Unions call for action on climate change crisis in schools

A number of education unions have written to the Education Secretary urging him to take action to ensure climate change education becomes fully embedded in ​the system.

They argue that the dire impact of climate change requires an emergency response, including from the education sector, because young people have most to lose from the current lack of direction. NASUWT, NEU, UCU and UNISON say there is concern the government has yet to grasp the gravity of the situation and are calling for important measures to be embedded in the education system.

These include: a comprehensive review of the entire curriculum, so that it is preparing and mobilising our whole society for a sustainable future; supporting Jim Knight’s Private Member​’s Bill, restoring sustainability as a pillar of the curriculum; a comprehensive plan to decarbonise the entire education estate by 2030, as part of an overdue refurbishment and repair programme; and a detailed policy on green travel for students, staff, and parents should be developed.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said: “Education has a critical contribution to make in educating for climate justice and helping to secure a more sustainable world for future generations. The UK government needs to step up to ensure teachers have the resources and tools to provide access to curriculum entitlements that give all children and young people the opportunity to develop their understanding of environmental issues and to be responsible citizens.

“We also need to see much more action from the government to deliver substantial improvements to the energy efficiency of existing school buildings which have suffered from significant under-investment over decades.”

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