Nus Ghani, MP for Wealden, has visited an outdoor activity centre in support of the outdoor education sector.
The Bowles Rocks, near Eridge offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, orienteering and camping.
Each year, children and young people undertake outdoor activities and outdoor learning opportunities at the centre, run by a charity established in 1964, often on a residential basis.
The Department for Education is currently advising against residential and non-residential domestic trips for children, causing a financial impact for centres like Bowles Rockes and putting jobs at risk along with a detrimental affect on education.
Nus raised the issue in Parliament during the Covid-19 debate on Monday (28 September), highlighting the important educational experiences that Bowles Rocks and Hindleap Warren provide to our youngsters and stressing that Covid-safe protections are in place for the centres to welcome pupils this autumn. She has also written to the Secretary of State for Education, urging the Government to reconsider its position and to consider what further measures of financial assistance can be put into place to support the sector.
She added, “Outdoor educational visits are vital in helping to get our children outdoors again and in delivering rounded learning experiences that they have been missing during the lockdown. We are extremely lucky to have two fantastic outdoor activity centres in Wealden: Bowles Rocks and Hindleap Warren. Both these centres do not only offer invaluable learning and development opportunities for our children, but also spark lifelong interest in healthy outdoor activities in children, which is vital for building resilience and well-being of young Britain post-pandemic. I have stressed the issue to the Minister during the Covid-19 debate in the House of Commons, and I am urging the Government to open up outdoor education experiences and prevent lasting damage to the sector that may deny these valuable experiences to our children in the future.”