Launch of Going Out There: Scottish Framework for Safe Practice in Off-Site Visits

Dr Alasdair Allan launches ‘Going Out There: Scottish Framework for Safe Practice in Off-site Visits’
Wednesday 12th June 2013, Grangemouth High School, Falkirk

Camping, expedition packing, brewing the tea outside and some fine fruit and vegetables were all in evidence yesterday at Grangemouth High School in Falkirk as Dr Allan launched new guidance to support safe practice in managing groups engaged in outdoor learning, educational visits and off-site experiences. Guests were greeted by head teacher Lyn Brown who, along with staff and pupils provided a snapshot of the broad range of outdoor learning activities supported by the school. 

Dr Allan met youngsters from Bo’ness Public Nursery who shared stories of their experience in local woodlands which they visit regularly for outdoor learning and play sessions. He talked with Grangemouth High School young people about to embark on a visit to Ghana, as well as those who would be spending the weekend on a camping and canoeing expedition. GHS teacher Fiona Hutt helped pupils from the ASU to showcase their residential experiences and to talk about the benefits of spending time away in new environments. P7 children from Larbert Village Primary School shared learning across curricular areas from their ‘Woodland Wednesday’ programme and staff and young people from Carrongrange ASN School demonstrated the range of ways that they are developing skills for learning, life and work through off-site visits. 

Alasdair Allan’s own reflections on the event are captured on the Engage for Education blog: http://engageforeducation.org/2013/06/alasdair-allan-blog-launch-of-going-out-there/

You can find out more about the document on our outdoor learning page: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/learningteachingandassessment/approaches/outdoorlearning/healthandsafety/index.asp and the document itself is situated on its own site which has been developed and will be updated and maintianed by SAPOE: http://www.goingoutthere.co.uk.  

The framework has been developed in partnership by Education Scotland, the Scottish Government, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education (SAPOE) and the Association of Directors of Education, with input from other partners including voluntary organisations and providers. It promotes a sensible and manageable approach to organising and leading educational visits locally, further afield, residentially and internationally. It emphasises an enabling attitude which reduces bureaucracy while ensuring guidance and support is in place for trips to be managed safely. It is expected that ‘Going Out There’ can be adopted as a common framework across Scotland by all those managing or organising visits or providing activities and venues. http://www.goingoutthere.co.uk.   

Nigel Marshal, chair of SAPOE commended the enabling approach promoted throughout the guidance: “SAPOE has been involved in supporting Scottish Government and Education Scotland in the provision of Guidance documents for many years. The new Going Out There guidance is one we are particularly proud to be associated with as it is will enable and encourage those working with young people out of doors to access relevant and coherent guidance online in an easy and uncomplicated way”

Afterwards Dr Allan summed up his enjoyment of the event by saying, “I was inspired by the experiences showcased at today’s event, where schools demonstrated how outdoor learning presents endless opportunities across all ages, stages and subjects.”

Commenting on the new Scottish framework, Bruce Robertson, who chaired the Managing Outdoor Learning Safely Group for the Scottish Government said, “The aim of this guidance is to streamline the over bureaucratic health and safety approaches which can sometimes get in the way of outdoor learning in its various facets across Scotland. As chairman of the group which developed the guidance, I would commend it to all users and thank everyone who made this possible.”

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