Outdoor Learning Officer (Schools)

The Ernest Cook Trust

The Ernest Cook Trust is an educational charity
and one of the UK’s foremost providers and funders of Outdoor Learning. Our vision is for
an environmentally engaged society with better connections to nature

Our mission is to improve life chances of children and young people through a range of Outdoor
Learning experiences, enabling them to learn from nature, empowering them to have a positive
impact on the environment. We do this through grant support, direct delivery, research and
advocacy. This new role is a great opportunity to play an important part in creating and
facilitating Outdoor Learning experiences in Cumbria. 

The Role

Being an Outdoor Learning Officer involves collaborating with schools to integrate Outdoor
Learning into their curricula and provide opportunities for children and young people to have
positive experiences in natural environments, focusing on underserved groups and those most in
need of support. You will be responsible for the planning and delivery of our schools offer to
ensure the success of Outdoor Learning programmes in the region.

Key Responsibilities:

Programme Delivery and Collaboration:

  • Develop a bespoke Outdoor Learning offer to schools as part of our Foundations for Outdoor
    Learning and/or Enriching Education programmes, considering various factors such as location,
    catchment area, size and type of groups, use of resources and landscape.
  • Plan and deliver Outdoor Learning sessions for eligible schools, on school grounds, in
    local green spaces and at Low Beckside Farm, devising activities and developing appropriate
    learning resources for each session and agreed outcome.
  • Support the delivery of sessions at Low Beckside Farm for groups attending as part of their
    OWL (Outdoor Week of Learning) residential.
  • Work with schools and teachers for effective delivery of programmes.
  • Contribute to impact assessments through data collection, observations, and evaluation
  • Comply with all risk assessments, Health & Safety policies and safeguarding
  • Build a network among schools, aligning their needs with the Trust’s programmes.
  • Coordinate with other Outdoor Learning Officers for collaboration with each other and local

Development and Promotion:

  • Support the development of our site at Low Beckside Farm as a venue for high-quality school
  • Assist Learning Operations Lead in establishing and maintaining key relationships and
    projects and promoting Outdoor Learning programmes by attending relevant events.
  • Contribute to the development of the Trust through engagement with grantees/beneficiaries
    in Cumbria and facilitation of the Outdoor Practitioners’ Education Network (OPEN) meetings,
    and explore opportunities for collaborative efforts.
  • Participate in the development of learning policies and procedures, including risk
    assessments, Health & Safety protocols, training needs, and safeguarding.

Main priorities:

  • Establish strong relationships with schools.
  • Coach and encourage school staff to support their self-confidence, knowledge, and skill
  • Provide comprehensive support to high-priority schools.
  • Support schools in embedding Outdoor Learning into their curriculum and practice.
  • Offer hands-on Outdoor Learning opportunities for school groups, reaching specific
  • Break down barriers to Outdoor Learning participation by providing tailored support to
    schools without charge.
  • Utilise the Trust’s learning locations for inspiring Outdoor Learning experiences.

Person Specification:

Specific Requirements 

  • Teaching qualification or equivalent experience.
  • Experience of leading environmental visits.
  • Experience in supporting wellbeing, personal development and social skills through Outdoor
  • Knowledge of Safeguarding. 


  • Forest School L3 qualification or Therapeutic Horticulture qualification
  • CEVAS training (Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme)
  • Outdoor First Aid training

Skills and Knowledge

  • Possess knowledge of the National Curriculum for England, learning settings, and
    educational networks
  • Collaborate effectively within a team, displaying adaptability
  • Exhibit creativity and adaptability as an educator
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Demonstrate a keen interest in environmental and natural history, including biodiversity,
    ecology, and archaeology
  • Competent in administration and IT skills
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to the Trust’s vision, actively participating in monitoring and
    evaluating programme impact
  • Experience in engaging underserved communities and working with young people with SEND
  • Delivery of Outdoor Learning sessions on school grounds and provide guidance to schools on
    incorporating Outdoor Learning initiatives


  • There will be some requirement to travel to locations across the UK. 

Working at The Ernest Cook Trust


As a land owning educational charity, the Trust is uniquely placed to share its woodlands,
farms and natural habitats to help create a diverse outdoors where people and places flourish. 

We are part of an impressive community of networks and organisations across the UK, working to
help create a more environmentally engaged society. Our work is increasingly done in
collaborations and partnerships, particularly with our funding partners, whose contribution
significantly boosts the scale and reach of our work. 

To discover more about The Ernest Cook Trust, visit our website www.ernestcooktrust.org.uk.


Our Schools Programmes offer long-term support to the schools who need this most. We do not
charge for our service and are constantly working to break down barriers to participation in
Outdoor Learning.

 We offer a targeted programme of support, individually designed for each school, based on a
needs analysis and conversations with staff. This will follow one of two pathways:

Foundations for Outdoor Learning

This programme is a comprehensive, long-term support package for schools wanting to embed
Outdoor Learning into their curriculum and practice. Support may include teacher CPD,
mentoring, and advice on how to optimise use of your school grounds. We do this on your school
site, with some supported visits to local green spaces and our own learning locations.

Enriching Education

This programme uses The Ernest Cook Trust’s own learning locations – woodlands, farms, rivers
and other natural landscapes – together with our Outdoor Learning leaders to support a school’s
Outdoor Learning provision. This may be a school’s first experience of Outdoor Learning, or it
may enhance and extend existing programmes. Either way, we aim to inspire all participants to
spend more time outdoors.


Join our friendly team at the Trust for a friendly and rewarding experience. We offer
competitive salaries, a range of benefits plus a training budget for your personal growth.

We currently have around 48 members of staff based either at our Gloucestershire Head Office,
across our UK landholdings and in our regional hubs (Gloucestershire, Cumbria/Lancashire,
Leicestershire) or hybrid working.

Enjoy our generous benefits:

  • 10% employer pension contribution (5% from employees)
  • 27 days annual leave, plus statutory holidays pro-rata
  • Life Assurance
  • Access to Employee Assistance Programme, providing 24/7 support for health, mental
    wellbeing, and more
  • Dynamic, creative, and welcoming work environment

Working for us will involve wellies, because we firmly believe that everything is
better outdoors!

Closing Date

Friday 17 May 2024 at 17:00


Tuesday 28 May 2024, Low Beckside Farm, Mungrisdale CA11 0XR

Find more information about The Ernest Cook Trust on our website at www.ernestcooktrust.org.uk.

Applications strictly by application form only

We look forward to hearing from you.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Embracing diversity is an essential part of the work of The Ernest Cook Trust. We are committed
to treating everyone as a unique individual, fairly and with respect, irrespective of race,
disability, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or religion. We are committed to
ensuring equality, respect, and safety for all, and prioritising the wellbeing of the children,
young people and vulnerable adults we support. Our safeguarding policy can be found here.

The appointment will be subject to satisfactory background checks including Disclosure
and Barring Service and relevant online searches to comply with best practices in Safeguarding,
and proof of the right to work in the UK.

Find out more & apply

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