What does the Residential Outdoor Education (Wales) Bill do?

Published 19/12/2023   |   Reading Time minutes

The Residential Outdoor Education (Wales) Bill is a Member Bill brought forward by Sam Rowlands MS, the Member in Charge of the Bill.

Sam Rowlands MS was successful in the July 2022 Member Bill ballot and his proposal for the Bill received the Senedd’s leave to proceed on 26 October 2022.

The Bill was introduced to the Senedd on 24 November 2023, accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum (EM) and Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA). The Legislative Statement took place on 29 November, where Sam Rowlands presented the Bill and Members of the Senedd discussed its proposals in Plenary.

The Bill would place a statutory duty on the Welsh Ministers to “take reasonable steps to ensure that a course of residential outdoor education is provided once, free of charge as part of the curriculum, to registered pupils at maintained schools” (those educated in schools maintained by a local authority in Wales). The Bill also establishes a statutory obligation for local authorities to be allocated funding by Welsh Ministers to enable them to do this.

The Bill aims to “provide a residential outdoor education experience for every child in maintained schools in Wales, regardless of their socio-economic background, disabilities, additional learning needs (ALN), cultural background or geographic location”. The Explanatory Memorandum (EM) says this “will move residential outdoor education experience from an enrichment activity to an entitlement component of the Curriculum for Wales”.

The Bill was referred to the Children, Young People and Education Committee for Stage 1 scrutiny. The Committee will hold evidence sessions with Sam Rowlands MS, the Welsh Government and stakeholders to hear their views on the Bill before reporting to the Senedd.

You can follow proceedings on the Committee’s webpages.

We’ve published a detailed Bill Summary and a bilingual glossary for more information.

Article by Lucy Morgan, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament