This is a joint statement to briefly set out how the Forest Education Network (FEN) England and the Forest School Association (FSA) will aim to work together, and to highlight complementary and distinctive features.
The FSA is the professional body and UK wide voice for Forest School, promoting best practice, cohesion and ‘quality Forest School for all’.
The FEN is a much wider body, and aims to bring those with an interest in forest education together; promote the sharing of good practice; improve communication and help raise opportunities for, and standards in delivery.
(See supplementary information on aims and membership benefits).
The FEN and FSA will work actively together to support the practice and delivery of quality educational experiences in forests and woodlands and will
- support resources and mechanisms that help raise standards of this practice;
- provide a collective voice that advocates the value of educational experiences that take place in forests and woodlands;
- engage other bodies, partners and stakeholders in seeking opportunities for support.
The organisations have already established a positive working relationship through development stages and are fully supportive of each other’s role – we will continue to find ways to collaborate for shared benefit and common interests. We will also encourage members to be active in and supportive of both organisations where relevant.
What are our complementary features?
- Dedicated, experienced actively engaged members and networks.
- Advocating the value of experiences in forest and woodlands, with slightly different emphasise.
- Helping to increase opportunities for people to gain quality experiences in forests and woodlands.
- Reciprocal points for collecting, sharing information and best practice.
- Working collaboratively with other organisations.
How are we distinctive?
In our main aims:
FSA is the dedicated voice for Forest School within the UK. The focus for the FSA is on ensuring high standards in Forest School training and practice across the UK, and in promoting the benefits of quality Forest School.
FEN, primarily as a networking and signposting resource, has a wider remit to promote a whole range of learning opportunities in relation to trees, woods and forests – from forest floor to shop floor.
In our membership:
FSA membership is UK wide and made up of Forest School practitioners, trainers and those with an active interest in Forest School. Membership is at a cost of £25 per year to gain access to a range of benefits including members’ only resources, forums and topics that are member specific.
FEN membership is made up of individuals and organisations who have an interest in all things forest education related, whether they be from the forestry and woodland sector, those that provide resources or those delivering a range of education activities in forests and woodlands in England. Membership is free. The FEN operates on an England-wide basis, and operates alongside FEI Scotland and FEI Wales.
These are the main distinctive features although we are also distinctive in our structures and operations.
The aims of the FEN
- To promote the wide range of learning opportunities in relation to trees, woods and forests and advocate the value of these educational experiences.
- To support delivery on the ground, act as forum for exchange, share good practice, improve communication and help raise standards of practice.
- Work in collaboration with members of FEN, inputting their ideas and expertise into the development of the network, and provide a collective voice to influence policy and practice.
- The FEN will work actively with other bodies, including the emerging Association for Forest School Professionals and other partners and stakeholders – from forest floor to shop floor – in seeking opportunities for the future development of the network and any projects and opportunities that emerge.
The aims of the FSA
- Communicate a strong, clear vision of what Forest School is.
- Develop and maintain the curriculum content for approved Forest School qualifications.
- Work together to increase opportunities for people to experience quality Forest School in the UK.
- Provide a central point for collecting, storing and sharing information about Forest School and good practice in Forest School.
- Stimulate, store and share practitioner and academic research and learn from it.
- Work collaboratively with other organisations with similar goals and in related areas.
FSA member benefits
- Members are part have access to parts of this website not available to the general public. These include:
- a potentially huge, online networked community of members, with groups and forums covering a wide range of topics and linking local and regional members;
- member specific news;
- a resources library with a growing amount of case studies, research into Forest School, book reviews, and guidance notes etc.
- Quarterly newsletters and regular updates.
- A discount at the annual conference attendance fee equal to the membership fee.
- A negotiated cheaper insurance rate for practitioners and trainers.
- Discounted advertising of Forest School jobs on our publicly accessible jobs board.
- Discounted advertising of Forest School events on our events board.
- Automatic membership of FSA-affiliated local and regional groups.
- FSA support for affiliated groups.
Membership costs £25 or £30. More details from https://forestschoolassociation.org/membership-benefits/
FEN member benefits
- Member updates on news, projects and initiatives related to trees, woods and forests including the activity of other members through a regular FEN bulletin and through other communication and networking opportunities.
- Help support member events and activities by promoting meetings, events and resources to other FEN members and to the wider LOtC (Learning Outside the Classroom) community.
- Provide an opportunity to join in with a range of local, regional and national events that will help members share best practice and access CPD opportunities.
- Help members to engage with other bodies, partners and stakeholders to develop opportunities to work together and perhaps in the longer term access funding.
- The benefits of being aligned with the host organisation – Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC). www.lotc.org.uk
Membership is free. More details from firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiona Groves, FEN Coordinator at email@example.com
Gareth Davies, FSA Development Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org