The Scottish Conservatives recognise that outdoor residential centres provide experiences that enrich the lives of young people, providing them with a knowledge and appreciation of environments and communities other than those with which they are most familiar, and that they help build confidence and self-esteem.
Scottish Conservative MSP, Liz Smith, has spoken out several times in support of residential outdoor centres and has launched the formal consultation period on her Member’s Bill that seeks to guarantee that every 12 to 16-year-old experience at least one week of residential outdoor education in their school career.
Furthermore, the Scottish Conservatives understand the importance of Gaelic medium education. In our 2021 manifesto, we stated that we want to continue to support Gaelic education in areas of historic prevalence where pupils and parents wish to learn.
It is important that young people from all backgrounds can access the same experience as their peers, and after a difficult two years that have damaged many young people’s mental health, outdoor education is needed more than ever. This includes pupils in Gaelic medium education.
The Outdoor Education Bill is currently in its consultation period until 22 July 2022, and I would encourage you to respond to the consultation with your views about Gaelic medium education. The consultation can be found on the Scottish Parliament website: Proposed Schools Residential Outdoor Education Scotland Bill | Scottish Parliament Website. I shall also pass your views on to Liz Smith.