Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund - Round 2 - Information for Applicants
For reference only - fund closed for applications
Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund: Round 2 Information for Applicants (August 2018)
Outdoor learning can be important in supporting attainment, improving skills and confidence and physical and mental health, and stimulating a life-long passion for nature and heritage. The development of outdoor learning practice is a key step identified in the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Challenge and Route Map to 2020.
Places for Outdoor learning
We believe that every young person should have the right to regular, frequent, structured and progressive outdoor learning experiences, including a range of opportunities to experience Scotland’s nature and landscapes, to learn more about them and how they are looked after – what we have called “a progression model of place-based learning”
The Learning in Local Greenspace project aims to help 100 schools serving the most disadvantaged areas of Scotland to get their pupils learning outdoors on a regular and frequent basis. This will be achieved by improving the access to and quality of a local greenspace and building confidence in teachers to take learning outdoors.
A progression model of place-based learning
National Parks, Nature Reserves and World Heritage Sites
Nearby countryside, forest and coast
Local parks and greenspace within walking distance
Home garden/yard, school grounds
The overall aim of this Fund is to support more young people to have regular, frequent, structured and progressive outdoor learning experiences.
This is a competitive Fund which supports outdoor learning activity in Tiers 2, 3 and 4 of the place-based progression model, namely:
- Tier 2 - the regular use of local parks and greenspace for outdoor learning (at least monthly visits with the same pupils, with best practice being weekly visits)
- Tier 3 - occasional visits for outdoor learning to nearby countryside, forest or coast planned to complement more frequent use of local parks and greenspace
- Tier 4 - opportunities to experience some of Scotland’s “special places” of national and international importance for their nature or landscape, such as National Nature Reserves, National Scenic Areas, National Parks or World Heritage Sites.
The Fund was launched in March 2018. We received 43 applications in the first application round in April 2018, from which 16 projects were approved for funding. Further information about Round 1 is available at Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund.
We are now launching a second, more targeted round to address gaps in fulfilling the Fund priorities. There is a budget of approximately £200,000 available for Round 2.
Round 2 of the Fund
Round 2 is specifically targeted at Tier 2 activity which supports the Learning in Local Greenspace Project in the following local authority areas:
- Aberdeen City
- City of Edinburgh
- Dundee City
- East Ayrshire
- Glasgow City
- North Lanarkshire
- South Lanarkshire
- West Dunbartonshire
- West Lothian
Applications must engage a minimum of 4 schools.
We invite applications that specify the local authority area(s) that you will work in, the number of schools you will work with and the outdoor learning activities that you will provide. We’re not wanting applicants to contact schools before applying, because we will seek to match successful applications with schools that have expressed interest in being involved in the Learning in Local Greenspace Project. We are keen to avoid schools being inundated with unnecessary enquiries.
The main focus of support for schools must be for Tier 2 activity. We will consider projects that develop the progression model to Tier 3 and 4 activity only where this will complement ongoing or proposed Tier 2 activity. We are unable to support Tier 1 activity through this Fund.
We invite applications for projects lasting approximately 18 months, starting in the spring term 2019 and ending no later than December 2020.
What we want to fund
- focus on young people (primary and secondary school age) from the most deprived areas in the target local authority areas. Schools must have 40% or more of their pupils attending from the 20% most disadvantaged areas (according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) determined using the final column in School Contact Details.
- increase young people’s contact with, and interest in, the natural environment through the progression model
- create a legacy or aim to be self-sustaining beyond the project duration, for example by building capacity among teachers, educators; and embedding outdoor learning in the schools
- build in monitoring and evaluation of outdoor learning practice as a planned and integral part of the project (based on information gathered from project organisers, teachers and young people)
- help close the attainment gap through the Curriculum for Excellence; contribute to school improvement planning; support and encourage school senior leadership; provide Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL); foster a cluster wide approach, etc.
- demonstrate innovative and creative partnership approaches where two or more organisations, for example NGOs, community groups and/or formal education sector, work together to deliver a project (applications should be submitted by an identified lead partner, with details provided of the costed activities to be delivered by the other partners)
Monitoring and Evaluation
We expect you to tell us in your application how you will measure the success of your project, and what evidence you will gather to demonstrate this success. You should ensure that your planned evaluation demonstrates if your project aims and outcomes have been achieved. Please be as specific as possible about what you will monitor, how you will do it and when you will do it.
As well as reporting on the numbers of young people and teachers involved in the project, we expect you to provide information on:
- how they have benefitted (e.g. young people’s contact with and interest in the natural environment; teacher confidence in taking learning outdoors)
- developing and implementing the progression model of place-based learning
- the success of embedding outdoor learning in your programme
Other aspects that could be reported on, if applicable to your project, include:
- improvements in young people’s educational attainment
- young people’s health and well-being
- young people’s nature-based employability skills
- developing partnership approaches
- building intergenerational relationships
We welcome creative, as well as effective, ways of gathering feedback from project participants. For further advice about evaluation, you may want to look at resources provided by Evaluation Support Scotland, particularly the Weaver’s triangle and Evaluating the Outdoor Experience: a toolkit for practitioners.
Who can apply
Applicants must be registered charities, constituted organisations or local authorities. A charity is a voluntary organisation which has been set up only for charitable purposes and to provide public benefit. A registered charity is one which has registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). An organisation which is governed by a written document, various examples of which are provided at SCVO.
For partnerships and organisations working in collaboration with others, the lead organisation applying must be one of the eligible applicant types.
Individual schools or educational establishments are not eligible to apply in Round 2.
Community and private Ranger Services covered by an existing NatureScot Funding Offer for outdoor learning activities are not eligible to apply.
Local Authority ranger services, including those operating through affiliated bodies, will generally be ineligible to apply for their existing activities. Projects which pilot genuinely new and innovate ways of working may be considered (see NatureScot funding and local authorities – our policy on the Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund web page).
Round 1 applicants are eligible to apply provided that they meet the Round 2 criteria. Unsuccessful Round 1 applicants must demonstrate that feedback has been taken on board in their revised proposal.
Any applicant submitting more than one application, either across both rounds or in Round 2, would need to demonstrate that the individual projects are clearly separate and will involve different schools (to be agreed with NatureScot).
What we will fund
- staff costs (covers salaries, National Insurance, Employee Pension Contributions) of staff delivering the outdoor learning activities [Note -The staff costs can relate to existing members of staff, and do not need to be for new posts].
- organisational costs (covers office accommodation and equipment, support staff services, management, general staff training) to a maximum of 15% of project staff costs
- specific staff training to support project delivery and legacy e.g. Forest School leader training
- project staff travel and subsistence (covers staff and any volunteers supporting delivery of the project activities; excludes participants)
- project evaluation (additional costs for measuring success and evaluating the project; excludes project staff costs)
- equipment to deliver outdoor learning activities; resources to improve the amenity or biodiversity value of local parks and greenspace for outdoor learning activities
- travel for Tier 3 and 4 activity where it has been designed to build-on and complement Tier 2 activity
- irrecoverable VAT
What we won't fund
- activities in school grounds
- courses run and set within residential centres
- activities that do not support the Learning in Local Greenspace Project
- activities with schools that are not in the target local authority areas of Aberdeen City, City of Edinburgh, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, Glasgow City, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian
- projects engaging less than 4 schools
- costs associated with providing cover for staff delivering the outdoor learning activities or for teachers attending the outdoor learning activities
- First Aid courses, risk assessment training, etc. (these should be covered under the organisational costs – see ‘What we will fund’)
We have a budget of approximately £200k for Round 2 of the Fund.
For Round 2
- we will fund up to 50% of cash costs of the project
- the maximum funding we will award to a project is £35,000
- the minimum funding we will award to a project is £5,000
Applications that have match funding already confirmed at the time of applying will have a higher chance of funding success in Round 2 of the Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund.
You will need to have match-funding in place before you start your project.
You cannot use other sources of NatureScot funding (e.g. Green Infrastructure Fund) for match-funding. Match-funding can be from another government body.
The cost of supply cover for teacher release time should be treated as an in-kind contribution rather than match funding.
We’ve provided an eligibility checklist to help you assess if you are eligible to apply.
Open to applications: 26 September 2018
Closing date for applications: midnight on 31 October 2018
Application decisions: week commencing 17 December 2018
Funding offers issued and accepted: January-February 2019
Project start date: spring term 2019 (April 2019)
Project end date: end of summer or autumn term 2020
Any further queries not answered in this Information for Applicants can be sent to [email protected]
The Heritage Lottery Fund supports projects that make a lasting difference for heritage, people, and communities. The HLF would welcome enquiries from projects applying to NatureScot’s Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund. Please note the project would need to achieve HLF outcomes. They recommend that potential applicants use their Enquiry Form to get advice on the likelihood of being funded and the most appropriate grant programme to apply to. HLF grant programmes include:
- Sharing Heritage (£3,000 - £10,000)
- Our Heritage (£10,000 - £100,000)
- Young Roots (£10,000 - £50,000)
You can apply to these programmes at any time and your application will be assessed in eight weeks.
Given that one of the aims of the Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund is to help close the attainment gap through the Curriculum for Excellence, the Pupil Equity Fund could be a source of match funding.
Other potential sources of funding:
- Travel grants (Cairngorms National Park Authority; Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority; Historic Environment Scotland )
Further information about other sources of funding for outdoor learning activity:
- Institute of Outdoor Learning
- Creative STAR Learning (information updated 6 monthly; others are added to their monthly newsletter)
|Do projects need to show progression through Tiers 2 to 4 or is it acceptable to submit a project that looks at Tier 2 only?
|Projects do not need to show progression through Tiers 2 to 4. Priority will be given to Tier 2 activity which supports the Learning in Local Greenspace Project.
|If transport were required to get to a local park or greenspace, for example due to disability, is this an eligible cost against a Tier 2 project?
|While the Fund isn’t intended to provide travel costs for Tier 2 activity, because the local parks or greenspaces are expected to be within walking distance, we will consider it if the group of young people have additional needs that specifically require dedicated transport. Please make it clear in your application you are intending to work with Additional Support Needs Schools.
|Would the outdoor learning activity involving nearby coastal areas be defined as Tier 2 or Tier 3?
|If the coastal areas you propose to use for providing the outdoor learning activity are local to the schools (i.e. within walking distance), then it’d be considered Tier 2 activity. If the schools would be arriving by bus, then it would be considered Tier 3 activity, or Tier 4 activity if the coastal area is designated for its national or international importance for nature or landscape.
|What is meant by “special places” which provide opportunities to experience the very different types of nature that can be found in Scotland? Would this include nature reserves managed by conservation NGOs?
|A special place must be designated as being of national and international importance for its nature or landscape. If a nature reserve is designated, it will normally fit in the Tier 4 “special” category in the progression model. If a nature reserve is not designated, it is normally expected to fit in the Tier 3 category. The place-based learning progression is a model and the principles should be applied to your circumstances. Regular or occasional use of some nature reserves may therefore also fit into Tier 2 or 3 activity irrespective of whether they are designated not.
Eligibility Checklist for Round 2 of the Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund
Please use this list of questions to check that your project is eligible before applying.
- Will your project provide regular (at least monthly), frequent (to the same individuals) outdoor learning experiences in local parks or greenspaces within walking/cycling distance of the school i.e. Tier 2 activity in the progression model?
- Does your project support the Learning in Local Greenspace Project?
- Will your project increase young people’s contact with, and interest in, the natural environment?
- Is your project aiming to work with schools in one or more of the following local authority areas?
- Aberdeen City
- City of Edinburgh
- Dundee City
- East Ayrshire
- Glasgow City
- North Lanarkshire
- South Lanarkshire
- West Dunbartonshire
- West Lothian
- Does your project engage a minimum of 4 schools?
- Will you work with primary and/or secondary schools that have 40% or more of their pupils attending from the 20% most disadvantaged areas (according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) determined using the final column in School Contact Details?
- Will your project last up to 18 months, starting in the spring term 2019 and ending no later than December 2020
- Will your project create a legacy or aim to be self-sustaining beyond the project duration, for example by building capacity among teachers? Will it help embed outdoor learning in the schools?
- Is monitoring and evaluation a planned and integral part of the project?
- Are you a registered charity, constituted organisation or local authority?
- Are you applying for between £5,000 and £35,000 from Round 2 of the Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund?
- Are you applying for 50% or less of the cash costs of the project?
- Have you secured 50% of the cash costs of the project from non-NatureScot sources? If you haven’t secured the required level of match funding at the time of applying, will you be able to confirm if match funding has been secured by 31 December 2018?