Outdoor education centres are closed and hostels are missing out on a significant client in schools. These closures are due to the Government preventing schools from undertaking any overnight trips now and throughout the current academic year.
Outdoor education centres are closed and hostels are missing out on a significant client in schools. These closures are due to the Government preventing schools from undertaking any overnight trips now and throughout the current academic year. This restriction doesn’t just impact accommodation providers economically but also the pupils who are missing out on important parts of their education. So far since March 2020 1.5 million young people have missed out on outdoor residential trips.
In particular residentials that involve outdoor education can be run with a minimal risk of viral transmission while helping young people immeasurably with their wellbeing. There are many questions being raised on young people’s mental health during this pandemic through the loss of social interaction, freedoms and structure.
“So far since March 2020 1.5 million young people have missed out on outdoor residential trips. “
Outdoor residentials involve young people spending time away from home, with their peers, and undertaking adventures in new environments. Such residentials are known to support personal and social development and improve health and wellbeing. Through inspiration, lifelong engagement with the outdoors is possible with all its positive mental and physical health outcomes. They give opportunities to build relationships with peers and staff, which may have been broken down in these challenging times.
Such school residentials can also be run safely, with no more risk of transmitting the virus than can happen in the pupils’ own classrooms. Through hostels or outdoor centres taking just a singular school bubble, all aspects of the trip can be run in line with schools opening guidance. The same distancing can be maintained in bedrooms as found in their classrooms, just with less shouting and singing during the night that are shown to increase the risk of transmission.
Our request to the Government is to provide guidance on school overnights based on current scientific advice. We believe head teachers are in the best position to risk assess overnights themselves, along with responsible accommodation providers, having already been given the same responsibility when opening their school.
What can you do to support this request to Government for guidance on school overnights?
Please sign our Parliament Petition.
Please write to your MP. An email template can be instantly sent using the British Mountaineering Council letter generator.