Scots urged to complete consultation on outdoor activity rule in schools

A consultation on a new legislation which would require children to attend outdoor residentials for a least a week closes on Friday.

Scots urged to take part in consultation on outdoor education Bill iStock

People across Scotland are being urged to take part in a consultation on legislation which would guarantee at least one week of outdoor education for school children.

The Schools (Residential Outdoor Education) (Scotland) Bill, which was introduced by Tory MSP Liz Smith in April, would see a requirement placed on schools to provide all children aged 12-to-16 with at least one week of attendance at outdoor residentials.

The consultation, which has seen an “overwhelmingly positive” response, closes on Friday and the politician has encouraged people to take part.

Ms Smith believes the experience is “one of the most valuable and rewarding aspects of the learning experience”, and that it should be made available to all young people no matter their background.

She said: “This is a final opportunity for people to have their say on my proposals which would ensure at least a weeks’ worth of outdoor residential education for those youngsters aged 12-16.

“The responses I have received so far have been overwhelmingly positive and I thank everyone who has taken the time to respond to the consultation over the last couple of months, including those who have raised many crucial issues to me.

“The benefits of delivering this bill cannot be overstated for our youngsters.

“Outdoor education is hugely beneficial for both the mental and physical wellbeing of young people, which is so important especially after the impact the pandemic has had on their education.

“These outdoor educational experiences can improve youngsters confidence, resilience and self-esteem as well as helping cement friendships for life.

“Even more importantly it is our youngsters from our most deprived communities who have often never had these opportunities, but this Bill would ensure that is put right.

“On this final day of the consultation, I hope to receive even more responses.

“That will allow me to bring this bill to the next stage in the Scottish Parliament and hopefully succeed in securing cross-party support for this new legislation.”

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