The Education Authority has commenced a public consultation on proposals for the future delivery of residential and outdoor education provision in Northern Ireland. This presents a significant opportunity to ensure the enhanced role of residential and outdoor education centres in meeting the needs of children and young people and contributing to their educational outcomes.
The EA has carried out a comprehensive review of residential and outdoor education provision which has encompassed the views of schools, young people, parents, staff and various interest groups. This review has identified significant gaps and potential over provision which will require redress. As part of the review consideration was also given to the model of service delivery. It is anticipated that this review will enhance the role of residential and outdoor education in making more significant links with the educational curriculum in schools and pupil achievement. The recommendations arising from the review intend to bring more diversity and flexibility to the range of programmes that will be delivered in residential and outdoor provision as well as in schools and local communities.
EA Director of Children and Young Peoples’ Services Dr Clare Mangan stated that:
“The Review of Residential and Outdoor Education which is launched today provides a significant opportunity to seek the views of a wide range of stakeholders and the general public; especially our children and young people. During the 12 week consultation it is anticipated that those who have an interest in this area will consider the recommendations and will provide the EA with their views in relation to the proposals.
The Authority continues to value the opportunities provided by residential and outdoor education centres to make a significant contribution to the development of our young people and society; influencing their lives throughout and beyond their formal education. It also enables the EA to enhance the services provided through strengthening a collaborative approach between the statutory and voluntary sectors.
The recommendations in this review will enable EA to meet the expectations of government policy, address issues of over-provision and ensure that Youth Service resources are deployed effectively to front line services based on a composite regional and local assessment of need.”
The review report and supporting documentation can be viewed on the Education Authority’s website at www.eani.org.uk/consultations. The consultation closes on 6 February 2017.