, sailing and abseiling. They want pupils between the age of 11 and 15 to have access to a one-week residential course. The Tories say 53,000 youngsters a year would be eligible - and the £8.5m it would cost could come from government and private donors. Teachers' leaders said there would be a risk of accidents and legal action. Early signs suggest the scheme may win cross-party support.
Vital information on Insurance for all IOL Events
IOL Scotland, Liz Evans, IOL Scotland Chair
Liz has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 30 years. In the early 80’s she moved from classroom teaching to working in residential outdoor education centres. She was appointed Head of Ardroy, Fife Council’s Residential Outdoor Education Centre in Argyll in 1993 retiring 17 years later in March 2009.
While at Ardroy, Liz was able to turn her belief in the importance of professional development for instructors into a reality, by establishing a trainee instructors’ programme and registering the centre for Individual Learning Account grants to fund NGB courses. She also supported IOL’s Professional Accreditation scheme, becoming amongst the first in Scotland to gain the APIOL and became a mentor and assessor for the scheme.
Since her retirement is still active in the industry and now has more time to indulge her passion for sailing her yacht, sea kayaking, hill walking and skiing.
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