Initiatives to help promote horticulture in schools

A joined-up approach promoting horticulture to children and young people throughout their education could soon be in place following the success of the RHS Campaign School Gardening and next year's launch of the Diploma in Environmental & Land-Based skills.

Speaking at the Green Skills Seminar, Lantra diploma development adviser Andy Wilson called for more organisations to "get involved" with the qualification.

He said the diploma was "designed by employers for employers". Wilson explained that it can be taken alongside GCSEs but differs by having 50 per cent applied content and the opportunity for industry experience.

A minimum of 10 days' work experience is required by the pupil. Companies or organisations can become involved further in the process by mentoring; organising workplace visits; sending en expert into colleges; providing contact info; allowing work shadowing; giving business advice; and supporting teachers.

Fargro consultant Martin Emmett raised the issue that getting health and safety clearance for minors in the workplace was often difficult.

More than 50 consortia have signed up to deliver the diploma from next September and 2,000 students are expected to enrol.

HTA training and careers manager Tanya Robinson said: "We are very excited by the Grow and diploma initiatives - is there a mechanism by which we can get involved now and support teachers?"

Wilson said £40m has been allocated to deliver the diplomas and Inside the Workplace events have been set up for teachers.

For those who want to join or assist a consortia, a list was recently released by the Department of Children, Schools & Families.

- For more information, visit 47& pid=376&lid=350&ctype=Text &ptype=Single.

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