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Safety net

With important decisions about to be taken on the licensing of adventure activity centres, Mark Whitehead's article "Safety rope in knots" (Going Places, TES, February 2) is well timed. Unfortunately, my remarks are quoted slightly out of context. As a result, the article misrepresents the views of the Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel.

Last autumn, the Health and Safety Commission published its draft proposals for the implementation of David Jamieson's Activity Centres (Young Persons' Safety) Bill. Local education authority outdoor education advisers argued that these proposals do not fully address the concerns of schools and parents. We are also concerned that the current tendering process will not result in the appointment of a licensing authority with the necessary independence and competence. We believe that the right body to be nominated as licensing authority is the Health and Safety Executive itself.

Our concerns are shared by the teacher and headteacher associations, the local authority associations and the National Governors' Council. The Health and Safety Commission has now had the opportunity to take these concerns on board, and we trust that this will be reflected in the regulations which the Government will shortly lay before Parliament.

MARTIN HORE Vice-chairman Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel County Hall, Ipswich, Suffolk

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