The DfE's new environmental education strategy

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

The DfE has launched its new environmental education strategy for consultation.  Actually, they called it a (draft) Sustainability & Climate Change strategy (for the education & children’s services systems).  You can read it here.

There are 5 mentions of curriculum, but none of them promise to reform / extend / change /develop /  ... it.  So, the Nick Gibb line that what the national curriculum says is adequate as it gives schools a direction and a sound base to build on, remains.  Of course, it was never really Gibb's line, it was the DfE's; Gibb was only the reliably on-message mouthpiece.  The prior emphasis on the curriculum being "knowledge-rich" also remains, as so it should.  After all, who'd want what young people learn to be knowledge-poor?

Inevitably there's an emphasis on reducing schools' carbon output, and on green jobs.  The primary climate science / nature emphasis in primary schools was unexpected (by me at any rate).  Does this reflect a disquiet about primary science, I wonder.  There's no mention of the natural history GCSE which has to be significant you’d have thought.  There's a virtual nature park but it's not clear how it will work but it's a welcome emphasis on nature / biodiversity.  The Climate Leaders Award (based on the Duke of E…) might be worthwhile, but it will need huge resourcing if it's to be as prestigious as the DoE, as I'm sure we'd all like it to be.  Then there’s a big emphasis on teacher CPD and on resources.  Whose, I wonder.
Anyway, From now to March, DfE says that a user group of sector representatives and a group of young people, reflecting a diverse range of voices, backgrounds, and experiences, will bring together feedback on this strategy from those they represent. Youth representation will be included.  A representative of this user group will sit on DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Board.  The DfE will "work closely with these groups and with delivery partners across government to refine and build on the strategy ahead of publication of a final version in April 2022."
A time to get involved.

Posted in: Comment, New Publications


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  • Also encouraged to see this- but does it go far enough? We are currently working with some universities to deliver some Edible Campus'. Creating food growing and outdoor learning classrooms for trainee teachers on university sites to access as part of their training. Might this be something Bath University might like to explore?

  • Thank you. I was hoping for something in the document to inspire curriculum thinking. Surely we can work on that as well as the need to improve schools in terms of carbon output. All jobs are going to be "green jobs" that is a challenge for the curriculum and styles of learning. And it is all jobs not just those of the well qualified. Success for All.