SEEd’s Executive Chair, Ann Finlayson, on why we need more joined-up thinking

Great that the UK government is reporting this evidence of the impact of outdoor learning – but really not new! As a ranger in the 1980s I knew there was evidence then. That was over thirty years ago!

My worry is that this is an imperialist take on nature – i.e. Use the outdoors to improve learning outcomes and support a backward looking curriculum that does nothing to prepare young people for a sustainable and changing future.

Still it’s good to get students outdoors – but tell that to schools in West London under the Heathrow flight paths. It’s so noisy children cannot go out at lunchtime. But wait we are having a third runway – more children affected then.

Still it’s good to get young people outdoors – but not in parts of London where pollution levels are now so high they break EU environment laws.

Still it’s good to get young people out into nature – if you can find it close to your school because you don’t have enough money for coaches. But wait we can now build or frack or mine on Green Belts, and protected land if the Secretary of State allows it. So where will you take them?

Definitely not joined up thinking at the government level. Where are the rights of all children in this? Oh yes – we don’t need the Convention on Human Rights or Children.

‘Great’ Britain? I think not. More like ‘grate’ Britain with conflicting policies and messages. But the politicians know best don’t they?

I know let’s ask young people! SEEd intends to do this.

Do you agree? Share and support SEEd.

Ann Finlayson

Executive Chair of SEEd