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Tim Farron

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‘Why is there a reopening date for nightclubs but not for outdoor education?’ – MP blasts Government’s treatment of outdoor centres

March 12, 2021 3:48 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has accused the Prime Minister of turning his back on the outdoor education sector.

Last month, in a response from a question in Parliament from Tim, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he "cannot see why" outdoor education couldn't reopen alongside schools on March 8th.

However this week, the Department for Education told Tim that a ban on all school visits for outdoor education centres will continue and gave no date for when this could change.

In a letter to Tim, Baroness Berridge, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System said: "Unfortunately due to the present climate and the national restrictions placed on the country we are now advising against all domestic/international day and residential educational visits.

"Officials are continuing to work across Government, with industry bodies and sector representatives to address the issues arising from the outbreak and to help them plan for the safe reintroduction of residential educational visits, when it is safe to do so."

Reacting to the letter, Tim said: "This completely flies in the face of what the Prime Minister told me in the House of Commons only last month.

"If education really is a priority for Government then why is there a reopening date for nightclubs but not for school visits to outdoor education centres?

"This sector has a massive role to play in improving children's mental and physical health, their confidence and also for reconnecting them with a love of learning.

"The Government must stop treating outdoor education as an afterthought and give the centres the clarity and confidence they need to plan for the future."