Cornwall Council has today confirmed that it will be extending its management of the Cornwall Outdoor Education Service until the end of Summer Term – July 31 2022.
As part of its Budget consultation Cornwall Council had been planning to make changes to the running of the service, which could have seen it closed from 31 March 2022.
Commenting, James Mustoe, Cornwall Councillor for Mevagissey and St Austell Bay, and Chairman of Cornwall Council’s Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee said:
“I am delighted to this morning have confirmation from Cornwall Council that they will be continuing to manage the Outdoor Education Service until July next year.”
“They had originally been earmarked to potentially close in March, so this is good news. If their future will be with a third-party provider, this will allow the breathing space needed to get a comprehensive contract in and ensure the services on offer remain affordable and accessible to all.”
“I understand from Cabinet and meetings today that 10 potential providers have come forward so far, and nine of these are based in Cornwall.”
“As I said in questions to Cornwall Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, along with being accessible and affordable, the primary goal needs to be that these services, both at Porthpean and around Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly remain open with no gap in provision. This step means that it will be easier to enable this.”
Commenting Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay said:
“I am pleased that Cornwall Council has listened to the representations made by myself and others from across Cornwall and agreed to continue to manage this service while they consider options that arise as a result of their consultation.”
“It is vital that Cornwall’s children are able to access these facilities, particularly at a time when we are increasingly putting an emphasis on the benefits of being outdoors. There are also many significant benefits for our wider economy with this service currently providing a vital training resource for accredited instructors all around Cornwall that will otherwise struggle to be able to recruit the qualified staff they need to operate properly.
“Thank you to Cornwall Council for listening and taking this step. The consultation remains on the future of the Outdoor Education Service remains open and we encourage anyone who has not completed it yet to do so via the below link.”