In 2021, the University brought together young people, scientists, teachers and educationalists, policymakers and campaigners to create the National Climate Education Action Plan. Read on to find out about our progress against the Plan’s nine actions and how you can get involved.
An update on Actions 1 and 6
Action 1: Everyone involved in the education of children in school and college settings should be encouraged and supported to access accredited continuing professional development (CPD) to improve their personal understanding of up-to-date data and science of our changing climate and the impacts of these changes.
Action 6: A national scheme of quality assurance of teaching resources for climate education should be developed.
Update: A group of organisations, led by the RMetS (The Royal Meteorological Society) and the Geographical Association, is working on a pilot project to quality assure climate-related resources for teaching. The Group also plans to create a checklist for teachers to help them evaluate the quality of resources.
The Group is looking for participants to be part of a working group that look into the identified gaps found, such as resource provision for SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) pupils.
If you would like to be involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An update on Action 2
Action 2: All teacher trainers and initial teacher trainees should be able to access training that empowers them to effectively incorporate climate education within their teaching across all levels and subjects.
Update: The University of Reading’s Institute of Education developed the Climate Education and Sustainability Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Framework, which is now shared, for free, to support training providers.
This framework empowers trainee teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of the climate crisis, to enable them to support the young people they go on to teach in these areas.
Find out more about the Climate Education and Sustainability ITE Framework.
An update on Actions 3, 4 and 9
Action 3: Teachers and school leaders should be encouraged and empowered, both at a national and local level, to ensure time and space within and beyond the teaching day is included for climate education.
Action 4: Every school and college should identify a senior staff member to lead on climate education and provide them with support and funding.
Action 9: A national, guiding framework for all educational providers that outlines compulsory climate education for all young people via schools and colleges should be developed and implemented.
Update: In its Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, the Department for Education (DfE) outlined its vision for all education settings to have a Climate Action Plan in place by 2025. Climate education is a key area, empowering teachers and school leaders to ensure there is time for it within and beyond the teaching day.
In addition, the DfE’s strategy has a goal of establishing a nominated sustainability lead by 2025 in each educational setting, who will own the local Climate Action Plan.
An update on Action 5
Action 5: A structured programme or climate award for schools, colleges and youth organisations should be developed, providing a national focus to a range of extra-curricular activities and supporting resources to aid delivery.
Update: The Natural History Museum is leading a partnership to take forward the National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award scheme, which launched on 4 October 2023. These programmes will provide excellent opportunities for more outdoor learning for all young people, and help them develop their knowledge about nature as well as skills in numeracy and data science.
An update on Action 7
Action 7: A regular national meeting of the dynamic, well-supported national networks of educators, scientists and young people should be held, to share ideas and promote collaboration among representatives of these groups.
Update: We continue to chair the National Climate Education Action Plan (NCEAP) Group and meet every six months. The Group has grown substantially in size as more organisations join us to collaborate and drive action together.
An update on Action 8
Action 8: Professionals working in climate research and policy, from science and non-science disciplines, should pledge a proportion of their working time to providing help to teacher-led climate education initiatives.
Update: The Climate Ambassador Scheme, led collaboratively by the University of Reading and STEM Learning, gives UK schools and colleges access to free support and guidance from sustainability experts in universities and research institutions. Since the Scheme launched in 2022 Climate Ambassadors have reached over 80,000 young learners.
If you have expertise relating to sustainability or climate change, or work in education and would like to request support for your school or college, you can find out more information about the Climate Ambassador Scheme here.
Find out more information about the University of Reading’s work on Climate Education.