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BERA Research Commission 2019/2020: Manifesto for Education for Environmental Sustainability (EfES)

The final manifesto from the BERA-funded research commission on environmental sustainability calls for sustainability to become a key feature of the curriculum, inspections and other accountability systems in order to enable schools to make environmentally friendly choices.

The manifesto is the culmination of the commission’s work which involved online workshops with more than 200 young people, teachers and teacher educators.

Key points of the manifesto include:

  • Education has a key role to play in creating long-term responses to the social and environmental consequences of the climate crisis. 
  • Young people and teachers want to see change at all levels to value sustainability in their schools – not only in teaching and learning, but in the way schools are operated and regulated.
  • A co-ordinated review of secondary school curricula involving teachers and students across the UK.
  • The environment should be part of all subjects and school practices.
  • Sustainability co-ordinators to lead each school to a greener approach.
  • A focus on the environment both outside and inside the classroom – for instance, schools should scrutinise their approaches to procurement and food.
  • Continuing professional development for teachers of all subjects to help them gain confidence in teaching about sustainability.
  • Better opportunities for schools to green their own environments, including growing food and other plants.
  • External accredited awards for students and teachers with an environmental sustainability focus; for older students, theseawards should carry UCAS points.
  • A community ‘sustainability curriculum’ for groups and parents involved in education.
  • A campaign to enlist the endorsement of politicians and social media influencers.