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Making progress towards shared goals

The National Climate Education Action Plan emerged from the successful Climate Education Summit at the University of Reading, an event that was held in collaboration with our partners in September 2021. We brought together young people, scientists, teachers and educationalists, policymakers and campaigners to create an action plan for broader climate education in schools and colleges in the UK.

Find out more about our progress against the Plan's nine actions and how you can get involved.

Continuing to work together to make change happen

We continue to chair the National Climate Education Action Plan (NCEAP) Group and, in line with Action 7 in the Plan, meet every six months.

The Group has grown substantially in size as more organisations join us to collaborate and drive action together.

National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award scheme

The Natural History Museum is leading a partnership to take forward the National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award scheme, which launched in October 2023. These programmes, which respond to Action 5, provide excellent opportunities for more outdoor learning for all young people, and help them develop their knowledge about nature and skills in numeracy and data science.

Find out more about the National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award

A Climate Action Plan for each educational setting

In its Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, the Department for Education (DfE) outlined its vision for all education settings to have a Climate Action Plan in place by 2025. Climate education is one of five key areas for inclusion within these plans, highlighting its importance, empowering teachers and school leaders to ensure there is time for it within and beyond the teaching day, and delivering on the need for a national, guiding framework. This vision takes steps to address Action 3 and Action 9.

In addition, the DfE's strategy has a goal of establishing a nominated sustainability lead by 2025. This individual will own the local Climate Action Plan, benefit from carbon literacy training, and be supported in adopting a joined-up approach to leadership that brings together young people, governors, and others involved in the education of our next generation. The move towards identified leadership aligns with Action 4.

Implementation will vary between settings given that each is unique. The detail of, and approach to, developing Climate Action Plans will be facilitated and supported rather than prescriptive. The DfE will make setting-level data available to inform their development, and assist in building networks and sharing good practice. In spring 2023, the University of Reading welcomed a group of local schools to participate in a pilot workshop, a first step towards helping providers to think about how individual Climate Education Plans might be developed.

Climate Ambassador Scheme

The Climate Ambassador Scheme, led collaboratively by the University of Reading, EAUC and STEM Learning, gives UK schools and colleges access to free support and guidance from sustainability experts in universities and research institutions. Since the Scheme launched in 2022 in response to Action 8, Climate Ambassadors have reached over 80,000 young learners. They can support in a number of ways, including connecting with young people, teachers, governors and others involved in school or college leadership.

Find out more about the Climate Ambassador Scheme, including how to become an Ambassador and how to request support for your school or college.

Empowering teacher trainers and initial teacher trainees

Throughout the 2022/23 academic year, the University of Reading's Institute of Education developed and piloted the Climate Education and Sustainability Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Framework in response to Action 2. The Framework, which spans from Early Years through to Sixth Form, and across all subjects, has been updated in light of the pilot and is now shared, for free, to support other training providers to deliver on this important agenda.

In implementing the Framework, trainee teachers across all University of Reading ITE programmes are empowered to develop their knowledge and understanding of the climate crisis. They will graduate with a set of skills to support the young people they will go on to teach, to build resilience, and to become future change makers in the climate and sustainability landscape.

Find out more about the Climate Education and Sustainability ITE Framework (Initial Teacher Training providers may request a copy under licence).

CPD for school and college staff 

Action 1 in the NCEAP recognises that school and college staff would benefit considerably from greater guidance regarding which CPD resources are right for them, and how to access and identify them. Initially it was proposed that such CPD be accredited but, at the meeting of the NCEAP Group in October 2023, it was agreed that a focus on high-quality, impactful CPD is more critical than accreditation. EAUC led work to map this provision, which has resulted in a wealth of useful CPD resources.

In addition, a group of organisations is mapping where and how climate could, or should, feature within the existing curriculum – across all subjects and levels. Progress will be reported in spring 2024.

A national scheme to quality control resources

A group of organisations, led by the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) and the Geographical Association, completed a pilot to quality control climate-related resources in response to Action 6 in the NCEAP. They are now looking for Climate Ambassadors to quality control the climate content of existing and new climate change teaching resources according to the framework developed through this work. If you have climate change expertise and would like to support this work, find out about how to become a Climate Ambassador