North Wales MS wants to make it legal requirement for all children in Wales to have week’s outdoor education residential
A member of the Welsh Parliament for North Wales wants all young people in Wales to be given the opportunity to benefit from Outdoor Education.
Sam Rowlands MS wants his Outdoor Education Bill introduced which will make it a legal requirement for all children in Wales to have a week’s outdoor education paid for by Welsh government.
The Bill seeks to ensure that all children in Wales are given access to an outdoor education residential visit at least once in their school career, regardless of the local authority in which they live in and regardless of their family income or demographic.
The annual cost of implementing the Bill is estimated to range between £9.9 million to £13.6 million.
The figures are based on providing 34,000 children per year with a weeklong Monday to Friday residential stay at the lower estimated cost of £290 per stay, or the higher estimated cost of £400 per stay.
Mr Rowlands said: “I passionately believe Outdoor Education is extremely beneficial to those in education, with a whole range of lasting benefits, yet sadly, too many of our young people do not get the opportunity to participate.
“I have an aspiration that all children in Wales should be given access to an Outdoor Education residential visit at least once in their school career, regardless of where they live and their family background.
The Conservative MS said: “The aim of the Bill is to move residential Outdoor Education from an enrichment activity to an entitlement within Wales’ curriculum.”
“The Welsh Government’s own research has recently stated that Outdoor Education has well established benefits for children and young people in their physical and mental health and well-being, personal and social learning, cognitive development, and understanding their place in the world.”
He said: “It is also clear that the Bill has potential to deliver cost savings to other public services through improved health, wellbeing and education outcomes, an opportunity which should not be missed.”
“This bill will end the postcode lottery that has denied so many young people the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from such a visit.”
A discussion will take place in the Senedd today, if it is backed by members, it would proceed with a year of research and consultation to draw up the Outdoor Education (Wales) Bill.
[Main photo: oeapng.info]
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