Adventure is Recommended!

Providing regular and frequent outdoor learning opportunities is a key aim of the curriculum for excellence


SAAF (Scottish Adventure Activities Forum) has now published its final report and recommendations as a result of recent consultation with providers and stakeholders involved in adventure education and outdoor learning. It highlights and recommends to Scottish Government, a need for review and change in a number of key areas of adventure activities licensing;

  • Licensed activities
  • Registration
  • Cost and duration of license
  • Inspection and best practice
  • Opting in
  • Cross border arrangements
  • Review of licensing

While our schools and educational establishment will need no action at this point, while Ministers respond the review has the potential to influence the management and quality of adventurous activity for all our young people.

At the Outdoor Learning Service we will continue to support the review by our attendance at SAAF on behalf of SAPOE and believe the review is an opportunity to improve quality and standards  within the outdoor arena and as SAAF note;

“Adventurous  activities  prepare  a wide  range  of  age groups  for  their  own  challenges, stimulate a  passion  for  the  outdoors  and  develop  a  thirst  for  learning. Therefore  it  is  important  to  reflect  all  of  these  aspects  within  any  legislation  that may  be  produced  to  govern  adventurous  activities  in  Scotland  and  at  the  same  time capture the spirit of Scotland’s wild places.”

We will keep our education establishments up to date as and when Scotgov respond. Meanwhile keep going out there!!

EVOLVE Visit approval and planning system goes live.

group beachThe new EVOLVE online educational visit planning and approval system is now live in Midlothian. A fantastic turn-out at our recent launch means that we have 14 schools (and growing) in the pilot phase. The system offers a huge amount of benefits to aid trip planning for our educational establishments in Midlothian. We hope this system will enable and encourage more of-site visits as it can;

  • Simplifies procedures
  • Promotes efficiency
  • Promotes confidence to plan educational visits
  • Builds portfolio of staff  experience
  • Supports planning – reflection – planning working practices
  • Reduces paperwork
  • Provides a clear audit trail
  • Ensures staff planning adheres to procedures
  • Pre-configured robust framework
  • Manage all Extra-curricular activities – not just visits!
  • Dynamic monitoring and live customisable reporting tools
  • Supports inspection preparation and process of self review
  • Comprehensive overview of all learning opportunities
  • Flexible, intuitive & easy to use

EVOLVE screenshotWe are looking forward to getting all establishments on the system from August 2015 with the previous paper based system being retired by December 2015.

For establishments that were not the pilot launch and who wish to get involved now please contact us ( ) and we will get you on-board.

There is also further courses available in Visit Leader Training and Educational Visit Coordinator training to support Midlothian Educational establishments in planning and managing off-site visits.


Visit Leader and Visit Coordinator Training

NExcurisons Building the Curriculumew dates for Visit Leader Training (VLT) and Educational Visit Coordinator Training (EVC), for Midlothian Educational establishments have been added to learnPro and are now available.

These courses cover all you need to know about leading,planning and coordinating an educational visit and will follow the Midlothian Council Guidelines and the  Going Out There – Scottish Framework for Safe Practice in Off-site Visits.

More information available at the links below;

Visit Leader Training (VLT)

Educational Visit Coordinator Training (EVC)


Evolve & Get Out There

GOT ImageA  reminder to all our establishments that the new guidance and Scottish Framework for Safe Practice in Off-Site Visits is available and was published in March 2013.

This framework produced by a range of partners i.e.  the Scottish Government, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) , the Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education (SAPOE), Education Scotland and the Association of Directors of Education. This framework updates the previous Health and Safety on Educational Excursions (HASEE) guidance.

It provides a range of advice on safe practice and

“adopts a  low bureaucracy, enabling approach to outdoor experience and off-site visits”

It can be used to plan and support visits alongside the current Midlothian Guidelines for off-site visits. we will be updating our guidelines and EV1 forms soon to reflect some of the changes and all heads of establishments/those responsible for off-site visits will be contacted with further updates shortly.evolve_logo

We also hope to have new of an exiting new development on the use of EVOLVE (Educational Visit On-line visit and activity planning, processing, monitoring and reporting tool for LAs, schools and academies). As well as providing establishments with a planning tool aligned to current guidelines this will also allow us to adopt a faster turn-around of approval forms and update our current process for approving off-site visits.

The current system for Midlothian can be found here.