Climate Change Education in Westminster Hall

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

There was a climate education debate last week in parliament – in Westminster Hall.  The new minister of state for school standards spoke. You can read the full event transcript of the debate here.

One thing I noticed was the focus on what schools and trusts are doing now, and the example of the RGS and others providing inset.  Implicit in this is the thought that if these schools can do it, why can’t the rest – which is a question that deserves an answer beyond the usual responses of a lack of time / resources / etc.
I guess we’d all agree with this positive tone:
“Not only do our children deserve to inherit a healthy world, but they also need to be educated so that they are well prepared to live in a world affected by climate change, so that they may live sustainably and continue to fight the effects of climate change. I want us to give them the tools for the future”. 
Then there was this:
“I heard what the hon. Member for Bristol East (Kerry McCarthy) said about “bittiness” and I do not want to bang on too long about this, but there are of course places in the science and geography curriculum where that is already heavily built in. I reassure hon. Members that topics related to both climate change and sustainability are covered within the science national curriculum”.
… which seems terribly like their standard line.
So, I’d say nothing new here (yet).  Maybe it is being saved up for this:

"We have established a sustainability and climate change unit to co-ordinate and drive activity across the Department and provide leadership on this important work across sectors. At COP26, we will be hosting a summit for Environment and Education Ministers that will bring together Ministers from across the world. There we will set out the Government’s vision and encourage others to make commitments to sustainable education, not only making schools greener but equipping young people with knowledge about their environment by providing and promoting education and training opportunities for green careers”.

We'll see when the DfE's new strategy is announced on Friday.  But will they be announcing a change to the curriculum?  I remain doubtful ...

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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