Climate Change and Ecology: Curriculum

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Joan Ryan Joan Ryan Independent, Enfield North

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to introduce climate change and ecological education as a core subject in the national curriculum.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

It is important that young people are taught about climate change and ecology. Topics related to this are already included in both the science and geography national curriculum.

For example, in primary school science, pupils are taught about how weather changes across the four seasons and look at how environments can change as a result of human actions. In secondary science, pupils are taught about ecosystems, and the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. They go on to consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change, and positive and negative interactions with ecosystems and their impact on biodiversity. In secondary geography, pupils will study how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate.

In 2017, the Department also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable students to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled.

The Department is also funding the Children and Nature Programme, a £10 million programme that aims to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to the natural environment. This includes studying about nature and how to care for the natural environment.

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