Leading learning outside the classroom (LOtC) practitioners were honoured at a special awards dinner, following the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) Conference held at Ingestre Hall Residential Arts Centre in Staffordshire on 16th November.

LOtC Awards

The ‘Awards for Outstanding Contribution to LOtC’ honour individuals and teams of people who have made a significant impact on the lives of children and young people through their commitment and dedication to providing and/or championing exciting and inspiring learning outside the classroom opportunities.

Whether it is through fieldwork, school ground activities such as forest schools, educational visits to museums, galleries, farm activity centres, or cultural expeditions abroad, LOtC can build lasting, positive learning experiences.

From a shortlist of 16, the final winners were:

•    Belinda Dixon, British Exploring Society, Advocate Award 2017, sponsored by School Travel Organiser magazine.
•    Jenny Hindson, Trees for Cities, Innovator Award 2017, sponsored by YHA.
•    Worcester Cathedral Educational Volunteer Team, Inspiring Educator Award 2017, sponsored by NST Education Travel.
•    Phil Simpson, Abernethy Trust, Lifetime Achievement Award 2017, sponsored by Canal and River Explorers.

Elaine Skates, chief executive of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom said: “We believe that every child should be given the opportunity to experience life and lessons beyond the classroom walls as a regular part of growing up. It is clear that this year’s winners and nominees are making great strides forward to make this happen, helping LOtC to grow and flourish. Congratulations to all the inspiring winners and shortlisted LOtC Heroes, who are expanding the horizons of young people and opening their eyes to the wonders of areas such as art, heritage, culture, adventure and the natural world.”

Speaking at the ceremony after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 Phil Simpson, who has worked for nearly 35 years, championing the cause of outdoor learning through the Abernethy Trust, said: “It’s a complete surprise and a real honour to be recognised like this. I’m really delighted to receive the award, especially when it’s come from such a broad field of proponents of outdoor learning which the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom champions.”

The annual Council for Learning Outside the Classroom Conference and Awards 2018 will be held on 22nd November 2018 at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.

About the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom was launched in April 2009 and is the leading voice on learning outside the classroom issues. The Council champions learning outside the classroom and encourages young people to get out and about because research shows that children learn best through real world experiences.