Some quotable statements & sources – a few of any on this site…..

1. Better Regulation Commission Report: “Risk, Responsibility, Regulation: Whose Risk Is It Anyway?” [November, 2006]

Foreword: Our national attitude to risk is becoming defensive and disproportionate; the way we try to manage risk is leading to regulatory overkill. There is an over reliance on Government to manage all risks yet it is neither possible nor desirable to control every risk in life. Personal responsibility and trust must be encouraged. Britain must safeguard its sense of adventure, enterprise and competitive edge.This report recommends a public debate about the management of risk involving individual citizens and the media but specifically calls for clear and unambiguous leadership from government to:

  1. Change our national approach to risk.
  2. Empower individuals to take more personal responsibility for risk.
  3. Provide high quality training in risk management for Ministers and senior civil servants.
  4. Establish FARO (the Fast Assessment of Regulatory Options) an independent, ad hoc panel for expert, dispassionate, evidence–based examination of urgent calls for government intervention.

2. Case studies submitted to OUT OF CLASSROOM MANIFESTO [ignored?]Tackling unacceptable behaviour 5 A transformation 5Tackling serious crime 6 A life changing experience in the Amazon Basin 6 Pupils at risk of exclusion 7Residential activity breaks can change lives 7From nuisance to role model 8Demand driven funding 8Preparation for life 9Outdoor education for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties 9Outdoor pursuits at a pupil referral unit 10The business perspective 10Surrey Special Needs Ski Journey 11Transition from primary to secondary school 11Three years’ work in three weeks 12The outdoors against drugs 12One approach used during the consultation was to work up a hypotheticalcase study of what good practice might look like a number of years in thefuture – it is felt that the authors of the Manifesto might like to draw on this approach and our example is therefore appended in full as Legacy 2012. 14Messages of support The following messages have been received to date.From HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KTEverybody wants all sports and recreations to be as safe as possible, but this can only be achieved when all participants have been made aware of the risks and of how to avoid them. Learning by experience of real adventure under competent leadership is the best way to develop that awareness, and to reduce unnecessary accidents.From Ben Ainslie, OBE, Olympic Gold Medallist As a youngster growing up in Cornwall there were plenty of opportunities to get out and test yourself against the elements! My great love is sailing and through that I was able to learn much about working with other people and dealing with high pressure situations. On the North Shore of Cornwall we did a lot of surfing and that was wild! Being pummelled by a six foot wave really teaches you the amazing power that the water has. Most of all I think it was important to have the chance to get outside and see how much fun you can have, either on land, in the water or in the air!From Sir Chris Bonington, MountaineerExperiencing the Outdoors should be a vital part of every person's education both as an adventure and an awareness of the wonders of nature.From Sir Richard Branson, Adventurer and EntrepreneurAdventure is all about balancing the risks and benefits in an uncertain environment and deciding to go for it. It's exactly the same whether you're setting ballooning records or starting a new business. Giving young people a taste of adventure is so important if we are to foster the enterprising and ambitious entrepreneurs of tomorrow.From Libby Purves, OBE, Journalist and Broadcaster A modern child's world can too easily be overtaken by virtuality: the screen, the handset, the computer mouse. Even sport may become an increasingly technical, indoor business with little risk or abrasive unexpectedness. But to grow fully human we need the salt of reality: the exhilaration of adventure in the natural world. We can't allow a society in which the only physical adventures available to young people are sex, drugs and joyriding.From Tim Smit, CBE, Founder of the Eden Project Fear is crippling in all aspects of life and a culture that encourages fear of all dangers makes us increasingly unable to act with the curiosity and adventure we need to have in order to survive and then thrive in the real world. Taking risks makes you feel alive and successfully understanding what level of risk is appropriate to take is crucial in crossing a bridge made of logs, asking someone out on a date, or starting a venture such as The Eden Project. Outdoor adventure experiences are crucial in the shaping of the outer body and the inner spirit and not to recognise and encourage this is to deny children a vital ingredient that will make them happy grownups. 3. /from the times 10/06 – About Play“Only by taking risks in a controlled environment can children learn how to judge risk, make mistakes (which can be painful, even when you land on a soft surface) and move on to bigger challenges. All children need an adrenalin rush – but we have become so risk-averse on behalf of our cotton-wool-wrapped offspring that we have forgotten that they need to taste that heady feeling of slight danger.Poor play environments are not just the fault of boring(or non-existent) play equipment. Spiegal says parents and carers who get too involved in play are also damaging kids’ rights to play independently. “We should create spaces where freedom can take place. There should be fights and falling over – children learn from experience – and then you learn not to do that again. If there are some things that can only be learned from experience, then taking them to a risk point is actually a public obligation.”

[OAA] = outdoor adventurous[?] activities

  1. Whether there has been an increase, decrease or neither of ALL outdoor

activities, my perception is that in Herts there is a very low level ofoutdoor ADVENTUROUS activities. I suspect that there has been a shift in the type of activity provided from outdoor residentials to things like pond-dipping in the school grounds, because of the expense and perceived risk in OAA. This is particularly so in Welwyn Hatfield, where county statistics show that the use of the DofE Award scheme is vanishingly small. There is very little discernible senior management or county support for OAA.It may also be true that generally teachers [the DfES view] are reassured by the support they are getting from their local authorities, but at one school in oneauthority, so strong is the obstruction (not support) from the LEA that =even simple Out of the Classroom activities like observing rivers at first hand have ceased.I do find it frustrating reading of DfES complacency when I am working sohard to get OAA on the map where I live!7.It is the extinction of real experience and the dumbing down of adventure that is causing such bad judgements later in life, and this has a cumulative effect – those with less experience of real risk, due to disproportionate levels of fear and anxiety, expose those in their care to even less experience of real risk, and so ad infinitum = a risk averse, risk incompetent and non-adventurous society.

  1. NFER reports November 2006 [launched with Out of Classroom Learning Manifesto
    1. Those in Key Stages 3 and 4 are less likely to be offered and experience out of school activities, let alone adventurous ones; those from lower economic backgrounds were even more likely to not be offered OAA due to costs and availability of funds generally, [consider private schools and well-healed catchments] despite the overwhelming evidence that NEETS pupils respond particularly well in the higher arousal environments.
    2. More recent research: The higher the arousal [adventure?] level, the greater the learning; memory is greatly enhanced by additional stimulation and even more so in really high arousal: anxiety & stress become positive in learning at this point.

  1. CCPR and Volunteering England both find fear of litigation the main problem with recruiting and retaining volunteers;

  1. British industry feels inhibited by those who over-emphasise risk. Being proportionate depends on being realistic; being realistic depends on experience and judgement: where is our experience of real risk actually coming from? This covers all levels of management and all enterprise. We depend on our schools to get this sorted – it is costing UK PLC billions and the HSC supports us in this…..Get a Life! Digby Jones [ex CBI]

  1. Article from Horizons Magazine [Ian lewis…Campaign for Adventure]

Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto DfES – Launched by the DfES Secretary of State for Education, Alan Johnson. The manifesto is the most recent hope for a reversal of the extinction of experience which happens when our young people remain too much within school environments with only limited opportunity to learn, learn to apply and to try out learning in the real world.

The Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto asks for our support and we support it

whole-heartedly. It is a great step. It offers words of commitment. It outlines where we

can do more and how we should be doing more. There is even £2.7m to help – which

must be spent on training because it is a mars-bar each if passed out to our pupils!

Two linked NFER research reports were also helpful. The first covered what training exists for teachers working outside the classroom and the second looked at the actual practice – how much is going on out there.

The former, teacher-training, shows wide variation. Some authorities and Teacher-

Training providers doing lots and some very little. The latter report shows a lot 'just outside' – in school grounds, much less actually away from the school, even less residential and much, much less in Key Stages 3 & 4, where a great opportunity for adventure-based learning exists with a huge and immediate social contribution, although it does take a special ability in teachers and youth-workers to form special trust & confidence in these age groups.The research also showed that it is the deprived that do not gain access to out of school learning – exactly the young people who need our challenges to divert them from crime, substance abuse and anti-social behaviour which cost our society so dearly in cash and quality of life.

It is striking that many areas of learning, recently including radio workshops, opera, dance and theatre, are taking over where adventure-based pursuits led the way when most outdoor centres were created; at this time they really focused on what

society was calling for rather that add-ons to curriculum-based learning and certainly not

KS 1 & 2. Overall, there is a lot to work through in the manifesto and the linked reports.