Quality badge for Co-operative Farm

16 February 2009

The Co-operative Farm at Stoughton in Leicestershire is among the first in the country to earn a newly-launched Quality Badge for Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC).

The LOTC Quality Badge recognises the commitment to helping children and young people learn more about food and farming by providing high-quality learning outside the classroom.

The 4,500 acre farm was where farm manager Nick Padwick, and his wife Michelle, started the successful “From Farm to Fork” project in 2005, inviting local schools onto the farm to find out how cereals are produced and explore links to the food they eat.

Stoughton is now among around 30 farms across the country that are the first providers to be awarded the new Quality Badge.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has been working with partners to develop a brand new Quality Badge for learning outside the classroom providers. The scheme went live at the end of January 2009 and is now available to farms providing educational visits.

The Quality Badge will have a positive impact on the farming and countryside sector, helping more schools to undertake educational visits and allowing pupils to gain a better understanding of where their food comes from, whilst encouraging healthy eating. The Badge brings together existing safety and quality badges to form one easily recognised and understood system for schools which will certainly make badge holders more appealing to schools.

Nick Padwick said: “We are delighted, and very proud, to have been awarded the LOTC Quality Badge. We offer high-quality teaching and learning in a safe but fun environment, and this accreditation is a welcome endorsement of the hard work by everyone at Stoughton which has helped make ‘From Farm to Fork’ such a success.”

For more information about the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, visit www.lotcqualitybadge.org.uk (opens in new window).

Notes to editors:

About the LOTC Quality Badge and the awarding body
The route by which providers from the farming and countryside sector are awarded the Quality Badge is via the Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CEVAS).

CEVAS consists of two parts:

  • Part 1 accredits the individual who is leading school visits on the farm.  It is achieved by attending a 2-day course and completing a portfolio of evidence accredited by the Open College Network.
  • Part 2 accredits the farm premises.  It is achieved through the completion of a self-assessment form and random verification takes place by an independent inspection company.

CEVAS is overseen by Access To Farms (ATF), a partnership of national organisations aiming to improve the opportunities and quality of educational access to farms and the countryside by schools throughout England (www.face-online.org.uk/cevas (opens in new window))