Climate change

Calls for review of ‘undervalued’ climate education

A third of secondary teachers did not believe they spent enough time teaching about climate change

A third of secondary teachers did not believe they spent enough time teaching about climate change

The next government should commission an independent expert review on climate education which is currently “undervalued and underrepresented”, an exam board has said. 

Cambridge University Press and Assessment said the expert-led review should collect evidence on the climate knowledge youngsters need, then work out how to embed that into the education system. 

They claim climate education is “undervalued and underrepresented in the curriculum”.

A Teacher Tapp survey commissioned by the organisation found about 35 per cent of 6,100 secondary teachers did not believe they spent enough time teaching the issue.

About 40 per cent of these teachers said they required more resources.

The Department for Education previously said the core concepts are taught in primary school, while climate change is covered in science, citizenship and geography in secondary schools. 

But Christine Özden, global director for climate education at Cambridge University Press and Assessment, said: “Effective climate education must become available to students at every age and stage if we are serious about confronting this multi-generational challenge.

“The next UK government must review the curriculum and work in partnership with the sector to find creative ways to embed high quality climate education, and to support teachers to deliver it well.”

A new GCSE in natural history is set to be taught from next year, following a campaign by Cambridge and its English exam board OCR.

The government also pledged to introduce a primary model science curriculum to “introduce climate change as a concept to children in a coherent way” in 2023. However, this has not yet been published.

Labour has pledged to commission a full, expert-led review of the curriculum and assessment if it wins the next general election.

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