Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said it was “an honour” to join staff and school children at Hill End Education Centre last Friday (16th October) to celebrate their centenary, and called on the Government to “give the sector the support it badly needs before we lose it forever.”
Layla spoke to a visiting class of school pupils and listened to Hill End and Wytham Woods staff about their concerns, and what can be done to get outdoor education going again more widely in Oxfordshire and the country.
Layla said Hill End “do incredible work” and it was “a great shame to think that our outdoor education centres could be decimated by the coronavirus.”
As part of the celebrations, a centenary poem was also read out by Hill End Trustee Charlotte Christie.
Layla co-sponsored a motion tabled by colleague Tim Farron MP in the Commons last week, which “urges the Department for Education to review the current policy of no residential visits as they are an essential part of children’s education and establish a clear timeline for when residential visits are likely to resume”.
Layla Moran said: “It was an honour to visit Hill End and share their centenary celebrations with them. It’s a great shame to think that our outdoor education centres could be decimated by the coronavirus. They do such wonderful work for the kids in our community and the county.
“What’s absolutely clear is that the Government needs to give the sector the support it badly needs before we lose it forever. I badly want Hill End to be celebrating again in another hundred years! Let’s preserve our outdoor education sector for generations to come.
“Thanks so much to all the staff, children and teachers for a great afternoon. Hill End is a jewel in our community’s crown.”
Hill End Centre Director Selby Dickinson said: “Hill End has been providing outdoor learning for 100 years, and we've been delighted to be able to celebrate this today. We're also very proud of the work we've done with children and families during this pandemic - to benefit their education, health and wellbeing - but losing most of our summer customers means it will be a very difficult winter ahead. We very much appreciate Layla Moran's support today for the important work we do here, and we want to carry on doing this for the next 100 years.”