Outdoor education – how taking care of the risks can enable huge benefits to be gained

Outdoor education – how taking care of the risks can enable huge benefits to be gained

“Growing up involves children learning to manage risk”

Most human activity involves balancing benefits and risks. We cannot have all of the benefits but none of the risks. We can eliminate all of the risk only by stopping the activity – but we then lose all of the benefits.

“Indeed, there are benefits that arise out of taking risks, as many explorers, entrepreneurs and other pioneers have shown”, states a recent OEAP National Guidance document, 4.3c Risk management – an overview which is now available for employers, heads, managers, local authority officers, visit leaders and others to download.

Risk management is therefore not about eliminating risk – it is about reducing it as low as reasonably practicable and deciding if this is acceptable in order to gain the potential benefits, says the guidance document – a point of view that is reportedly recognised by both the  HSE and the Department for Education (DfE).

“HSE fully recognises that learning outside the classroom helps to bring the curriculum to life – it provides deeper subject learning and increases self-confidence. It also helps pupils develop their risk awareness and prepares them for their future working lives.
“Striking the right balance between protecting pupils from risk and allowing them to learn from school trips has been a challenge for many schools, but getting this balance right is essential for realising all these benefits in practice.”

The document also deals with:-

  • What is Risk Management?
  • Levels of Risk Management
  • Categories of Visit
  • and Risk Management Implementation.

The download also contains direct links a variety of other supporting OEAP National Guidance documents.

Download OEAP National Guidance document 4.3c Risk management: an overview »

An introduction to OEAP National Guidance »

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