The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
10 Downing Street
14th February 2020
Dear Prime Minister
We are writing in support of the letter recently sent to you by Zamzam Ibrahim, President of the NUS and SOS_UK, in which she called for your personal help in ensuring that the education system is a central pillar of your government’s strategy on climate change and the ecological crisis that we face. We write on behalf of the National Association for Environmental Education [NAEE] which is a UK charity that was formed in the 1960s to encourage and support schools and teachers in helping young people learn about the natural world and humanity’s complete dependence on it. NAEE publishes a journal, provides resources, information and ideas for teachers. We also give financial support for schools to enable their students to visit outdoor education centres, and we collaborate with like-minded organisations to help young people learn about the world they live in, and the threats to it. One of those organisations is Teach the Future which Zamzam wrote about.
NAEE thinks that it is vital that your government helps change the approach to education so that young people at all stages can, in appropriate ways, learn about the climate emergency and ecological crisis, learn how these are likely to affect their lives, and learn what we in the UK (thinking globally) might do about it. Doing this will help prepare young people to play their part in facing up to and helping to deal with what is the greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced. We agree with Zamzam when she says that she cannot see every school and college taking substantive, co-ordinated action on this without the encouragement and support of central government through changes to the curriculum and a revision of the 2002 Education Act.
Further, like Zamzam and the organisations she represents, we believe that we need much more than just compulsory education on climate change and the ecological crisis, and a focus on low-carbon skills, which is why we support the pragmatic recommendations for education policy that Teach the Future has put together at teachthefuture.uk
We hope your government will support these proposals and ensure that young people are stimulated into working positively for necessary change. NAEE is committed to helping in this crucial work.
Mrs Nina Hatch NAEE Executive Director Prof William Scott NAEE Chair of Trustees
cc: Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education; Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change