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The UKSSN has been involved in the development of the Department for Education’s new climate and sustainability strategy since the launch of the first draft document at COP26 in Glasgow last year.
As committed advocates and practitioners in sustainability learning and action across the UK, we are uniquely placed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the DfE strategy.
This report captures our responses and will, we hope, provide useful insight to both the DfE and to those organisations currently tendering to deliver the strategy’s key initiatives.
UKSSN members have mixed feelings about the strategy. On the positive side we are pleased it has come into existence and have already reported how it has helped many of us to make the case to senior leaders for more emphasis to be placed on sustainability and climate change at our schools.
However, we also express concern that the strategy lacks the bite necessary to solve two perennial problems sustainability educators face: a lack of time for Sustainability Leads to do the work that needs doing, and the lack of coverage given to these issues by the curriculum.
Another concern expressed by a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages related to where climate and sustainability is being positioned by DfE. They stressed the importance of it not being siloed within the STEM subjects, writing that: “I want to be part of this too, not have it restricted to science and geography. Just like we all are responsible for fostering literacy and numeracy skills.”
The report features three in-depth responses from named students and several more who responded anonymously. One student, Jack from Somerset, called for a “green revolution for the education system” and labelled the strategy “a great first step in the right direction”.
Click on the button below to read our full report.
In addition, UKSSN staff have produced 1-minute video responses:
We also recommend you read UK Schools Sustainability Network Operations Group thoughts on the Department for Education’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy | Edexec, an article published in the Education Executive magazine by co-chairs of the UKSSN Operations Group, Helen Burge (ISBL Fellow and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, The Priory Learning Trust, Somerset) and Paul Edmond (ISBL Fellow and Chief Finance Officer, Heart Academies Trust, Bedfordshire).
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