Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills urges schools to pledge

In response to the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, which are seen as the greatest threats humanity has ever faced – we have launched Climate Action Schools.  This #ScotClimateWeek, alongside daily live lessons being beamed into hundreds of schools across the country, we are urging them to pledge to join our Climate Action Schools network.

Our CEO Barry, joined Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville and teachers and pupils at Boroughmuir High School, Edinburgh, to put climate change firmly on the agenda for educators, young people and children.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville said, “Scotland has some of the world’s most ambitious climate change targets and was one of the first nations to embed sustainability education as an entitlement for all learners. Our educators, young people and children are taking action and working to increase awareness of the climate emergency.

“To help Scotland reach net zero by 2045, I’d encourage all schools to consider joining the Climate Action Schools network.”

Over the past 25 years Keep Scotland Beautiful has supported educators and young people in every local authority area across Scotland through the international Eco-Schools programme, with many of them proudly flying the Green Flag to share and celebrate their achievements. 

In addition, Climate Ready Classrooms in secondary schools has empowered and enabled positive change – creating carbon literate learners and educators who are better informed and skilled to take action and progress climate change education.  

Boroughmuir High School became an Eco-Schools Green Flag winner in 2020, and students benefitted from Climate Ready Classrooms the same year. The first mention in history of the site where the school now stands is an orchard dating to reign of Richard I. The school is hoping to recreate this orchard in the school grounds.

Tom Bird, teacher of mathematics, Boroughmuir High School said, “Climate Action Schools is immensely valuable for our pupils, as it empowers school children at a critical moment when the climate cannot wait. It is vital that we do not wait for them to pick up the pieces. It’s a way in which we can see the grassroots way change is needed. Power to the kids!”

Many educators, young people and children are already doing amazing work in their schools and communities to combat climate change – from planting for nature and biodiversity, to cutting energy consumption, reducing water usage, and tackling litter and reducing waste. 

But they are also asking for more help.  They want to know the facts, the challenges ahead and the links between what they are doing and how it tackles the twin climate and nature crises.

The Climate Action Schools framework builds on existing activity across Scotland and increases opportunities for learning across five core components: learning for sustainability; climate emergency; biodiversity; litter and pollution; and amplifying pupil voices.

Barry our CEO presented the children with a pear tree for their orchard.  He said: “As a country we are working towards becoming a Net Zero nation by 2045 and are committed to supporting Learning for Sustainability for every learner.  Those children and educators at school now will be the ones to help us achieve this ambition. But to do that they need the right tools and information – which is why we’ve launched Climate Action Schools.

“We are committed to supporting all our children, young people and educators to develop the capacities, skills and attributes required to protect our planet and are delighted to see so many schools pledge action under the new framework ahead of the official launch today.

“It is important to us that we prepare young people for a low carbon future and enable them to develop an interest and understanding in the new world of work with sustainability as a focus.”

Over 600 schools from all 32 local authority areas registered to attend the lessons and have been invited to join the Climate Action Schools network to help Scotland reach Net Zero by 2045.

29 September 2022

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