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Outdoor Education

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 30 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much time he expects trainee teachers to spend with pupils outside the classroom as part of their training. (271239)

The statutory standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and requirements for Initial Teacher Training do not include such a requirement. QTS standard Q30 requires that trainees should be able to identify opportunities for children and young people to learn in the school grounds and in out-of-school contexts such as museums, theatres, field centres and work settings. The guidance that accompanies the standards and requirements explains that trainees should be able to plan out-of-classroom work that relates to current learning, that is appropriate to the age and ability of learners, and that helps learners to make progress. In order to meet the standard, trainees are not expected to undertake out-of-school visits, or to take sole responsibility for the organisation and leadership of any such visits.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what support is available to newly-qualified teachers to assist in the provision of teaching outside the classroom. (271240)

The Department has led the development of “Out and About” guidance to support the delivery of high-quality learning outside the classroom. Alongside this, six CPD modules provide training materials that can be used by, for example, schools, local authorities, and Initial Teacher Training providers. The intention is to help teachers make the most of opportunities for learning outside the classroom and to help them prepare, run, and follow up these activities. The Department also supports the Teaching Outside the Classroom initiative which supports the development of placements for training teachers in settings other than schools. These can be anything from museums and galleries to city farms or environmental centres.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effects on the academic performance of pupils of educational field trips. (271241)

The Department and our Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto partners have gathered a bank of research evidence, including research conducted by the Department, which demonstrates that all forms of learning outside the classroom contribute to raising achievement, and to the personal development and well-being of children and young people. These, together with powerful arguments making the case for the importance of learning outside the classroom, are available on the website:

www.lotc.org.uk