Non-Formal Education can change lives – Scouts call on Michael Gove to discuss how
Following Michael Gove’s speech outlining plans to ensure all schools had extra-curricular provision as standard, The Scout Association welcomed any moves that recognised the transformative power of non-formal education.
In his speech “Securing our Children’s Future”, the Secretary of State for Education called for state schools to offer the same high quality extra-curricular activity that is often provided in private schools. Regardless of whether this is delivered through a longer teaching day or within existing provision, The Scout Association has called for a meeting with Michael Gove to discuss partnerships between schools and non-formal education organisations to deliver on his aspirations.
Wayne Bulpitt, UK Chief Commissioner of The Scout Association said:
“Having travelled all over the UK visiting Scout groups that work week in, week out to improve the life chances of young people, I’ve seen just how transformational education outside of the class room can be. The Secretary of State is right to call on non-formal education to be a standard provision in state schools. But he will need to follow up these warm words with strong leadership too if his aspirations are to be realised.
“From University Academy Liverpool to Bradford Academy, there are already great examples of Scouting being delivered through schools. But if such provision is to become the norm and not the exception, then schools and character building organisations, such as The Scout Association, need to get round the table and form partnerships that benefit our young people.”
Research for The Scout Association found that 88% of young people involved in Scouting said that it had helped them develop key skills such as leadership, communication and character. 36% of former Scouts volunteer regularly compared with only 26% of the general population.
The Scout Association is already in seventy of the hundred poorest wards in the UK. But with a waiting list of over 38,000 young people still waiting to take part in the everyday adventure Scouting provides, the Secretary of State’s call for non-formal education to be part and parcel of the school day could signal a step change in the type of young people character building organisations such as The Scout Association could reach.