Today was a really interesting one.
In between radio interviews this morning about the confirmation of our BSF funding for Meadowgate, Sir Harry Smith and Cromwell, which has seen possible cuts of 40% reduced down to 20% and then media interviews about the safer recruitment story which has appeared Nationally in a few papers I spoke at the beginning of the Opening Doors to Learning training event which is a National 3 day event being held in Girton College, Cambridge, supported by the County County Council's Environmental Education Service. To summarise briefly (and therefore not entirely accurately) the aim is to promote the importance of the outdoors in education - something I am a big fan of.
One of the things I try not to do, is turn up for conferences, speak and then walk away. Today, because I had media interviews to do after I had spoken, I went a bit early to have a chat to a few people, then left and went back for a while. I am often impressed by the enthusiasm of teachers, but those present today were a step above (and not all of them were teachers) - with a genuine desire to get young people learning outside - including understanding the potential for elements of the pupil premium to be used to get children from deprived areas out of the classroom more.
I also sat for a while learning about Cambridgeshire's recycling bus, which is a service schools can pay for which highlights issues about recycling - but in a way that links to every aspect of the curriculum. I then sat with a group of enthusiasts of all ages making swords out of newspaper, wool and a bit of sellotape (and don't I look excited about it!!!).
Why is this important? Well, education outside the classroom is very important - but I hope this summary of today also gives a bit of a taste of the life I lead and the things I get up to, I hope it also shows that in order to make the important, top down decisions that I have to as a Cabinet Member, I try to make sure I have an understanding of what we do from a bottom-up perspective. I hope some find that of interest.