Full Name: Geoff Mason

Organisation/Freelance: Wood Learn Forest School

(If you are involved with any organisation – please state the name of the organisation and position held).

Sector Experience/Skills (please rate, with X, each from 0 to 3: 0 = no experience, 1 = general background/experience, 2 = Strong relevant experience, 3 = direct relevant experience):

Sector Experience 0 1 2 3
Early Years Forest School     x  
Primary Years Forest School       x
Secondary Years Forest School       x
Special Needs Forest School       x
Play Sector x      
Environmental Organisations involvement with Forest School   x    
County Council Forest School x      
Academic Research for Forest School/Higher Education     x  
Outdoor learning       x
Forest/Woodland management     x  
Forest School Training     x  
Other (please specify) – Beach School       x
Skills        
Media/Communications including social media     x  
Business/Marketing       x
Fundraising   x    
Events     x  
Public Speaking       x
Business Acumen       x
Other (please specify)        

 

Please indicate which role you would like to apply – job descriptions for the Treasurer and Company Secretary are attached.

Directors

 

Post I would like to apply for this post on the FSA Board  (please tick)
Director - Company Secretary X
Director - Treasurer  
Director - Fundraising  
Director – Without Portfolio  

 

Please tell us a bit about yourself (max 500 words), including;

  • Why you are standing for FSA directorship?

I was elected onto the FSA board at our first AGM in July 2012. I would relish the opportunity to continue in my role as I know there is still much good work to be carried out before we can say that we have a fully fledged representative body for Forest School.

The organisation is still developing and I firmly believe that consistency of membership within the Executive Board is very important. I understand the challenges we have faced up to this point and I also have an awareness of the hurdles we will encounter in the coming years.

I truly believe in the reasons why we have established the FSA and why the world of Forest School needs a strong and open representative body. I am independent, frank and enthusiastic. Forest School has been good to me and I want to give something back.

  • Your Forest School experience (and this is not necessarily a pre requisite but you will need to have some basic working knowledge of Forest School)

I am a level 3 practitioner and my company is a Recognised Provider within the FSA.

I founded my own Forest School company in 2010 – and it is still the only independent provider of Forest School services on the Isle of Wight.

Since the establishment of the company I have worked continuously with many of the pre-schools, primaries, secondary and special needs schools on the Island.

I deliver Beach School programmes as well as train adults to be level 3 Beach School Practitioners.

I am an active, Accredited Practitioner (APIOL), member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning and a keen member of its Bushcraft Professional Practice Group.

  • How you personally can benefit the FSA.

As an independent practitioner I understand the challenges faced by my fellow independent colleagues. I have faced the harsh realities of running my own company and endeavouring to generate enough business to keep operating.

As a successful, independent practitioner I can bring my experiences and knowledge to the FSA to help develop the work of both other independents and the wider world of Forest School. We have to operate within a commercial framework – many clients are feeling the financial squeeze and it is often ‘add-ons’, such as Forest School, which are easiest to cut. My experience of successfully selling Forest School services to cash strapped organisations can be called upon and shared with our wider community.

If re-elected I will bring continuity to the FSA board, a voice for independent practitioners, enthusiasm, an almost evangelical belief in the benefits of Forest School and a commitment to deliver an effective representative body.

  • Please declare any special interests or affiliations with other organisations in the Forest School sector including commercial, public sector or voluntary.

I am the founder, managing director and sole employee of Wood Learn Forest School Limited.

I work with Archimedes Training to deliver Beach School Practitioner Level 3 training.

I am the secretary of the IOW Coppice Group, affiliated to the National Coppice Federation.

I am licenced by the Forestry Commission to operate Forest School and Bushcraft programmes out of their woodlands on the Isle of Wight.

 

Your information will form the basis for the members to vote in advance of the AGM – and your personal commitment to your role as a Director and Trustee of the Forest School Association.

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