FSW meets the new NGB development Officer

Four members of the FSW management board were delighted to meet with the new FS NGB Development Officer, Erica Wellings recently, to consult with her on the business plan she will be writing for the formation of a FS NGB.  The meeting, hosted by Swansea Neath Port Talbot FS, allowed Erica to meet with some of the most experienced FS practitioners in Wales to discuss a range of issues including  training, priorities for development, the importance of Play, and the role of FSW within the future body.

Awi Frances highlighted the urgent need for funding for Forest School delivery, and everyone emphasised the importance of opportunities for skillshare and continuous professional development training in maintaining high standards of Forest School delivery.  Forest School Wales has invited Erica to attend some of our skillshare events this year in order to meet more FS practitioners.  Details to be posted shortly.

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NGB Development Offcier Erica Welling chatting to teacher Fran Hoare of Ysgol Tir MorfaErica was also able to visit a Forest School session in North Wales with pupils from Ysgol Tir Morfa, where six years of tapering delivery from independent practitioner Sarah Wilson coupled with increasing capacity within the school have created high quality cohesive Forest School provision.  Erica was interested in this model as an alternative to that where schools establish their own Forest Schools programmes with little contact with other FS Leaders.

Originally from Cardiff, Erica has a good understanding of the relationship between Welsh and English governments, and FSW board members felt she is ideally placed to ensure that the experiences and needs of welsh FS practitioners are clearly represented within the NGB business plan.

Erica’s appointment as FS NGB Development Officer is the result of last Autumn’s survey which, according to the NGB Steering Group, established a clear mandate to set up a UK-wide governing body for Forest School.

Over the coming months Erica will be consulting widely with interested parties throughout the UK.

One main focus of Erica’s work will be to establish clearly defined national occupational standards for the FSL training and qualification.  She will also be considering what structure will best suit the NGB, and how it can support high standards of FS delivery.

Forest School Wales is being copied into the minutes of the NGB Steering Group meetings, the main role of which from now on will be to support Erica.