Greater support pledged for teaching climate change

Secondary school students will be able to study the natural world through an exciting new GCSE in natural history to be introduced by September 2025.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has detailed how the UK education sector is to become a world leader in climate change by 2030, as part of the launch of the government’s flagship Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy.

The new Natural History qualification will enable young people to explore the world by learning about organisms and environments, environmental and sustainability issues, and gain a deeper knowledge of the natural world around them.

The government has also said that it will accelerate the rollout of carbon literacy training to support at least one sustainability lead in every locally maintained nursery, school, college and university. The training will support settings to develop climate action plans that will bring together and drive activity to improve climate education, put in place measures to protect them against the effects of climate change, and increase climate resilience through adaptation initiatives.

The rollout of ultra-low carbon education buildings will also be accelerated, and by 2025 at least four schools and one college will have been built via the Gen Zero Platform that the department demonstrated at COP26.

Zahawi said: “We are delivering a better, safer, greener world for future generations and education is one of our key weapons in the fight against climate change. The entrepreneurial, can-do spirit of this country makes me confident that we will win this fight.

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that young people are already very committed to a more sustainable planet. We should be proud of this, and I want to do everything I can to encourage this passion so they can be agents of change in protecting our planet. The new natural history GCSE will offer young people a chance to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet, its environment and how we can come together to conserve it.”

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