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News - WA OUTDOOR EDUCATION UNDER THREAT WITH SCHOOL CAMPSITES TO CLOSE

15-Dec-2017



WA OUTDOOR EDUCATION UNDER THREAT WITH SCHOOL CAMPSITES TO CLOSE

Outdoors WA is alarmed at the recent announcement from the Minister for Education and Training of the intention to close the six camp schools located in Bridgetown, Pemberton, Kalgoorlie, Dampier, Geraldton and Rockingham.

We know that thousands of students and hundreds of schools will be deprived of a school camp experience if these campsites are closed. In addition these camps are assets to the community providing a place for diverse groups to explore and enjoy different regions in our state.

These camp schools are the public face of outdoor learning, where specialist teachers have worked tirelessly to integrate learning with the natural environment in line with the WA curriculum. The decision places a question mark over the future of outdoor learning in public schooling and the essential role it has in providing a holistic education for our children.

This announcement comes as we face a crisis of rising childhood obesity and physical and mental health issues with our young people. We know that getting students active and outdoors has a real positive impact on physical and mental well being and we should be doing everything possible to get more students outside.

The WA community is unanimous in the need to make outdoor recreation more accessible and grow participation. Outdoors WA is incredibly concerned with the intention to close these facilities that are assisting students to develop and nurture that connection to nature.

Outdoors WA  have contacted the outdoor professionals at the campsites to remind them that the outdoors community stands united with them at this difficult time.

We are currently seeking further information to clarify the impacts of this decision and proposed implementation. We have been in contact with the Minister of Educations office and the Department of Education and we will continue to express the outdoors communities concerns at these intended actions.

Outdoors WA affirms the positive educational outcomes that camp experiences provide and that this should be an increasing part of all school curriculum.

We will be calling upon stakeholders across the outdoors sector to stand with Outdoors WA in 2018 as we advocate that every child in Western Australia should have a right to outdoor education!

If you would like to be involved and kept informed of the progress, please email our executive officer at office@outdoorswa.org

We want to see a strong, united outdoors sector which includes a growing outdoor education provision. Ensuring that we have the facilities, teachers and programs provided by outdoor professionals, to the benefit of every child in Western Australia, is an essential part of that vision.

We appreciate your support.


Kind regards


Andy Wahid
Chair
Outdoors WA


Jamie Bennett
Executive Officer
Outdoors WA 

You can read the minsters press release here at:
https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2017/12/Education-savings-measures-to-help-contribute-to-budget-repair.aspx
 
The Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC Minister for Education and Training contact details here:
https://www.premier.wa.gov.au/Ministers/Sue-Ellery/Pages/Contact.aspx









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Outdoors WA  |   Tel: (08) 9468 0102   |    Email: office@outdoorswa.org   |   7 Irvine Street, BAYSWATER WA 6053