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Award-winning Leeds Trinity academic set to address sustainability and climate change issues

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A Senior Professional Practice Fellow at Leeds Trinity University is set to discuss sustainability and climate change at the Westminster Education Forum policy conference.

Dr Leigh Hoath will present a talk on Creating a framework for sustainable education at the conference on Wednesday 18 May.

The conference will examine plans for integrating a focus on sustainability and action on climate change into the curriculum in England, following the publication of the Department for Education’s (DfE) Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy.

Dr Hoath was invited to speak at the conference following her involvement with the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

As part of her work during COP26, Dr Hoath visited five Scottish primary schools to talk about climate change and environmental sustainability.

Dr Hoath’s speech will respond to the DfE’s strategy and how it can be translated into meaningful practice in classrooms throughout the country.

Other keynote speakers include Sir Tim Smit KBE, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chair of Eden Project, and Jonathan Dewsbury, Head of the Sustainability and Climate Change Unit at the DfE.

Dr Hoath, Senior Professional Practice Fellow and PGCE Science Lead at Leeds Trinity University, said:

“There is an increasingly prominent focus on sustainability and climate change in industry, business, education and society. The hosting of COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021 increased awareness within the UK, but to what extent did the public see this as simply a large political meeting rather than something that is pertinent to their everyday lives?

“The issues around sustainability and climate change are not new. There has been an opportunity for some decades to act and prevent further damage to our planet which has not been acted upon.

“The launch of the DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy is undoubtedly welcome, and very much needed. I am looking forward to addressing this in front of a wide audience at the Westminster Education Forum, to help create real change when it comes to sustainability and climate change.”

Dr Hoath has recently been awarded a regional STEM Inspiration Award in the Outstanding Contribution to Widening Participation, Diversity and Inclusion category, in recognition of her schools outreach work with global chemical company BASF UK.

She has also launched a new book, Science Teaching in Secondary Schools, which is an essential guide to secondary science teacher training and gives practical advice on developing classroom skills.

Furthermore, Dr Hoath chairs a working group focussed on climate change and sustainability with individuals from education, industry and the charity sector, having worked closely with Heena Dave, Curriculum Designer at Teacher Development Trust, who is an active researcher in the area.

Dr Duncan Martin, Interim Dean of the Institute of Childhood and Education at Leeds Trinity University, said:

“Dr Hoath continues to fly the flag for the importance of sustainability and climate change within her work and research and it is encouraging that Leigh is engaged with conferences across the country speaking about this. We are proud that her work is being recognised by the likes of STEM Learning.

“She is an incredible asset to the University, as is her contribution to the Leeds City Region and wider educational policy arena. Her work will no doubt have a significant impact on future generations and we look forward to seeing how this develops.”

For more information on the Westminster Education Forum policy conference, visit the website.

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