Climate change is real and is threatening our future. It is our young generations that will lose the most if it is not addressed now. We all have a role to play and a contribution to make about the necessary changes.

As educators, it is paramount that we enable children to understand climate crisis and equip them with skills and knowledge to ensure that they leave education climate literate, ready to tackle this and build a more sustainable future.

To achieve this requires a broad, quality climate education curriculum, alongside training and support for education staff.

Response to DfE draft climate strategy

In January 2022, the NEU, NASUWT, NAHT, UCU, UNISON, GMB, and the NUS, alongside SOS-UK, The Edge and ThoughtBox, wrote to Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, to share joint concerns that the curriculum needs to address and reflect the importance of sustainability and the effects of climate change.

In the draft strategy, the language around resource and finance is vague, whilst certain key targets are far less ambitious than required, and climate education is confined to discrete subject areas rather than embedded holistically. In our response, we propose concrete and ambitious alternatives, including:

  • Embedding sustainability and environmental education throughout the whole curriculum.
  • Prompt action to tackle gender disparity within STEM subjects.
  • Establishing, and keeping to a target date of 2030 for the retrofitting of the school estate.
  • Development of a detailed policy on green travel for students, staff, and parents.

The full text of the letter can be seen here.

COP26

In November COP26, a global United Nations summit about climate change, was held in Glasgow. The NEU joined forces with UCUNUSSOS-UK and Teach the Future to promote a Climate Learning Month in the run-up to the summit.

We developed a series of downloadable climate and sustainability teaching resources and CPD courses which can be accessed here.

    Learning resources

    Climate change learning resources can also be found on the NEU Recovery Hub, including:

    • “How to declare a climate emergency at your school” by Edmund Stubbs, Science Teacher, Morpeth School, London.
    • TUC guidance on how to start a discussion on getting a zero-carbon workplace.
    • Leeds Development Education Centre downloadable curriculum and plan on how to assess climate education from KS1 to KS2.
    • The Recovery Hub (Practice)

    Additional resources include:

    We hope that these will inspire both educators and young people to bring about the changes needed for a more sustainable future. The Hub is updated regularly with new content, so make sure to check what’s new!

    To keep up to date with our work on climate, or to get more involved, sign up to our network by emailing: neuclimatechangenetwork@gmail.com