THE UK’s education unions have written to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi calling for urgent action on the climate crisis.
The four unions (NASUWT, NEU, UCU and UNISON), which represent teachers, school staff and workers across the UK, say that as the host country of the COP26 UN climate conference, it’s important for the UK to lead by example.
They say that the UK’s education system needs to undergo big changes, because climate change requires an emergency response.
These changes include a complete “review of the entire curriculum, so that it is preparing and mobilising our whole society for a sustainable future”.
That could mean having lessons about the climate emergency and ecological crisis, how they are caused and what our future lives and jobs might look like. It could also mean green skills being taught on vocational courses for older students.
In the letter, the unions also call for a plan to completely decarbonise the UK’s schools by 2030, and a policy for helping students, staff and parents get to school in an eco-friendly way.
Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “It is the next generation that will bear the brunt of any inaction on climate change.”
“We all need to play a part in ensuring a sustainable future for our young people. Schools and colleges can play their part, and the UK Government needs to ensure that quality climate change education is embedded across the curriculum, as well as focusing on decarbonising the education estate by 2031.”