Curriculum: Litter

Department for Education written question – answered on 18th May 2021.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to introduce information on the effects of littering into the curriculum.

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

The National Curriculum already includes content regarding environmental and sustainability issues in both the science and geography curricula. For example, in primary science pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. This could include teaching about the impact of litter on the environment, which schools can expand on should they wish to.

In citizenship, pupils are taught about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. Pupils are taught that resources can be allocated in different ways and that these economic choices affect individuals, communities and the sustainability of the environment.

Citizenship includes opportunities for pupils to undertake school and community-based volunteering, encouraging young people to come together to tackle the local issues they care about within school and in the wider community. Schools are expected to use their professional expertise and understanding of their pupils to develop the right approach for their particular school. Many schools do choose to teach pupils about the impact of litter, including helping pupils undertake volunteering, such as litter picking. The citizenship programmes of study are available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-citizenship-programmes-of-study.

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