National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

23 March 2021

NFYFC has joined with other leading agricultural organisations and educational charities to sign a letter urging the government to ensure all children have the opportunities to rebuild confidence, skills and improve overall wellbeing.

The letter, which is addressed to new Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins at the Department of Education, highlighted the role that rural and agricultural organisations can play in providing skills for life to young people. It asks that vital food and farming and outdoor experiences are included in government plans alongside topics such as sport, music and drama.

The call to action also asks Government to support organisations to work together to provide these opportunities and ensure that they are accessible to all children.

You can read the letter in full below.

23 March 2021

Dear Sir Kevan

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Education Recovery Commissioner.

As I am sure you are only too aware, the recent Education Policy Institute (EPI) report found that the education catch-up plans of all four UK nations offer insufficient support for pupils and are unlikely to address the scale of learning loss following the pandemic. We are writing to highlight the potential for food, farming and countryside experiences to help with the national effort to support children who have missed out most, to re/gain social skills, confidence, improve wellbeing and access real world/irresistible learning opportunities.

We fully support outgoing Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield’s, call for a Year of Opportunity for Children.  The National Tutoring Programme is providing an essential service supporting children with their academic work, however, there is also a pressing need for a broader and more balanced offer. Our programmes are designed to support children to develop ‘skills for life’ such as character and confidence, they can open new horizons, and help children to better understand how the world works, their own place in the world, their health and the health of the planet.  We believe all children should have the chance to thrive and stand ready to help along with farmers across the UK. 

We therefore urge you to ensure:

ALL children have the opportunities and experiences they deserve to help rebuild confidence, skills and improve overall wellbeing so they can thrive, and that vital food and farming and outdoor experiences are included alongside sport, music drama etc.

Government supports our organisations to work together to provide these opportunities and ensures that our most persistently disadvantaged children can access them

Support is targeted to benefit those who need it most

There is no ‘cliff edge’ after a year … support is sustained /sustainable

Please let us know what steps will be taken to make the necessary provision available for those children who most need it.

Yours sincerely,

Jill Attenborough, Chief Executive Officer, The Country Trust

Kate Brown, Director, The Westminster Foundation

Lord Curry of Kirkharle, Member of House of Lords

Jen Fox, Interim CEO, Action Tutoring

Anabel Knight, Chair, Bernard Sunley Foundation

Rob Percival, Head of Policy, The Soil Association

Anna de Pulford, Director, The Dulverton Trust

Gary Richardson Chief Executive Officer, Countryside Learning

Sarah Jayne Stanes OBE, Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts & Adopt a School Trust

Minette Batters, President, National Farmers’ Union

Alistair Bryce-Clegg, Early Years Consultant

Caroline Drummond, Chief Executive Officer, LEAF

Patrick Holden, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Food Trust

Tim Ledbury, Chief Executive Officer, FarmLink

Tom Pope, Agriculture and Rural Issues Chairman, National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC)

Andy Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Outdoor Learning

Victoria Vyvyan, Vice President, CLA

Inigo Weston

Joe Brindle, Campaign Co-Ordinator, Teach the Future

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Chair, The Ashden Trust

Richard Dunne, Director, The Harmony Project

Anne Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, Council for Learning Outside the Classroom

Charlie MacNicol, Director, The Stody Estate

Sue Pritchard Chief Executive, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Suzy Russell, Network Co-ordinator, Community Supported Agriculture

Fidelity Weston, ?Farmer Host for educational visits and Vice Chairman, Pasture Fed Livestock Association



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