Transforming Education Outside the Classroom
HC 418, Sixth Report of Session 2009-10 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Children, Schools and Families Committee
'Transforming Education Outside the Classroom (HC 418)' reports on progress in children's education outside the classroom and points to the lack of growth in recent years in the number of school trips and visits; pupils from poorer areas are still much less likely to take them.
Since the Children, Schools and Families Committee's original report on this topic; 'Education Outside the Classroom (HC 120)', progress in addressing the barriers to learning outside the classroom has been disappointing:
funding to support related initiatives has been derisory;
teachers' fears over health and safety litigation making them reluctant to offer trips and visits have not been effectively addressed;
teacher training continues to pay scant attention to giving new teachers the skills and confidence to lead school trips and visits; and
the new 'rarely cover' provisions have led to many schools cutting back on opportunities for pupils and teachers.
The Committee commends the principle of subsidies for children from low-income families to go on school visits. There needs to be an individual entitlement to learning outside the classroom guaranteed within the national curriculum.
The promised revised health and safety guidance must be published at the earliest opportunity to help allay teachers' litigation fears.
More high profile champions of learning outside the classroom are required; the Department and teacher unions must provide stronger leadership on how 'rarely cover' provisions are interpreted.
A clearer, more consistent presence must be given to learning outside the classroom in initial teacher training and early career and ongoing professional development.
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