The PALOES Blog

Key Issues Arising from our November Conference

Posted: Friday, 18 December 2015

Just a few highlights from our EVC conference in November, key snippets that delegates picked up that we want to share with all our members. Record-keeping. Simon Willis (chair of the North west region of the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel) on what, and why records need to be kept.

  • Who went? - staff and young people
  • When did they go?
  • What did they do? – programme
  • Did planning meet the employer’s requirements?
  • Evaluation of visit?
–      Were objectives met? –      Was there an accident/incident? If so, record of this?
  • General record keeping
  • Policy for off site visits – current at time of visit
  • Record of staff competence – training & experience
Andrew Little (Hill Dickinson Solicitors) said: “that the time limit for bringing personal injury claims is generally 3 years after the injury occurred and for other claims it is generally 6 years. It’s worth noting, from an EVC...

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Dealing With Illness During School Trips

Posted: Friday, 02 October 2015

The recent headline “Fifty children and staff have been taken ill while returning from a school history trip to France and Belgium” attracted the attention of many school visit coordinators and gave them a chance to check that their own risk assessments for this scenario were updated and in place. During my own 30 years of working as a teacher in the outdoors with children (most times as group leader) this occurred many times, but I thought I would mention the three most memorable. When working on the Wirral our Bronze Award Expedition territory was the Clwyd hills in North Wales, certainly a wonderful base for these groups. One group had camped by a stream on a campsite near the base of Moel Fammau and despite being briefed not to drink the water they had. Two were sick. On investigation, and much to their horror, a responsible teacher found a decomposing sheep about 50 meters higher up the stream. The kids were fine after a few hours of sickness, but they will always remember the...

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To Rewild or Not to Rewild? – spreading awareness

Posted: Friday, 27 February 2015

The modern term for accelerating the restoration of nature on a landscape scale (rather than just protecting the bits we have left) is rewilding. The term, and indeed movement, is discussed frequently amongst nature lovers and those involved with our environment. But is it such a new debate? Two of our greatest ever song writers disagree on the matter. Don't it always seem to go  That you don't know what you've got  Till it's gone  They paved paradise  And put up a parking lot They took all the trees  Put 'em in a tree museum And they charged the people  A dollar and a half just to see 'em  (Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell) From the age of the dinosaurs, cars have run on gasoline * Where? Where have they gone? Now, it's nothing but flowers There was a factory Now they're just mountains and rivers There was a shopping mall Now it's all covered with flowers Once there were parking lots, now it’s a peaceful oasis This...

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Why Outdoor Educators are Key in Encouraging Exploration

Posted: Friday, 13 February 2015

Many times I yearn to have lived in those great years of discovery and exploration, from the mid nineteenth century until the early 1920’s. These were the halcyon days of exploration. Many of these explorers are household names now, Shackleton, Scott, Mallory, and countless more. Their stories are fascinating, and not always the successful ones. The Franklin expedition of 1845 is shrouded in mystery. No one knows what happened to the crews of the Terror and the Erebus, except that they died. Some light may now be shed, as the wreck of the Erebus was found a few months ago. Many have guessed though. Renowned naval historian Andrew Lambert tells the story in painstaking detail, and in the last 30 pages of his book “Franklin” postulates as to what could have happened. The book goes under the genre of non-fiction.  Dan Simmons also goes into detail, but is much more readable in his version “The Terror”. This however goes into the fiction genre, although he does pretty much the same as...

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