A new £2m Department for Education project is aiming to help youngsters learn how climate change is impacting the planet. Every school, college and university in England will have free access to expert support to become greener and more climate resilient as part of the scheme.
Education institutions across England will be offered help to produce Climate Action Plans through access to the Climate Action Planning Sector Engagement and Support Service (SESS). These action plans will help schools, colleges and universities to improve climate education, promote green careers and take action against climate change, alongside building resilience against its effects.
Nine regional hubs across 12 universities in England will recruit and support Climate Ambassadors. These volunteer, Climate Ambassadors, will provide advice and support to schools, colleges and universities in developing Climate Action Plans across 4 key areas — sustainability leadership, climate science, environmental education, and communications and digital infrastructure.
We are thrilled to be the training and support partners in this programme led by the University of Reading and supported by the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC).
CEO Lexie Jones said: “The transition to net zero and a more sustainable future begins with education. This programme provides a vital opportunity both to ensure that children and young people are being adequately prepared for the future and to help schools, colleges and universities to take practical steps to reduce their carbon footprints and improve their resilience to the effects of climate change that we are experiencing with alarming frequency. Change Agents UK are pleased and excited to be part of the fantastic team of partners delivering this programme.”
The scheme is an expansion of the climate ambassadors programme created by the University of Reading and STEM Learning almost two years ago. Since it started, the scheme has seen 236 climate ambassadors reach more than 80,000 learners and teachers in 534 schools, colleges and universities.
Baroness Barran MBE, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education, said: “Climate ambassadors have already helped more than 80,000 learners and educators to include climate education in the curriculum and reduce their environmental impact. Their expertise will be crucial in supporting teachers, school and college leaders, and everyone understand and develop climate resilience in the education system.”
The scheme formally launches in March 2024.