An update on the Outdoor Education Activities Policy from Outdoors WA
Outdoors WA continues to monitor the implementation of the Outdoor Education Activities for Public Schools and advocate for the support and growth of Outdoor Learning in WA. We welcome the recent extension to the implementation time frame and also clarification to advise that the policy will apply to all providers.
Please read a recent update from Outdoors WA below:
1. INTENTION TO REVIEW THE OUTDOOR EDUCATION ACTIVITIES FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS PROCEDURES
The implementation transition period for the new Outdoor Education Activities for Public Schools procedures is being extended for a further 12 months. This means the procedures must be fully implemented from 1 January 2021.
The safety and welfare of our students remains the first priority in implementing the new procedures. However, it is clear that there are unresolved issues regarding the interpretation of the procedures and the availability of training and support, and that these are creating uncertainty for senior school course offerings and selection processes for 2020. As such, the transition period to implement the new procedures has been extended. The Department will be working closely with principals and unions to review the procedures and resolve these concerns. This will include ensuring the procedure scan be practically implemented by schools and that appropriate support and training is in place.
Updates will be provided as this work progresses.
2. CLARIFICATION OF THE APPLICATION OF THE POLICY TO EXTERNAL PROVIDERS
There has been some indication that providers of outdoors activities to schools have mistakenly thought that the new policy does not apply to them. We have received advice that the policy will apply to ALL providers.
We therefore encourage all providers of public school camps and school adventure activities to discuss their circumstances with the school principal.
We asked for clarification if all external providers who provide outdoor education activities to Department of Education Schools are expected to abide by all of the Outdoor Education Activities for Public Schools Procedures?
DOE Response: “It is a school based decision on which external provider they use for Outdoor Education activities. Whether the school is conducting the Outdoor Education activity or the external provider is contracted for the activity the school is still expected to ensure that Duty of Care and the Outdoor Education Activities for Public Schools procedures are met.
Each school will need to look at the activity and provider on a case by case basis to ensure they meet the requirements.”
You can find the Department of Education policy documents here
Scroll down and the individual activities are listed on the left hand side.