Penrith and The Border MP, Dr Neil Hudson, was pleased to see the government’s fresh investment to ensure no child is left behind.
Off the back of the announcement Dr Hudson wrote to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, asking him to consider including outdoor education centres as part of the wider strategy.
As part of the next step in the government’s plans to boost education recovery, a total of £1.4 billion is being invested, including £1 billion to support up to 6 million, 15-hour tutoring courses for disadvantaged school children, as well as an expansion of the 16-19 tuition fund, targeting key subjects such as maths and English.
Commenting on the announcement Dr Hudson said:
“It is great to see that the government is making the recovery of education a priority as we bounce back from the pandemic. This has been a very difficult year or so for students of all ages and the least the government can do is to provide them with the necessary tools to make good on a very disruptive period in their educational development.
Whilst the announcement is a great step in the right direction, I would like to government to go further by including outdoor education centres in the strategy. I have been lobbying for outdoor education centres since the advent of the pandemic and was pleased to see them open up for residential visits from May 17th. In Cumbria we have amazing centres like Blencathra and the Outward Bound Centres that provide an amazing and fulfilling experience for our young folk, something which sadly was not possible during the pandemic. The inclusion of these centres in the strategy would greatly benefit students taking place in day activities as well as residential trips. It is clear to me that education does not start and finish in the classroom. Outdoor education centres are an essential component in developing the skills that young people will need in the wider world of work but also are a huge benefit to their mental and physical wellbeing.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“This is the third major package of catch-up funding in twelve months and demonstrates that we are taking a long-term, evidence-based approach to help children of all ages.
I am incredibly proud it recognises the efforts and dedication of our teachers who are at the forefront of children’s recovery – making sure every teacher has the opportunity to access world-leading training, giving them the skills and tools to help every child they work with to fulfil their potential.
The package will not just go a long way to boost children’s learning in the wake of the disruption caused by the pandemic but also help bring back down the attainment gap that we’ve been working to eradicate.”
Photo credit: Dr Neil Hudson with Tim Foster, Head of Centre at Blencathra Field and Study Centre