Learning Outside the Classroom

Updated 17 March 2008


LOtC Manifesto


The Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto partnership was launched by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on 28 November 2006. The Manifesto is a ‘movement’ or joint undertaking that many different stakeholders have helped to create and to which anyone can sign up. Its aim is to ensure that all young people have a variety of high quality learning experiences outside the classroom environment.


The Manifesto is a short publication with a vision statement and high level aims.  Government departments (including DCSF, Defra and DCMS), LOtC providers, local authorities, schools, youth groups and many other supporters are in the process of signing up to or ‘endorsing’ these common aims and making ‘pledges’ of practical action to support them. There is a Manifesto website with further details (where the Manifesto document can be downloaded) with signatories and pledges.





GEM recognises the value of Learning Outside the Classroom and supports the Manifesto’s vision and aims. We have therefore already endorsed the Manifesto along with over 100 other organisations, including English Heritage, Field Studies Council, Natural England, RSPB, Outward Bound Trust, Arts Council, Forestry Commission, Natural History Museum, Youth Hostel Association, Farming and Countryside Education, National Trust, Learning through Landscapes, to name just a few. A full list of signatories and their pledges of support are on the website.


We have endorsed the Manifesto because we believe that by working together we can provide many more opportunities for children and young people to experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of their learning and development. We recognise that, quality learning experiences in ‘real’ situations can raise achievement across a range of subjects and develop better personal and social skills. When these experiences are well planned, safely managed and personalised to meet the needs of every child they can:

We will therefore be working with schools, local authorities, parents, carers and the many other organisations committed to providing an exciting range of teaching and learning opportunities outside the classroom. 


Consultation and research has identified key barriers to learning outside the classroom. These include: time and cost considerations; fears about pupils being injured and schools/teachers facing legal action; bureaucracy; low awareness of the benefits and the opportunities available; and a lack of confidence and training for teachers. The Manifesto’s proposals, together with its pledges from partners, are designed to tackle these barriers. By endorsing the Manifesto, signatories have agreed that they will work collectively to:

Only then will the Manifesto ‘make a difference’ to the amount and quality of learning outside the classroom.


Other key proposed measures of the Manifesto include:


1.  The creation of a new, independent Learning Outside the Classroom Council to bring together providers from the public, private and voluntary sectors, in order to take ownership of and achieve the aims of the Manifesto.


2.  The development of an Out and About package to support schools and others with guidance on planning and funding; staff training and development; and risk management including a new family of ‘safety badges’.


3.  Learning Outside the Classroom will be part of the revised OFSTED Self Evaluation Form, in order to encourage schools to evaluate and develop their current activities.


GEM is therefore looking forward to working with schools, local authorities, the Learning Outside the Classroom Council and all of the many organisations who have endorsed the Manifesto, to ensure that all children and young people have a chance to develop their learning in exciting and fulfilling ways outside the classroom.


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