What the Department for Education’s Sustainability Strategy means for your school

In this blog, we explain how the Department for Education’s sustainability strategy will affect schools and what you can do to make your school greener.

Emma Buggy
Author
Emma Buggy
Published: May 27, 2022

In recent years, many schools have realised the importance of sustainability. Rightly so, as it’s only fitting that the organisations preparing our kids for the future show their concern for the planet.

The Department for Education (DfE) has taken another step towards tackling climate change with the introduction of its Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy. With its launch, it plans to make the UK the world leader in educational climate change and sustainability by 2030. The strategy aims to prepare young people for the effects of climate change, and reduce its impact on the planet. This blog will break down what this new strategy means for schools. It will also outline some of the ways our sustainable school equipment can help make your school greener!

Climate change education

An interesting element of the strategy is the creation of a new GCSE in Natural History, offered from 2025 onwards. Through this qualification, students will develop a deeper understanding of the natural world by studying organisms and their habitats, as well as environmental and sustainability issues. The course aims to prepare kids to go on to pursue careers in environmentalism. It will also strengthen their observation and analytical skills through structured study.

The Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has pledged support for teaching about climate change at all levels of education. There will also be new requirements for secondary education teachers to incorporate sustainability into their syllabuses by 2023.

The increased emphasis on climate issues follows the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2021. Our previous COP26 blog outlines some innovative ways in which schools can use sustainable equipment to complement climate education. Talking openly about environmental issues is a good start, but action is where real change begins. For example, replacing your school’s toilets with Propelair models could cut your school’s water usage by 84%. Simple upgrades like this save energy and lower your bills.

Reducing direct and indirect emissions

The measures taken to reduce both direct and indirect emissions will be an important part of the Department for Education’s strategy. Broadly speaking, direct emissions are generated by a company and its activities, for example through the use of a fleet of vehicles. Indirect emissions are those produced by general energy and water usage, transport, and waste. Under the strategy, existing buildings will be adapted to reduce emissions, meet legislative targets for energy consumption, and prepare them for the effects of climate change.

Carbon literacy training for teachers will be rolled out faster than anticipated as an extension of measures proposed at COP26. The training will support the development of climate action plans and encourage the improvement of climate education throughout the education system. As part of the plan, there will be at least one sustainability lead in each institution. It will also encourage schools and nurseries to increase the biodiversity of their grounds, using tools like bug hotels. Alongside the new Natural History qualification, these measures will provide opportunities for students to contribute to the transition towards net-zero. As they learn about and implement sustainability strategies and engage in green practices on-site, they will be actively involved in climate conservation. 

As a provider of energy-efficient solutions, such as LED lighting, we know a thing or two about sustainability. We’re passionate about reducing emissions in school settings, and our technology and flexible leases can help you do just that! 

To find out more about how we can support your school to become more sustainable, contact us today

 

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