MP asks Schools Minister to back outdoor education bill

29 Apr 2024
Tim with Munira Wilson MP

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim Farron encouraged ministers in the Department for Education to support his bill which would give every school pupil in England an outdoor education experience.

Earlier this month, a very similar bill put forward by Sam Rowlands, Conservative Member of the Senedd for the North Wales region was voted down by just a single vote.

The bill would have established a legal requirement for residential outdoor education opportunities for children and young people in Wales’ schools.

Speaking during Education Questions in Parliament, Tim said: “Sports, PE and outdoor education have a huge impact on building resilience amongst young people, helping them to have a love of learning as well as a love of the outdoors which will be great for them for the whole of their lives.

“I wonder if the Minister would agree with me that it is a great shame that the Welsh Senedd voted down by one single vote his colleague, and my friend, Sam Rowlands’ bill just the other week, that would have made outdoor education an experience that every young person in Wales would be able to access.

“Would he go one further and back my equivalent outdoor education bill due for its second reading on 21st June, so that this place ensures that every young person in primary school and in secondary school has the ability to access for free an outdoor education experience?”

Responding, the Minister of State for Schools, Damian Hinds MP said: “The honourable gentleman is entirely consistent and has been for quite some time in talking about the importance of outdoor education, which I am very happy to agree with.

“I'm not sure it's always necessarily a case of law, but it certainly is has a very important place for young people to get outdoors, to be in touch with nature, to see the countryside, as well as to be running around and enjoying PE and sporting activity.”

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