Labour would make climate change core part of school curriculum

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Labour would make climate change a "core" part of the curriculum from primary school onwards if it gained power.

All young people would be educated about the ecological and social impact of climate change under a Labour government, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said.

The announcement came as pupils prepared to walk out of school once again as part of a nationwide school strike to call for immediate action on global warming.  

Under the party’s plans, the curriculum would also focus on the skills and knowledge young people need to deal with the changing world, particularly in renewable energy and green technology jobs.

Issues around climate change are covered in both science and geography lessons in secondary school up to the age of 16, but students have said they want more.


The government said climate change was already in the primary school curriculum.

A petition, set up by school pupils in Oxford, which calls for more lessons in schools on climate change, has been signed by more than 72,000 people.

Thousands of students have taken part in monthly school walkouts on Fridays since February as part of a global campaign for action inspired by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg.

Ms Rayner said: “Today, young people are taking to the streets to send a clear message to the government that climate change will be a fundamental and defining feature of their adult lives, and we must take the action needed to tackle it.


“We need to equip people with the knowledge to understand the enormous changes we face, and skills to work with the new green technologies that we must develop to deal with them.

“That must be part of a broad education and that prepares pupils for adult life. Climate change should be a core part of the school curriculum, and under a Labour government it will be.”

Last month, teachers at the annual conference of the National Education Union (NEU) backed a motion calling on school staff to stand in full solidarity with students striking against climate change.

Teachers said students who missed school for climate change protests should escape detentions as they called for ministers to prioritise the global issue in the school curriculum.

It came after Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said heads should consider issuing lunchtime detentions to students who miss school for the protests.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, welcomed the announcement from Labour, adding that it shows the party’s “willingness to listen to students' concerns”.

Source: The Independent