Packs being given to schools to get kids talking about the planet ahead of COP26 are “no substitute” for making the climate crisis part of the curriculum, experts have said.
Teachers will receive guides for running a “green” assembly, suggestions of initiatives – such as a “walk to school” week, eco-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and extra resources from environmental organisations such as WWF.
“There’s some good content in the schools pack and it’s crucial that we’re involving children in the run up to the big climate talks this autumn, but this is no substitute for making climate education part of the formal curriculum,” Jenny Thatcher, head of youth and families at Friends of the Earth, told The Big Issue.
“Children are growing up with climate breakdown already causing terrible harm to communities. This generation is inheriting a huge problem that will shape their lives, but the education system does not yet carry this message.”
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Youth-led campaigns including Teach the Future have long called for the government to review how schools prepare children and young people for the climate emergency, and to introduce in-depth climate education across the country.