One new objective is to have a sustainability lead to work on climate education in every educational establishment. One aspect of this role will be the development of a climate action plan to outline the institution's approach to sustainability in relation to both curricular and extra-curricular activity, procurement strategies, adaptation to climate change, decarbonisation etc. The human resource implications of this are huge, especially in small institutions, but this it seems is to be voluntary role with no new resourcing. There is clearly an opportunity here for outside organisations to ease this process, but no resources.
There is also a commitment that all new schools will be built to a net zero standard but there is to be no urgency about the retrofitting of the ~27,000 existing schools to the same standard. And just how good the new ones will be remains to be seen. I still recall with horror the total horlicks that the building schools for the future programme turned out to be.
The strategy also details the development of a National Education Nature Park that will set out to help children and young people to get more involved in the natural world. It will aim to increase biodiversity in the grounds of nurseries, schools, and HE institutions through, we are told, installing bird feeders and bug hotels. I trust that there will be more to it than this. It seems that teachers are to be provided with free, high-quality climate education resources as part of the Nature Park.
Children and young people will also be able to undertake a new Climate Award in recognition for their work to improve their environment, with an awards ceremony held every year (think John Muir / Duke of Ed). The DfE says that the Climate Leaders Award will help children and young people develop their skills and knowledge in biodiversity and sustainability and celebrate and recognise their work in developing their skills and knowledge. Tenders are now being sought for both these programmes. My great worry is that these will be immediately estranged from the curriculum, and will be seen as unimportant and expendable add-ons.