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MP secures agreement from Health Secretary to review COVID guidance for outdoor education centres

November 11, 2020 9:49 AM

Tim at Bendrigg Trust outdoor education centreOn the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged ministers to change Government guidance which currently advises schools not to run residential trips.

At the weekend, Tim visited the Bendrigg Trust outdoor education centre in Old Hutton where he learnt that around 5,000 out of the 16,000 jobs in the sector had already been lost.

Speaking in Parliament today, Tim said: "As families begin to dare to hope in the possibility of a vaccine, it is vital that we prioritise mental health resilience and confidence in learning amongst our young people.

"Our outdoor education centres in Cumbria and across the country are uniquely equipped and able to help with just that.

"Yet most of those centres face closure, essentially because the Government advice remains against residential school visits even though outdoor education centres are just as COVID safe as schools.

"Would the Secretary of State agree to work with the Department for Education to try and change that advice and to make sure that outdoor education centres remain open?"

In response the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I'm very happy to look at this with my Right Hon. Friend the Education Secretary.

"This is of course a Department for Education lead but I'm very happy to do my bit."