I am delighted to be able to inform members that the FSA has been allocated a grant of £82,000 by the Ashden Trust.

This grant has been made so that the FSA may employ a Projects Officer for two years. They will be responsible for delivering FSA projects including:

  1. Book project – ‘How to set up a Forest School – for non-Forest School people such as teachers and PTAs’.
  2. App development / participatory research project – development of a web app to allow large numbers of Forest School leaders and their participants to generate a national scale stream of data for some years to come. This data will allow them/us to monitor the impact of Forest School over time. It will concentrate on children’s academic attainment, social development, and emotional well-being. This will help individual Forest School leaders to create an evidence base that demonstrates the effectiveness of their work to decision makers. Third party projects/organisations will come to the FSA  to access the aggregated data to pursue and further their research interests. This will result in an evidence base being created, which will allow the FSA to advocate for policy change.

We see this role being the means to unlock a number of other initiatives that we have had on the ‘back burner’ for some time. We wish to explore ways to overcome barriers to Forest School delivery, develop a FSA endorsed CPD system to help raise professional standards, and develop various other support materials and engagement projects for members.

The FSA is well-placed to be a powerful voice on nature education and its value but our ability to fulfil that role has been limited by a lack of staff time. This core funding and project funding represents a wonderful opportunity and we are very grateful to the Ashden Tust.

The FSA executive is setting up a recruitment committee to help kick start this exciting new chapter.

Best wishes,

Gareth Davies

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