The next generation of environmental educators

The UK’s next generation of outdoor educators are being trained as part of an apprenticeship programme offered by Shropshire-based environmental charity the Field Studies Council. 

Three new apprentices have joined the trainee tutor scheme and are currently undertaking their induction training with the Field Studies Council and join a wider team of young apprentices. 

Vicki Wood, education team leader, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome our three new apprentice tutors to the programme.  

“They join the existing 11 apprentice tutors here at the Field Studies Council and together they will hopefully go on to be the next generation of outdoor educators, inspiring future scientists, environmentalists and conservationists. 

“The programme we have developed is designed to equip apprentices with the skills and attributes that they will need for a career teaching primary and secondary children about the environment. 

“Our apprentices come to us with a mix of skills and experience in geography, science and environmental-related subjects but above all, they have a curiosity about the world in which they live and have a passion for inspiring people of all ages about the natural world.  

“We’re excited to see how they progress but usually around 80 per cent of apprentice tutors go on to become employed tutors within the organisation.” 

Lily McGuiness (24), Josie Summers (24) and Luke Embley (22), who started their year-long apprenticeship with the Field Studies Council this month, are hopeful the experience will pave the way to a successful career in outdoor education. 

Lily said: “I am really excited to start my apprenticeship and about the year ahead.” 

Luke added: “I feel really optimistic about this new role and where it will lead.” 

The Field Studies Council, which has its headquarters based at Montford Bridge near Shrewsbury, is the UK’s largest environmental education charity and this year celebrates its 80th anniversary. 

It operates multiple residential field study centres across the UK and in 2022 welcomed nearly 120,000 learners to its sites. 

Vicki added: “The apprentice tutor development programme is a brilliant way for us to be able to overcome the current recruitment challenges which the sector is facing and develop and nurture the skills of individuals to fit our unique offering at the Field Studies Council. 

“We believe that every single subject in the school curriculum, not just science and geography, can benefit from learning outdoors in the natural world and often those school pupils who visit our sites for a residential learning experience return to the classroom with a new enriched passion for learning.”

CAPTION: The trio of new apprentices with the Field Studies Council.

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