Is it right to be safe?

Loynes, Christopher (1992) Is it right to be safe? Annual Review of Environmental Education .

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Abstract

Whenever safety is in the spotlight reactions can be, at times, extreme. After the Cairngorm tragedy one LEA prescribed that no one would go over 1.000' without a Mountain Leadership Certificate. As a result one head had to telephone the authority to ask if he could open his school that morning as it was built at 1,200' above sea level! We are a little wiser now even though one youth club of which I know was forced to stop canoeing on the canal out the back of the centre this year because no one was a senior instructor. The current spotlight has come about largely through the occurrence of the Lime Regis tragedy in which 4 girls were killed whilst canoeing as part of the programme of a school visit to an outdoor centre. As a result many organisations have been reviewing there safety policies. It is encouraging to see, therefore, 2 major documents published recently on this subject. I also think it is heartening to read there attitudes to risk and safety. Outdoor Education, Safety and Good Practice (2), or Guidelines for Guidelines as it has become known, was produced by a panel representing all the national organisations in the field. The second is the revised DES booklet Safety in Outdoor Education (3). For me, the booklets make 2 key statements. The first is that both booklets acknowledge that Outdoor Education can be, by its nature, hazardous; their can be real risks involved. Whats more, that part of the educative process may be the active engagement by the student with these real risks, appropriately supervised. Secondly, both booklets go on to point out the diversity of activities and locations now used by outdoor educators. They emphasise the impossibility of prescriptive rules about staffing ratios, etc in such a dynamic field. Instead, they adopt an approach that requires leaders to develop their own guidelines in any given situation. Both booklets then go on to give some of the questions that should be asked. Central to all the questions is 'do you have a right to place students at risk?'

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Annual Review of Environmental Education
Publisher: Council for Environmental Education
ISSN: 0953-0428
Departments: Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2010 14:26
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 15:16
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/794

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