Climate Change: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th July 2022.

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Photo of Munira Wilson Munira Wilson Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to (a) educate and (b) empower children and young people with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle the climate emergency.

Photo of Munira Wilson Munira Wilson Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he will make additional funding available to schools for the purposes of improving their environmental sustainability.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Education)

Within the early years foundation stage (EYFS) framework, as well as the national curriculum, all children learn about nature, the causes and impacts of climate change and the importance of sustainability.

An environmental science A level is already available, and, by 2025, the department aims to introduce a natural history GCSE, giving young people a further opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge of the natural world.

By considering the whole physical education estate as a virtual National Education Nature Park, the department will engage children and young people with the natural world and directly involve them in measuring and improving biodiversity in their nursery, school, college, or university, thus developing knowledge and skills relevant for a changing world.

A Climate Leaders Award will complement classroom learning and allow the department to celebrate education providers, children, and young people for developing their connection with nature and making a contribution to a sustainable future.

The department recognises the importance of meeting the challenge to make schools sustainable. Our new Sustainability and Climate Change strategy, published on 21 April 2022, sets out how we are gathering evidence on new technologies and innovative approaches to retrofitting school buildings to make them greener.

Since 2015, the department has allocated over £13 billion in capital funding to improve the condition of school buildings, which can support improvements to energy efficiency. In addition, the school rebuilding programme will transform 500 schools over the next decade, with all new buildings being net zero carbon in operation. The department continues to work with the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to help education providers access the £1.4 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

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