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Navigating DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy

In response to the UK Department of Education’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, unveiled in April 2022, Twinkl, a global education resource platform, is providing expert guidance for educational leadership. This comprehensive strategy sets ambitious goals to establish the UK as a global leader in sustainability and climate action by 2030

Twinkl’s Kat Oakes, an expert in sustainability, provided insights into the strategy’s key components during a recent discussion. The four main strategic aims for England were highlighted, focusing on excellence in education, achieving net-zero emissions, building resilience to climate change, and fostering a better environment.

1. Excellence in Education: Preparing for a Climate-Impacted World

The strategy aims to prepare young minds for a climate-impacted future through a focus on learning and practical experiences. Twinkl’s response to this includes the development of the Eco Adventures scheme, designed to address eco-anxiety and deliver content in an accurate yet considerate manner. Supporting staff in adapting to this new landscape is crucial, given the unique challenges it presents. As such Twinkl has developed some new sustainability CPD resources to support them.

2. Net Zero: Aiming for Sustainable School Infrastructure

With a goal to achieve net-zero emissions, the strategy encourages innovation in building design and future thinking. Twinkl emphasised the importance of driving this innovation to envision sustainable solutions for existing school sites and the incorporation of eco-friendly elements in new constructions.

3. Resilience to Climate Change: Nurturing Adaptability

Recognizing the growing concern of eco-anxiety, the strategy emphasises building resilience in teachers, leaders, and students. Twinkl advocates for adapting education to promote resilience and address the impacts of climate change, fostering an environment where children can learn and discuss these pressing issues.

4. Better Environment: Enhancing Biodiversity and Nature Access

Beyond the school buildings, the strategy encourages improving the surrounding natural environment. Twinkl stresses the significance of biodiversity, outdoor access, and promoting sustainable practices, including bike schemes and walking to school initiatives.

Implementing the Strategy in Educational Settings: A Collective Effort

Twinkl underlines the collaborative effort required to achieve these goals. With a focus on sustainability leads in educational settings, the platform aims to empower educators, administrators, and even students to contribute collectively to a more sustainable future.

Key Action Points for Educational Leaders:

  • Nominate a sustainability lead by 2025 to work on developing and implementing a climate action plan.
  • Engage with the National Education Nature Park and Climate Leaders Awards to enhance biodiversity and sustainability practices.
  • Participate in carbon literacy training, scheduled for early 2024, to equip sustainability leads with the necessary knowledge and skills.
  • Integrate sustainability into the curriculum across subjects, fostering a whole-school approach.

Twinkl’s commitment to supporting educational settings in this sustainability journey extends to the development of a new Sustainability and Climate Change Hub. This resource aims to guide settings in implementing strategy actions, ensuring a meaningful and lasting impact.

As part of Twinkl’s broader mission to aid those who teach, this sustainability series is set to be an invaluable resource for educators, leaders, and learners alike, inspiring the next generation to become conscious contributors to a greener, more sustainable world. 

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