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Make outdoor experiences for young people a right say MSYPs


Motion proposed by Scouts Scotland

Scotland's Youth Parliament has backed a statutory right to a residential outdoor experience for every secondary school pupil.

The vote followed a motion proposed by Scouts Scotland MSYPs Ewan Knight and Dylan Thomas. More than 81% MSYPs backed the motion.

Knight said “I’m thrilled that our motion has passed and become policy of the Scottish Youth Parliament. With 80% of our membership voting in favour, it’s clear there is a demand for outdoor residential experiences to be available and accessible to every young person”

Scouts Scotland said residential outdoor education not only empowers young people to develop essential life skills like confidence, resilience and independence, but is increasingly combined with practical and vocational learning, helping young people explore future career options in key sectors.

Recent green pilots at Scout Adventures Fordell Firs in Fife and Scout Adventures Lochgoilhead in Argyll have pioneered this approach, by combining outdoor activity programmes and leadership training with practical conservation exercises.

Dylan Thomas added: “The successful motion at the Scottish Youth Parliament is a clear statement from Scotland's young people that they want to see a right to an outdoor educational experience enshrined in law.”

The motion’s success follows the publication on Friday of Liz Smith MSP’s Schools (Residential Outdoor Education) (Scotland) Bill, which seeks to bring a statutory right to an outdoor education experience for every Scottish school pupil into law.

The Bill will now come before Parliament, having received cross-party support from MSPs.

Liz Smith MSP said: "I very much welcome the motion that was passed in the Scottish Youth Parliament which backs a statutory right to a residential outdoor experience for every secondary school pupil and which coincided with the formal introduction of my outdoor education bill in Holyrood.

"I would like to thank Ewan Knight MSYP and Dylan Welsh MSYP for their work in highlighting just how strong the desire is among young people to have this opportunity."

She continued by saying that in an age when there is growing national concern about young people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, the benefits of residential outdoor education cannot be overstated.

Furthermore, Smith said there are too many young people from some of the most deprived areas who do not get the same opportunities as their counterparts elsewhere - an inequality that must be addressed.



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