The Westminster Forum Green Fandango

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I did not to the latest Westminster Education Forum event on May 18th.  It was a tour d'horizon of "green and climate education in England – sustainability and action on climate change in the curriculum, outdoor learning, and priorities for further study and skills".

It was the usual speakers piled high and seats sold expensive model.  The cost was £210 plus VAT per delegate for an on-line event, although there were cost-reductions for the poor.

I've put the programme at the end of this post.  There were 16 speakers (plus opening and closing remarks).  Many of these will have had 5 minutes or less to say something useful; just enough time, the cynic in me thinks, to do a bit of throat clearing followed by institutional self-promotion.

I see that the bloke from the DfE got 25 minutes to explain away the Department's strategy, while the ubiquitous Tim Smit had the same amount to tell us (again) what's wrong with education – nothing that lessons from the Eden Project cannot fix of course.

Ludicrously, Marc Fuster Rabella, an analyst in the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation at the OECD's Directorate for Education and Skills, got only 10 minutes to speak about "international best practice in green education".  10 minutes ...

What you do note, however, is the complete absence of certain voices: young people, activist NGOs, the teacher unions, DfE critics, … .

What does that say?

9.05 ‘The trouble with education!’

Sir Tim Smit KBE, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chair, Eden Project

Questions and comments from the floor

9.30 Creating a framework for sustainable education

Dr Leigh Hoath, Senior Professional Practice Fellow and PGCE Science Lead, School of Teacher Education, Leeds Trinity University; and Chair, Sustainability and Climate Education Strategy Response Working Group

9.40 Implementing a vision for green and climate education - resources and support, teacher training and professional development, and the outlook for the primary model science curriculum

Marianne Cutler, Director of Curriculum Innovation, Association for Science Education

Dr Adam Read, President, Chartered Institution of Wastes Management

Sarah Dukes, English Teacher and Sustainability Co-ordinator, The Chase School, Malvern

Jill Duffy, Chief Executive, OCR

10.00 Questions and comments from the floor
10.25 Break
10.30 Provision of outdoor learning - accessibility and inclusion in green spaces, the National Education Nature Park and the role of education estates, and opportunities for partnerships

Mark Castle, Chief Executive, Field Studies Council

Professor Nicola Walshe, Executive Director, UCL Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education

Mary Jackson, Head of Education and Communities, Learning Through Landscapes

Esther Chesterman, CEO, National Extension College

Questions and comments from the floor

11.15 Chair’s closing remarks

Nadia Whittome MP, Member, Environmental Audit Committee and Sponsor, Climate Education Bill

11.20 Break
11.25 Chair’s opening remarks

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, former Leader, Green Party of England and Wales

11.30 International best practice in green education

Marc Fuster Rabella, Analyst, Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD



Priorities for further study and skills - progression pathways and partnerships, improving employability, and meeting green skills needs in an expanding jobs market

Lee Wray-Davies, National Manager, Speakers for Schools

Josie Murdoch, Senior Policy Officer, Aldersgate Group

Gareth Williams, Founder, Caplor Energy

Luke Moss, Project Manager, Exeter College

12.00 Questions and comments from the floor
12.25 Break
12.30 The Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy and the path forward for green education

Jonathan Dewsbury, Head of the Sustainability and Climate Change Unit, Department for Education

Questions and comments from the floor

12.55 Chair’s and Westminster Education Forum closing remarks

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, former Leader, Green Party of England and Wales

Sean Cudmore, Deputy Editor, Westminster Education Forum



Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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