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Education for Environmental Sustainability: A Guide for Schools

The team behind the BERA 2021 Research Commission on Education for Environmental Sustainability have now published a guide for secondary schools on the preliminary findings of their research. 

Working with over 200 teachers and young people from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the commission has identified systemic and school-level barriers to education for environmental sustainability – and the solutions that teachers and young people would like to see.  There is a call for schools to:

  • Identify ways of featuring sustainability and sustainable practices in school-level policies and contracts.
  • Create time and space for students to learn about climate change and environmental sustainability – without linking to assessment.
  • Place student voice and agency at the core of school sustainability work.
  • Make sustainability convenient in the school grounds, cafeterias and classrooms.
  • Appoint a school sustainability lead and ensure that sustainability is considered in decisions made by school leadership teams, committees and governing bodies.
  • Enable teachers to participate in professional development – this requires time and resources.
  • Promote healthy diets and healthy environments to tackle eco-anxiety.

The manifesto – highlighting implications for policy, schools and the wider community – will be illustrated by Maisy Summer and launched on 1st November 2021, to coincide with the start of the COP26 UN climate change conference.  Watch this space for details of the launch.