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.
COP26, a global United Nations summit about climate change will be taking place in Glasgow in November 2021. The NEU, UCU, NUS, SOS-UK and Teach the Future are promoting a Climate Learning Month during October/ November 2021 in the run-up to COP26.
The aim is to support educators to integrate activities and themes related to understanding the climate and ecological crisis into this particular month. A set of downloadable climate and sustainability teaching resources and CPD courses have been developed
There will also be climate change learning resources on the NEU Recovery HUB:
- COP26 environment education packs for schools and students which will be distributed to schools via DfE school database, the Teacher’s Bulletin and Devolved Administration
- Loom made during lockdown, about how we might reboot the world post pandemic from Simon Shaw, Redbridge NEU.
- “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.
We hope that these will inspire both educators and young people to bring about the changes needed for a more sustainable future.
Support the Global Day of Action on Climate
In the run up to COP 26, the global climate talks taking place this November in Glasgow, workers, trade unions and civil society organisations are mobilising for a week of action.
NEU Districts are encouraged to find out more about nearby demonstrations and work together and, where possible, with the NEU Climate Network to facilitate members’ involvement. We will be encouraging members to contact districts in order to find out more about becoming involved in actions near them.
There will be a global day of action on Saturday 6th November with primary regional demonstrations in the UK in Glasgow and in London, Cardiff, Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Birmingham, Norfolk, Cambridge, Bristol, Brighton, Leeds and Belfast.
We are urging districts in the above, and surrounding areas, to become focal points for members wishing to take part in these demonstrations. Support is available from the NEU Climate Network. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NEU nationally will in turn support NEU members’ participation with resources and campaigns materials.
The national day of action is supported by a coalition of unions including BFAWU, EQUITY, PCS, UCU, UNISON and UNITE as well as NEU.
Links and resources
- UK Schools Sustainability Network has produced a one-hour video presenting ideas and tips from teachers as well as thoughts from students and representatives across the UK. NEU joint General Secretary, Kevin Courtney contributed to the video (his part starts around the 32nd minute).
- NEU and UCU are promoting a climate learning month. A set of downloadable climate and sustainability teaching resources and CPD courses have been developed to support educators.
- Let’s Go Zero – a national campaign is uniting and supporting UK schools to become zero carbon by 2030.
Recording of the event: “Becoming A Zero Carbon School And Getting Started With Let’s Go Zero” can be watched here:
- Teach the Future - A campaigning organisation which argues that sustainability and climate change need to be taught across the curriculum, equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed for the green jobs of the future.
- Climate Cares - A team of researchers, designers, policy-makers and educators aiming to understand and support mental health in the current climate and ecological crises.
- BBC Bitesize – resources on Climate Change.