Lack of appropriate clothing keeping children indoors

5th November 2020

Clothing poverty is keeping children indoors. Getting outdoors is critical to children’s physical and mental health, making it an important tool to counteract the impact of the ongoing restrictions on everyday freedoms across the UK and Ireland. In fact, over 90% of teachers globally told us that everyday access to the outdoors is more important to children during the pandemic. 

The nation embraced the outdoors this year as the pandemic hit our shores and the science told us we’re less likely to spread Covid-19 in open spaces. When schools returned to classrooms, we were delighted that many have looked to outdoor learning to support with measures such as social distancing. As the colder weather hits, we are urging schools to keep taking children outdoors in line with Government guidelines. For many children, as the days get shorter, their school day is one of the best times in the week to enjoy the outdoors. 

Teachers say children would go outdoors more at school if they had waterproofs and wellies

The majority of UK teachers we surveyed think that all schools would go outdoors more if children were provided with, or expected to have, appropriate clothing. But, with 4.2 million children living in poverty in the UK, parents all too often can’t afford items such as winter coats, wellies and waterproofs. That’s why we have launched a crowdfunder to help more children get outdoors every day.

Carley Sefton, CEO at Learning through Landscapes, who lead the Outdoor Classroom Day movement here in the UK and Ireland, said: 

“The only consistent thing about the British weather is its inconsistency. We are actually luckier than some when it comes to our climate – it’s pretty much safe to go outdoors all year round if we have the right clothing. But in our work with schools, we hear time and again that wet weather gear is out of reach for some parents. That’s why we’ve launched the Outdoor Classroom Day crowdfunder – to get at least 1,000 sets of wet weather gear into Primary Schools and to start the wider conversation about how we make high quality clothing accessible to all children.”

Charlotte Willoughby, Deputy Head at Wood Street Infant School said: 

“We’re passionate about outdoor play and learning at our school and proudly make wet weather gear a part of our school uniform, for staff as well! We go outdoors in all weathers, embracing rain and jumping in puddles. We feel it’s really important to get outside and experience the wonder of learning outdoors. It’s crucial that we find a way to make sure all children can experience the benefits of being outdoors, whatever the weather.”

You can help end clothing poverty in the UK

Please contribute to and share our crowdfunder so more children can get outdoors every day, whatever the weather!

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Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

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