Specialist outdoor learning programmes to support students' social and emotional development.

Overall, studies of transitional learning programmes consistently show positive benefits on academic learning, and wider outcomes such as self-confidence. On average, pupils who participate in adventure learning interventions appear to make approximately three months additional progress over the course of a year. The evidence suggests that the impact is greater for longer courses (more than a week), and those in a ‘wilderness’ setting.

Educational Endowment Foundation

Forest School and outdoor transitional learning can help learners re-engage by improving mental health, self-confidence, resilience, and self-esteem. Also proven to build and maintain positive relationships with peers, social groups and trusted adults. We have found that learners gain an ability to access, understand, and appropriately display feelings. Learners also develop coping strategies for behaviour and learning.

Over the last 4 years we have built and continue to maintain an eminent reputation for supporting learners from primary to post-16; who have struggled, or are struggling with, educational engagement.

We have a highly experienced and qualified team of forest school workers, who liaise closely with the Local Authority, schools, parents and carers to ensure integrated support for each of our learners. Throughout our transitional programmes we work on matching learners and staff appropriately, developing and achieving bespoke, key targets for learners and supporting the social and emotional development of learners, with the aim of eventual reintegration into learning environments.



We work with learners who may be at risk of Permanent Exclusion (PEX) or had fixed term exclusions. They often need support for other reasons such as behavioural difficulties or social and emotional issues.


Our group sessions are run with a maximum ratio of 1:6 to ensure quality time can be spent with every student, while also encouraging a peer to peer element.


The Outdoors Group understands there is an obligation to report when funding transitional learning programmes. We will provide full due diligence paperwork to schools engaging with our provision. 


The Outdoors Group can provide emergency placements for learners who need provision quickly or require maximum flexibility.

Our Transitional Programme Staff

Our team of Transitional Programme Workers are all DBS checked, first aid certified for outdoor learning, and fully qualified and experienced to work with vulnerable learners in the outdoors. Our staff place the wellbeing and positive development of each learner as a priority in every session and, as a company, we are fully compliant with current legislation including data protection, safeguarding, equality and diversity and child protection.

The Outdoors Group is aware of the vulnerabilities of learners using our services and the need to help protect them. We also know the importance of effective communication with schools and have excellent systems in place to ensure this works well for all involved, including contributing to the Team Around the Family (TAF).

Amanda Leach

Amanda has been working in the education system for about ten years both in America and England as well as directing outdoor adventure activities at summer camps in America. She enjoys bringing her passion for supporting diverse learners to the outdoors. In her free time she enjoys rock climbing and walking her dog in the countryside.

Jimi Neary
Area Manager; Mid Devon & Exeter

Jim works with young people on the TLP program which he really enjoys, especially watching the development of the students as they become accustomed to a different educational setting, learning new skills and coping mechanisms. Jim has many years of experience in educational and residential placements, and really appreciates the benefits of working in the forest, for staff as well as students, to reconnect with nature. He enjoys kayaking, mountain biking, reading and writing.

Jake Ward
Area Manager; North Devon & Tiverton

Jake has been with the Outdoors Group for over 2 years, running Home Education groups, teen groups, working with visiting schools and setting up and facilitating after school clubs. It was a natural move over to The Outdoors School where he wants to bring his love of nature and outdoor learning to our learners. Jake is a Level 4 qualified Bushcraft Instructor and enjoys archery, rugby, practicing primitive technology skills alongside all things connected with natural history.

Frank James
Senior TLP Worker & Site Lead

Frank is a highly experienced programme worker and has been with the Outdoors Group for over 3 years. He works on a 1-2-1 basis supporting students with varying and sometimes complex additional needs.
With an extensive career of working with young people, a love of nature and the outdoors, Frank is a perfect fit for this role. He draws on his experience within formal education and youth work alongside therapeutic roles. Frank is not only a professional quiz master, he has 4 children, 2 grandchildren, 3 dogs and not forgetting the 4 chickens!

Mike (Bubs) Wale
Senior TLP Worker & Site Lead

“Bubs” is from a military background and has moved into education upon his retirement. He has been responsible for several successful educational programmes and has a real passion for teaching and learning. He currently delivers TLP, Adult provision and Schools outreach.
His spare time is taken up with introducing his grandchildren to the great outdoors.

Sarah Webb
TLP Worker & Site Lead

Sarah has a background in Nursing and Social work. She is passionate about the positive effects of being and connecting with nature has on people’s well-being . When moving to Devon 10 years ago she had the privilege of working with some children in a forest school/ beach school environment and absolutely loved it. She completed her beach school qualification and is currently doing her forest school training.
Sarah works part time for the outdoors group and also works as a rewilding guide and a massage therapist. Outside of work Sarah loves to wild swim all year round and loves being a mum and going on adventures with her boys.

Martin Aplin
TLP Worker & Site Lead

Martin is now one of our Transitional Learning Programme workers and manages the setting at Dotton Common and has a real passion working with children in the great outdoors and coined the phrase “green time not screen time”
On leaving school Martin trained as a butcher and went on to have a successful career spanning 28 years working for the Co-operative Group. His last role was a Project Manager before he took a career break to be a full-time Dad to Henry. Martin started his journey into Forest School attending the Exmouth toddler group with Nick. He loved it so much that when Henry started school, Martin stayed and went on to host birthday parties at Exmouth. He has since completed his Forest Leader training and Bushcraft skills course.

Linda Stephenson
TLP Administrator

As the Transitional Learning Programme Administrator, Linda aims to keep the provision running smoothly and to help you with whatever query you have. She has been working in and around education for more than 20 years, in several different countries including the UK, Poland, Spain and Colombia. In her free time, Linda is happiest when baking or working on a creative project.

Gary Cargill
TLP Worker

Gary works in TLP helping children with behavioural and special needs to learn new skills and provide them with a safe environment in which they can grow. He previously worked in outdoors activities teaching kids rock-climbing, kayaking, archery and other outdoors pursuits. Gary loves anything outdoors and has a real interest in self sufficiency, so he enjoys making things from carving to jam making and taking his family out on walks to see what they can forage.

Hannah Sutton
TLP Key worker

Hannah works for the Transitional Learning Programme (TLP) providing 1:1 sessions full of fun activities and lots of campfire cooking. She has a degree in Conservation Biology and used to volunteer at Paignton Zoo. Her number 1 hobby is crochet and Hannah loves making all kinds of things, especially cosy blankets.

Ben Seward
1:1 Outdoors Key Worker

Ben works in the Transitional Learning Programme providing 1:1 support for our learners. He has worked in outdoor education and pursuits for 5 years and strongly believes in the value of nature as a place for development and discovery. Ben enjoys music, kayaking and mountain biking.

Sheridan Couch
1:1 Outdoors Key worker

Sheridan has just joined the TLP team as a 1:1 Keyworker, based in Exeter and Okehampton. She worked for twenty years as a PE teacher before starting with The Outdoors Group. As a PE teacher Sheridan has always loved playing all sports, and she now enjoys watching sports, particularly cricket, rugby and hockey which her two sons play. Getting to work outdoors each day with children in the fresh air in a forest environment is a job she thoroughly enjoys.

Rosie McGeorge
TLP Worker

Rosie works as part of the TLP team, providing 1:1 support and fun activities for our learners in the outdoors, which she loves. Rosie has just finished my degree in Psychology with a Professional Placement, where she worked at a special needs school for a year. She love the beach and going surfing, and also playing music.

Fran Lloyd
TLP Worker

Fran delivers forest school fun at Exmouth and with the Transitional Learning Programme. With a degree in Global Development and Sustainability and as a qualified yoga teacher, she has a passion for nurturing connection with the natural environment! Fran has worked with young people for many years teaching singing workshops, running youth groups and teaching English around the world, and loves to be out and about inspiring a love of the great outdoors. In her free time she loves exploring the countryside and growing veg on the allotment!

Beth Rennoldson
TLP Worker

Beth works as part of the transitional learning team, which involves working in the woods as a 1:1 Keyworker. She previously worked as an outdoors instructor in climbing and watersports. She loves paddleboarding in her free time.

Ralph Savill
TLP Worker

Get in Touch

We offer a number of options for learners and have listed our standard programmes above. We understand all learners’ needs are different so we often tailor a bespoke programme to an individual learner.

We operate under service level agreements for our provision so that everyone is clear on the details surrounding the provision we offer.

We do not offer transport as part of our Transitional Learning Programme. It remains the referral agency’s responsibility to organise transport for learners to and from our Forest School sites.

For visits and enquiries, please contact our Transitional Learning Programme administrator on 07719 103200 or email tlp@outdoorsgroup.co.uk

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