Report on the Outdoor Learning All Party Parliamentary Group
On the 23rd May, 2023, the Outdoor Learning All Party Parliamentary Group held its first meeting following the AGM on the 24th March, 2023. During the meeting an brief outline was given, to MPs, of the range of current initiatives that the Westminster government is supporting in England and the funding allocated to each of them. From 2022-2025 this amounts to over £100m, most of which will be supporting the residential element of the NCS programme, as well as DEFRA/DfE initiatives. There followed a discussion on how the wide-ranging support could be pulled together in a more coherent fashion across government. Brief summaries of the current work being undertaken in both Scotland and Wales in support of Residential Outdoor Education were also given.
Further updates for MPs included a summary of the role of the new Outdoor Advisory Board, that will support the APPG and the secretariat role undertaken by the Institute for Outdoor Learning. Identifying a few ‘key and current’ outdoor learning outcomes was seen as supporting our ‘cause’ in Westminster as well as highlighting the tradition and heritage of outdoor learning in the UK. Finally, MPs are keen to undertake a number of fact-finding meetings across the UK to better understand the Outdoor Learning its opportunities and challenges.
The development of the APPG will help raise the profile of our work in Westminster and is to be welcomed. It grew out of the need to develop support for the re-opening or outdoor education residential centres during the pandemic and was very much led by colleagues in North Wales supported by Robin Miller MP, the current chair.
Further details of the APPG and its membership can be found at the following link:
https://www.parallelparliament.co.uk/APPG/outdoor-learning (To provide a platform and focus for the various representative organisations involved in the outdoor learning sector; to encourage their access to parliamentarians; and to enable collaboration and discussion)