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Geography: Educational Visits

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what estimate he has made of the percentage of GCSE geography students who had the opportunity to participate in a course-related field trip in the school year ending (a) 2005 and (b) 2007; (182812)

(2) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-level (a) geography and (b) biology students who had the opportunity to participate in a half-day field trip in the school year ending (i) 2005 and (ii) 2007;

(3) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-level (a) geography and (b) biology students who (i) did not and (ii) had the opportunity to conduct course-related field-work in the school year ending (A) 2006 and (B) 2007;

(4) what estimate he has made of the percentage of GCSE science students who took a residential field trip in the school year ending (a) 2007 and (b) 2006; and what percentage he expects to do so in 2008;

(5) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-level biology students who had the opportunity to participate in a half-day field trip in the school year ending 2006;

(6) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-level geography students who had the opportunity to participate in a half-day field trip in the school year ending 2006;

(7) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-level biology students who had the opportunity to participate in a half-day field trip in the school year ending 2005;

(8) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-Level geography students who did not have the opportunity conduct course-related fieldwork in the school year ending 2006;

(9) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-level biology students who had the opportunity to participate in a course-related field trip in the school year ending 2005;

(10) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-level biology students who did not have the opportunity to conduct course-related fieldwork in the school year ending 2005;

(11) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-level geography students who had the opportunity to participate in a course-related field trip in the school year ending 2006;

(12) what percentage of GCSE science students had the opportunity to participate in a course-related field trip in the school year ending 2005;

(13) what estimate he has made of the percentage of GCSE science students who took a residential field trip in the school year ending 2005;

(14) what estimate he has made of the percentage of GCSE geography students who had the opportunity to participate in a course-related field trip in the school year ending 2006;

(15) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-level geography students who will have the opportunity to participate in a course-related field trip in the school year ending 2008;

(16) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-Level geography students who will have the opportunity to participate in a half-day field trip in the school year ending 2008;

(17) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-Level geography students who will not have the opportunity to conduct course related fieldwork in the school year ending 2008;

(18) what estimate he has made of the percentage of (a) biology GCSE and (b) geography students who will have the opportunity to participate in a course-related field trip in the school year ending 2008;

(19) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-Level biology students who (a) will and (b) will not have the opportunity to participate in a course related field trip in the school year ending 2008;

(20) what estimate he has made of the percentage of A-Level biology students who will have the opportunity to participate in a half-day field trip in the school year ending 2008;

(21) what estimate he has made of the percentage of GCSE students who (a) will have the opportunity to participate in a course related field trip in the school year ending 2008 and (b) had the opportunity in the school year ending in (i) 2007 and (ii) 2006.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families does not collect this information broken down by subject and qualification. However, research carried out by the Scouts Association and the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 2005 found that 86 per cent. of primary schools and 99 per cent. of secondary schools offer pupils at least one residential education opportunity, outdoor education being by far the most popular type.

Research into Education Outside the Classroom published by NFER in November 2006 also found that there has been little evidence of a decline in numbers of school trips in recent years.

Fieldwork is and will remain a compulsory part of the geography curriculum in secondary schools, both at key stage 3 (ages 11 to 14) and in GCSE syllabuses. Fieldwork is not currently compulsory in A level geography courses but will be a specific requirement in the A level criteria from September 2008.

The new key stage 3 science curriculum says that pupils should be offered the opportunity to experience science outside the school environment, including in the workplace, where possible.