Learning Outside the Classroom

(Funded by DfE)

LOtC Manifesto
Heritage Partnership


The LOtC Quality Badge was launched in January 2009, providing for the first time a national accreditation combining the essential elements of provision – learning and safety – into one easily recognisable and trusted Quality Badge for all types of LOtC provider organisations. More and more providers are now signing up to the badge, giving schools and other groups of young learners a much better of idea of the great range of good quality learning experiences on offer. For more information, visit

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom was established as the leading voice for LOtC, committed to promoting and championing LOtC, to enable all young people to benefit from increased opportunities for high-quality and varied educational experiences. The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom worked closely with its advisory group and the sector partnerships to ensure that the LOtC initiative continued to benefit from the experience and expertise of all its stakeholders.

In partnership with the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, GEM produced a Quality Badge Frequently Asked Questions document, which can be downloaded here. This should help to answer some practical queries regarding the badge scheme.

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 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 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.


Heritage Partnership

To ensure the interests of all parties were considered in the development and implementation of the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) initiative, eight sector partnerships were set up. One of those was the Heritage Sector Partnership (HSP) and John Reeve, Chair of GEM at the time.

All were learning professionals with diverse backgrounds in the heritage sector. They brought a range of views and information on LOtC and heritage learning to the table and provided invaluable links to other organisations and networks within education and the heritage sector.


The role of the partnerships was to:


The HSP hoped that by successfully fulfilling its role as intermediary and advisor, more young people will have access to meaningful, good quality learning experiences in heritage and cultural settings.

Members of the HSP were:

Head of Education & Outdoor Learning, Royal Geographical Society
Education Development Manager, Royal Botanic Gardens,
Chief Executive, Heritage Education Trust
Assistant Director, Policy & Campaigns, Historic Houses Association
Education & Skills Manager, England’s Past for Everyone
, Director, The UK’s Association for Science and Discovery Centres
Education Consultant, HHA and Trustee, Historic Royal Palaces
Senior Policy Adviser, Learning, MLA
Head of Education, CABE
Head of Learning, Culture 24
Head of Interpretation, London Metropolitan Archives
Head of Learning, Skills & Volunteering, Heritage Lottery Fund
Heritage Open Days Education Manager, Civic Trust
, Head of Learning, British Library
, Professional Development Manager, Historical Association
Deputy Head of Education & Education Manager East of England, English Heritage
Learning Adviser, National Trust
Chair, GEM

was the coordinator of the HSP.



Follow the links below for some previous monthly updates:

November 2009 (pdf 62KB)

September 2009 (pdf 53KB)

CLOtC also publish regular newsletters. For the most recent editions and for other LOtC news and events, visit



With funding from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, the Heritage Sector Partnership has produced a support package to help heritage organisations make the most of Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC).

Resources have been developed in consultation with the sector and written by experienced heritage education practitioners. They have been designed to be of particular use to those heritage organisations without education expertise or with limited resources or capacity to attend training.

We hope that they will help you to:

The support package includes:


Please click on the headings below to access the package areas  

Applying for the LOtC Quality Badge
Are you interested in applying for the LOtC Quality Badge? Would you like some help getting started with your Self Evaluation Form (SEF)? These resources will help you to understand the Quality Indicators that make up the SEF and how they relate to practice.  

Developing learning services at your organisation
Reviewing your learning services using the SEF gives you the opportunity to recognise the strengths of what you offer as well as identify the areas in which you might develop and grow your services. These resources will help you to identify what needs to be done and give you practical examples of how change might be achieved with minimum cost and maximum benefit.  

Background information on LOtC and heritage learning
This resource is a detailed list of publications, organisations and websites relating to LOtC and heritage learning. You will find information here about research into the benefits to young people of participating in LOtC and the origins of the LOtC Manifesto. You will also be able to investigate the huge range of work being carried out by numerous heritage organisations in identifying and promoting LOtC opportunities.


If you are looking for a specific resource from LOtC Click Here.



This one-day conference gave an opportunity to find out more about the implementation of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto across the heritage sector, and to debate and influence its development.

Click here to find Event notes from LOtC