Scottish Parliament Debate: Support for Outdoor Learning – 16th May 2017

The Parliament acknowledges the work of various national conservation charities, including RSPB Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland, in the provision and promotion of outdoor education; believes that outdoor education should be seen as an important component of the curriculum, with meaningful benefits to both pupils’ learning and their health; considers that sites such as Culzean Castle in South Ayrshire, which is run by the National Trust for Scotland, the RSPB’s Mersehead Reserve in Dumfries and Galloway, and the Dumfries House Estate in East Ayrshire endeavour to work with local schools to arrange visits to their sites, along with various educational activities; understands that many organisations have seen a marked decline in the number of pupils participating in recent years; believes that, while visits are often provided at little or no direct cost to schools, the cost of transport has become prohibitive as school budgets have been squeezed; notes the calls on schools across Scotland to consider making use of schools attainment funding to support greater use of outdoor education, and thanks RSPB Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and other similar organisations for their commitment to supporting outdoor learning.