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Deploy outdoor education sector this summer to re-engage children with learning and help their mental health, Farron tells PM

May 13, 2021 10:16 AM

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim Farron encouraged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deploy outdoor education professionals in Cumbria to re-engage children with learning and support their mental health during the school summer holidays.

Speaking in Parliament, Tim said: "It's Mental Health Awareness Week, and it's right that we note the huge impact of the covid pandemic on the mental health of young people and on their education.

"Will the Prime Minister then reconsider whether imposing a summer of cramming is really the wisest thing to force on students and teachers?

"Will he instead look at our outdoor education centres - many of which are based in Cumbria of course - who have been hit worse than pretty much any other part of the entire economy?

"Will he therefore agree to not just save outdoor education centres but to deploy outdoor education by commissioning professionals from that sector to run an ambitious programme to re-engage young people with a love of learning and to tackle the mental health crisis?"

In response, Boris Johnson said: "I don't think a summer of cramming is exactly how I would describe the programme for educational recovery that we have, it's very generous, it's broad-based, it's intended to help students across the whole spectrum of abilities and to help them make up the detriment to their learning.

"But can I say how warmly I welcome Cumbria's outdoor education approach, the alfresco learning that he supports, it sounds magnificent to me and I think it should be replicated across the entire country and I look forward to hearing more about it."