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Curriculum: Renewable Energy and Environment Protection

Department for Education written question – answered on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Rosena Allin-Khan Rosena Allin-Khan Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the national curriculum includes the knowledge and skills needed for work in (a) the renewable energy sector and (b) green technology.

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

The National Curriculum aims to prepare pupils with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a wide range of careers. This includes preparing students for further study in engineering and technology which supports careers in sectors such as green technology and renewable energy.

The primary science curriculum lays the foundation for the understanding of energy and mechanics through topics such as light, electricity and forces. This is built upon during Key Stage 3 and 4 physics which includes substantial teaching on topics including energy, electricity, forces and motion. This will be supported by the study of Mathematics. Students may also choose to study GCSEs in design and technology or engineering which teach students to understand technical and engineering processes respectively.

The National Curriculum also teaches pupils about topics such as climate change, use of natural resources and the impact of human actions on the environment in the science and geography programmes of study. This includes study of renewable and non-renewable energy sources in Key Stage 4 physics and the efficacy of recycling in Key Stage 3 chemistry. In 2017, the Department introduced a new environmental science A-Level. This enables students to study topics that will support their understanding of energy resources, including the impact of technology on developing sustainable sources of energy.

In addition, T-Levels are being introduced as part of the Government's commitment to reforming technical education, supporting future skills needs across the economy. In setting T-Level content, employers must consider the inclusion of knowledge and understanding of sustainability as relevant to their sector. For example, in construction, T-Level students will be required to learn about renewable energy and emerging technologies to support energy efficiency.

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