Resources for tackling the climate crisis

Tackling the climate crisis through education empowers young people to seek the vital changes needed. Climate change resources are available for use in class lessons (from KS1 to further education) and activities around the climate crisis.

Climate change and its effects are of great concern to young people today. Teachers have a role in raising awareness of the climate crisis and helping pupils acquire the skills and knowledge for a sustainable future. Tackling the climate crisis through education empowers young people to seek the vital changes needed.

Impartiality guidance

Diverse political voices have suggested that "Climate Change is above politics" - something that cannot be ignored and demands an urgent response. From a teaching and learning point of view climate change should be foundational. The science is clear and agreed. Where there is an argument is over how to react and what to do. 

The Impartiality Guidance issued by the DfE makes clear that climate change denial has no validity and teaching about climate change, the scientific facts and evidence behind it, would not constitute teaching about a political issue.

Schools do not need to present misinformation, such as claims that climate change is not occurring, to provide balance. Teaching potential solutions for tackling climate change may constitute a political issue. DfE advise this part of the topic should be taught in a balanced manner, with teachers not promoting any of the partisan political views covered to pupils.

Note that the guidance is not suggesting that “partisan political views” should not be expressed in the classroom.  Rather, it is recognising that such views exist and that they will be reflected in the curriculum and in the classroom. The teacher’s role is to teach about “solutions” without promoting any particular viewpoint that the curriculum has covered. This should not preclude teachers expressing their own views, nor from criticising other perspectives.

In the introduction to the DfE Net Zero Strategy, Nadhim Zahawi, then Education Secretary, acknowledged that students, must in his words, see themselves as “agents of change”, with “hope” in their own capacities.  Teachers will take confidence from this, encouraging learners to voice their own perspectives on what has to change if the climate crisis is to be addressed.

School activities you can do

The DfE Net Zero Strategy requires schools to put a sustainability co-ordinator in place by 2023. Many schools already have these, but many don't and existing roles will need to be defended against cuts.


  • Invite students to join a green team aiming to make the school zero carbon.
  • Work with colleagues and subject leaders to map the curriculum and embed more climate change and education for sustainability.
  • Request CPD and INSET to develop knowledge and understanding about the climate emergency.
  • Set up school/college Eco Club.

School leaders

  • Appoint a “Sustainability co-ordinator” to lead Climate Action plans.
  • Begin working through practical ways to decarbonise your school.
  • Start a conversation with staff, students, parents and governors to develop your school/college sustainability plan.
  • Work with external organisations to help support decarbonising.


  • NEU Districts in alliance with other education unions locally, could approach LAs, MATs and Diocese to discuss the development of climate/sustainability/ecological initiatives across the whole “family of schools” in their area.
  • Set up or join a network of lead teachers/sustainability leads to share good practice and drive initiatives.
  • Promote initiatives with local schools such as: Let’s Go Zero, Eco Schools, Ministry of Eco Education and the Green Schools project.
  • Set up a LA approved bank of learning materials like that developed by SCESY.

Curriculum Resources

Resources provide wider information and guidance towards whole school sustainability and carbon reduction as well as information on training sessions for educators.

Additional resources from other organisations

Many organisations provide education resources on climate change and sustainability, such as:

Education and Training Foundation –The expert body for teaching standards and CPD in Further Education (FE) provides resources to embed sustainability into the FE curriculum.

Let’s Go Zero – Coalition of schools and organisations working collaboratively to become carbon zero by 2030. 

Eco Schools – A Keep Britain Tidy accreditation scheme for schools to achieve green flag status. Schools follow a seven step framework to introduce environmental actions and build evidence for awards.

Transform Our World - A community of educators producing a range of teacher resources, from individual lesson plans to assemblies, on a range of sustainability and environment-based topics.

Learning through Landscapes  - Practical outdoor learning lessons and activity ideas for educators from Early Years to Secondary Education.  Sir David Attenborough is one of the patrons.

UK Schools Sustainability Network - Join a community of educators empowering students to take climate action

ClimatEdPsych - Guides for teachers/educators on climate resilience and wellbeing in education.

Teaching for sustainable futures | IOE - Faculty of Education and Society - UCL – University College London - UCL Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education, offers free teacher professional development. They produced a short film to be shown to anyone working in the school, “Looking to the Future: An Introduction to Climate Change and Sustainability in Schools”.

Free CPD from University College London: Teaching about Sustainability and Climate Change - University College London’s Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education has launched Teaching for Sustainable Futuresa free online professional development programme for teachers. The aim of the programme is to help teachers across all subjects and age phases to embed issues of climate change and sustainability into their teaching practice. Currently they offer subject-specific modules for history and geography.  

More subjects will be made available soon, including mathematics and English. 

Key features include: 

  • Free for all teachers, accessible online at any time. 
  • Tailored to individual subjects and to primary and secondary age phases. 
  • Research-informed. 
  • Quality assured by UCL. 
  • Aligned with the National Curriculum in England but adaptable to any classroom setting. 

To receive notification about future modules across more subjects, sign up here

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