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Headshot Young Girl

Mia Pledger


United Kingdom

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Climate change and sustainability are currently at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Young people are especially worried about it with studies showing that 72% of young people in the UK are scared about the future and don’t feel like they are being prepared to face the effects or understand solutions. Surveys show that students want to learn more about sustainability at school and 68% would like to see it included across all subjects. Similarly, a YouGov survey of UK teachers found that 89% want to bring sustainability into the classroom and believe students should be taught about climate change, its implications for environments and societies around the world and how this can be addressed. However only 18% of teachers feel they have received adequate training to deliver this in the classroom and less than 13% report that these topics are covered in initial teacher training. Much of the existing PD opportunities focus on subjects such as science and geography. In 2022, whilst working in a Further Education college, I took on a temporary stretch role as Carbon Literacy coordinator. One of my key objectives was to embed carbon literacy across the curriculum - this included a number of vocational subjects such as catering, hair & beauty, construction and fashion design. When working with teachers, their biggest concern was that they lacked subject knowledge on how to link sustainability to their subjects which impacted their confidence to discuss the topic with their students. Since then, I’ve spoken to numerous teachers in primary and secondary education who feel the same, especially those who teach subjects where sustainability doesn’t already feature in the curriculum.

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