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The University of Reading, in collaboration with STEM Learning, is leading a new scheme to support schools and colleges in the UK to develop knowledge and skills so that everyone involved – including young people – is equipped to tackle the future in a changing climate.

The Climate Ambassador Scheme connects cross-disciplinary climate and sustainability experts with primary and secondary schools and Further Education colleges. Climate ambassadors from universities and research centres around the UK provide free support and guidance to teachers, school and college leaders, and everyone involved in the education system.

The Scheme has been developed in response to Action 8 in the National Climate Education Action Plan. It has been adopted as a core part of the UK government Department for Education’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, published in April 2022, with a vision to make the UK’s education sector world-leading on this issue by 2030.

Benefits for teachers and school leaders 

As part of the Scheme, climate ambassadors link up with teachers and educational leaders to support them to integrate climate education into a range of disciplines and reduce their environmental impact. They aim to:

  • empower teachers of all subjects to bring climate into the classroom by building understanding and confidence
  • help school and college leaders and governors to build their knowledge of our changing climate to ensure that young people can engage in teacher-led climate education
  • support schools and colleges to reduce their carbon footprint.

Climate ambassadors provide schools and colleges with guidance that is tailored to the needs of their students and settings. They can provide support in a number of ways, for example:

  • attending a lesson, assembly or enrichment day to share knowledge and experience
  • delivering training to teachers, governors and others involved in school or college leadership
  • recommending resources
  • mentoring young people in essential "green" skills for future jobs
  • supporting schools and colleges to develop a climate action plan.

To find out more and request a climate ambassador for your school or college, please visit the STEM Learning website.

Becoming a climate ambassador 

We encourage members of our University community, as well as colleagues from other universities and research centres in the UK, with expertise relating to sustainability or climate change, to sign up and become a climate ambassador. It’s an opportunity to take action and make a real impact when it comes to climate education in the UK.

To find out more and sign up as a climate ambassador, please visit the STEM Learning website.

Laura Tobin

Laura Tobin, Broadcast Meteorologist and University of Reading alumna, is the Climate Ambassador Scheme Champion, passionate about empowering everyone – especially young people – to tackle the challenges of our changing climate and bring about the positive change they want to see in our world.