By | 19/10/2018


Earlier this year the Outdoor Council launched the Outdoor Citizens Campaign.  This campaign grew out of previous work to raise the profile of outdoor learning and aims to promote a model of progressive formal and informal outdoor learning for children from birth to adulthood.  A large focus for this campaign will be to work with clusters of Primary Schools to support them with developing their outdoor learning curriculum in their school grounds, local outdoor spaces and further afield on residential visits.  To keep up to date with this Campaign and find out more, please visit the website:



Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. On the day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outdoors and prioritise playtime. In 2017, over 2.3 million children worldwide took part, more than 580,000 of those were in the UK and Ireland. Such days are held throughout the year being held in the autumn and summer.



Learning Away ‘Brilliant Residentials’ Campaign continues to have an active web-based presence and is securing funding to maintain this into the future. They also have a new on-line CPD package for teachers to help them plan and organise Brilliant Residentials.

The latest research, commissioned by Learning Away, which compares the outcomes of a Year 6 residential with Year 6 children who didn’t go on residential is also due to be published.  Visit the Learning Away website for the latest information:


Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations  (AALR) REVIEW

This on-going review of AALR is continuing. Following two public consultations the HSE Board voted, in September, for the removal of the AALR regulations and a move to an industry-led; non-statutory; not-for-profit scheme underpinned by the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974, to provide assurance to users of outdoor activities. This decision means that this proposal will now be presented to the Government Minister this autumn for their view.  If the minister feels it is the best option, a further consultation process will be conducted by HSE in the New Year.  It is clear that any change to AALR is going to take a number of years to work through, if that is what is decided.  In the meantime, the current AALA contract will be going through a retendering process in the Spring 2019.

Throughout the review process the HSE have been liaising with the Outdoor Sector through the UKAIG (UK Activities Industry Group). This body is made up of a wide number of membership organizations from across the UK. For a more details on UKAIG and for an update on the AALR review, please go to the UKAIG website:



There is exciting news from the new Head of OFSTED – Amanda Spielman.  Ofsted plans to overhaul the way it inspects schools in England, downgrading the influence of exam results in favour of a closer look at pupil behaviour and at the breadth of subjects being taught.

Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, outlined details of the new inspection regime, with the current category of “outcomes for pupils” that includes exam performance to be dropped in Ofsted’s inspection reports.

“For a long time, our inspections have looked hardest at outcomes, placing too much weight on test and exam results when we consider the overall effectiveness of schools,” Spielman said in a speech to school leaders in Newcastle.



For the past two years, AHOEC has been supporting the work on the new Apprenticeship framework for Outdoor Apprenticeships.  After much hard work and support we are really pleased to introduce you to the brand-new Outdoor Activity Instructor apprenticeship for England. Built over the last 2 years by a wide range of outdoor employers, with support and guidance from the Institute for Outdoor Learning, the result is a fit-for-purpose funded training route for entry level roles across the breadth of outdoor instructional work.  Please read the Brief Guide to Outdoor Apprenticeships here:



New EEF trial: Can adventure learning improve students’ skills, behaviour and academic results?  A new study will test two different adventure learning programmes – one focused on outdoor activities like hiking and canoeing, another based on challenging on-site activities– to find out if they can help improve pupils’ behaviour and boost their attainment, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) announced last week.

Find out more about this exciting piece of research here:


DEFRA – Nature friendly Schools

The Government is making £10 million of funding available to support these initiatives:

Helping primary schools create nature-friendly grounds with a Nature Friendly Schools Programme, to help more communities create the kind of school grounds that support learning about the natural world and also keep children happy and healthy.  The government will also provide support for schools in the most disadvantaged areas that wish to create nature friendly grounds and to design and run activities that support pupil’s health and wellbeing through contact with nature.

To find out more, go here:



Martin Smith: Chair – Outdoor Council