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To: UK Government

Allow Forest Schools to Open as Soon as Possible

Allow Forest Schools to Open as Soon as Possible

Parents of school children and home schooled children are asking us when their children can participate in nature based activities with their friends. We believe all Forest Schools should be allowed to open as soon as possible for all children.

Why is this important?

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 31 says “That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”

Currently independent forest schools and outdoor educators are not allowed to offer activities to children under the lock-down rules. There are suggestions from the DfE that this will not change on 4th July. Being able to socialise with their friends and have access to nature based group activities is good for children's physical and mental health. The government have recommended that children get exercise outdoors, that schools take lessons outside as much as possible and that classes may contain up to 15 children. Children are allowed to access sports training outside. Adults are being encouraged to go to work, join sports clubs and visit shopping centres. If we were 'following the science' forest schools would be open now.

Forest School Leaders are trained professionals with first aid qualifications experienced in managing risk and providing healthy, fun and stimulating activities for children of all ages. We are therefore perfectly placed to be able to offer activities to children that are Covid-19 risk assessed which will allow children to socialise and enjoy nature in a low viral-risk environment.

Parents of school children and home schooled children are asking us when their children can participate in nature based activities with their friends. We believe all Forest Schools should be allowed to open as soon as possible for all children.

Forest School Leaders have always put children's welfare at the top of their list of priorities. Forest School by definition is child centred learning, see https://www.forestschoolassociation.org/what-is-forest-school/ Children's emotional, mental and physical well-being is central to our practise.

A study based on track and trace data has demonstrated that children are at low risk from contracting covid-19, from developing serious symptoms, from passing the virus between each other and from passing the virus from a child to an adult. See https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/children-and-covid-19

United Kingdom

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Reasons for signing

  • Outdoors learning is an essential medium for adults and kids alike. Being outside is so important to feeling grounded, calm, free, fascinated, creative, having fun and understanding the importance of our relationship with nature. Bring back fun in the woods.
  • You can go to shops but not spend time outside socially distanced
  • They are outside schools so risk low

Updates

2020-06-30 11:31:24 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2020-06-28 16:07:15 +0100

500 signatures reached

2020-06-27 18:40:27 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-06-27 17:17:04 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-06-27 16:21:55 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-06-27 16:02:50 +0100

10 signatures reached