Introduction

We are delighted to announce that the FSA has appointed the first Assessors for the Forest School Trainers Quality Assurance scheme, which was piloted during 2017 and will be officially launched in January 2018. The following people have been selected from the new and already growing pool of FSA Endorsed Forest School Trainers. The Assessors are responsible for ensuring that the criteria for professional standards in Forest School Training are being met by new applicants. The newly formed FSA Endorsed Trainers Group shall, in future, be responsible for developing and maintaining professional standards in Forest School qualifications and training on behalf of the FSA. See what the new Assessors have to say below.

FSA Assessors

"I am delighted to have had my training endorsed by the FSA. It has made all the hard work worthwhile. I feel that the FSA Endorsed Trainer Scheme will really help potential trainees make an informed decision about which training organisation to choose based on externally verified high quality standards, rather than marketing hype. Having this endorsement means that although our courses may be organised differently, we all have the same high expectations, we all demonstrate the same good practice and we all have a full understanding of the Forest School ethos and what this should look like in practice."

Charlotte Atkinson, Charlotte’s Forest School 

"After working to promote Forest School within the North of England for many years, gaining experience and training individuals to work within their own settings, receiving recognition for the quality of my work through the FSA Endorsed Trainer scheme was a natural next step. The potential of Forest School to have a positive impact on children of all ages places a responsibility on all those providing training. A system that enables students to have confidence in the training they receive, knowing that this is based on appropriate qualifications, understanding and experience can only help in establishing a professional and knowledgeable network of Forest School leaders to continue this important work in our schools and communities."

Hazel Canning, North Yorkshire Forest School Training

"I have been involved with Forest School since 2004, and I can safely say it has had a massive impact on my professional and personal life.
Running FS sessions always made me feel that I was making a great contribution to the lives of some of the children I worked with. When I became involved in FS training in 2007 I felt I could have a bigger impact via the ripple effect. From participants on the training, to children that they teach, to parents and grandparents and…!
The Endorsement from the FSA has given me the knowledge that I belong to an organisation that ensures good FS practice, both from the Trainers and the Leaders. It supports and promotes practitioners who believe in the FS ethos and principles and run their Forest School accordingly.
The FSA can impact more people than I can in my current role, and this can only be good for the children we work with.
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Julie Grainger, Field Studies Council - Bishop’s Wood

"I have relished being part of the pilot QA process which has helped me identify areas of strengths and weakness in my own practice. I have gained confidence and been supported through the whole process by the FSA, ensuring I have everything in place to be able to offer high quality training. Endorsed status has already enhanced my reputation with headteachers, giving potential partners and clients confidence in the quality of training I am offering, they trust my judgement and, whilst this has required a significant amount of time and effort, I do believe it is worth it.

I am thrilled to have achieved endorsed trainer status because I am now in a position to improve my practice and support other trainers within the dynamic, highly professional, supportive structure of the endorsed trainer's group.

As a founder member of the FSA I am delighted to be a small part of it's evolution. I am committed to engaging colleagues across the education sector, promoting well being through transformative nature connection whilst fostering collaboration. I do believe Forest School is for all!"

Sarah Lawful, Where the Fruit Is Ltd

"I am very happy to be an endorsed trainer with the FSA. The whole process has given me an opportunity to re examine my own practice and unpick the training process - how do I ensure quality and support trainees through their learning journey? What mentoring do I have in place to instil confidence and understanding for trainees in both their personal skills and the Forest School principles? The list goes on.... this quality assurance is really important for consistency of future practice. Developing a community of mentoring and mutual support, including shared skills and CPD will continue to impact on Forest School practice, which will have a lasting positive effect on both the people we work with and their relationship to nature.

The process itself was very professionally conducted and transparent in its procedure. There were opportunities to feedback at a variety of points and people's opinions were given time and fair consideration."

Carol Middleton, Huathe

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