Education

Objectives

Education is a core aim for the RNAA, by developing better awareness of the importance of food, farming and the countryside, an understanding of the issues and challenges facing the rural economy and the opportunities that exist for those in agriculture. Traditionally these have been fulfilled through the medium of the annual agricultural show and, more recently, tailor-made events for school-age children and young people, including those in further education and higher education and at the early stage of their careers. The RNAA is also a principal supporter, through charitable grants, of related organisations, such as the Young Farmers’ Clubs. However it is recognised that more is needed and could be achieved by taking a strategic and collaborative approach.

Since early 2014 interested parties [1] (The Education Strategy Group, chaired by Steffan Griffiths a RNAA Trustee) have been working together to develop this more collaborative approach across Norfolk and Suffolk. This approach will focus on delivering learning opportunities for young people about, in and through food, farming and the countryside.


Vision

The Group’s shared long term vision is to deliver an education strategy that ensures that every young person at school in Norfolk and Suffolk has the opportunity to learn about food, farming and the countryside, and the career options that are available in the region’s largest sector.


Progress

In September 2015 it was agreed to commission an appraisal project to help develop a strategy and to outline plans for its delivery within the region. This report set out to understand how well food, farming and countryside education is currently being addressed in Norfolk and Suffolk and considers possible new approaches to school based learning about food, farming and the countryside.

The report demonstrated that, despite a high level of activity, little coordination between providers has led to duplication, lower impact, potentially wasted resources and confusion among educators. Along with these issues the level of engage is concerning lows at around 12% for Norfolk.

Since the publication of the Report in February 2016 the Education Strategy Group have been working towards setting up an educational trust to address the issues outlined in the report and in resulting discussions with key stakeholders from schools and the agricultural industry.

The Trust will help to coordinate the activity that occurs as well as developing new events and resources. It will provide support to educators and providers to enhance the learning outcomes and experiences for all young people through food, farming and the countryside as well as raising the awareness of the career options available in land based industries and the food supply chain.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here


For further information please contact:

Kate Forster
Education Project Officer
Tel: 01603 731967
Email: kate.forster@rnaa.org.uk


[1] Incl the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA), Easton and Otley College, UEA, Farming and Countryside Education (FACE), Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Federation of YFCs.