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Last Saturday saw the launch of Teach the Future.  This is a youth-led campaign to reorient the English education system around the climate emergency and ecological crisis and is a partnership between UKSCN and SOS-UK.

TtF says that it is not good enough that climate change is restricted to a few subjects and that many of our teachers and lecturers don’t know enough about it.  It says that this must be an educational priority and demands the climate emergency is treated as a learning entitlement for all students.  It wants:

– 1 A government commissioned review into how the whole of the English education system is preparing students for the climate emergency and ecological crisis

– 2 Inclusion of the climate emergency and ecological crisis in English teacher standards

– 3 An English Climate Emergency Education Act

– 4 A national climate emergency youth voice grant fund

– 5 A national Youth Climate Endowment Fund

– 6 All new state-funded educational buildings should be net-zero by 2020; all existing state-funded educational buildings net-zero by 2030

There’s more detail on the website. ∫∫∫

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Click here to read about a Liverpool school that’s using nature to support cross-curriculum teaching.  Liverpool’s Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School partnered with environmental charity Trees for Cities to create an edible playground transforming their grounds into an outdoor teaching garden that inspires hands-on learning and gets the children excited about growing and eating healthy food.  The case study is on the iwill website. ∫∫∫

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Future generations face a disproportionately challenging future because of older generations’ reluctance to act on environmental issues, says the Institute for Public Policy Research IPPR in a new discussion paper: Inheriting the Earth? The unprecedented challenge of environmental breakdown for younger generations.  IPPR urges formal representation of younger and future generations’ interests in decision-making through a UK-wide Future Generations Act.  You can download the paper here∫∫∫

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Click here to watch a 2017 video by Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Centre who explores a #Carbon Law – a roadmap for rapid decarbonisation that mandates a halving of carbon emissions every decade.  Rockström says that this is applicable at every level and any scale – a household, a town, a company, a country, and a charity.

The link also takes you to the Exponential Roadmap explores 36 solutions required to slash greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030.  ∫∫∫

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The Prime Minister has backed a new Clean Air Act (a successor to the 1956 Clean Air legislation) and committed himself to legally binding targets to reduce pollution as part of his first Queen’s Speech today.  The Times reported in the Summer that 2.6 million children attend schools in areas where the level of fine particles in the air exceeds the limit set by the World Health Organisation.  For example, every school in London is above the limit, along with 234 schools in Birmingham and more than 100 in large cities such as Nottingham and Leicester.  The Times is calling on ministers to adopt the WHO’s limit of 10 micrograms of fine particles per cubic metre to be agreed at next week’s EU summit.

If you click here you can check the particulate pollution levels for your postcode.  The UK average is 10ug/m³.  The lowest readings are found at PH42 4RL in Scotland, and the highest at EC3R 5BA in London. ∫∫∫

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The InterClimate Network is holding a series of Schools Climate Conferences round the country.  Here are the dates; just click for venue details:

Reading  December 6, 2019

Bristol  December 4, 2019

Solihull  November 28, 2019

Cheltenham  November 26, 2019

London  November 22, 2019

There’s information about the InterClimate Network here. ∫∫∫

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The Economist has a 25 minute podcast which explores a range of different ways to reduce the amount of carbon being emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere.  Nilay Shah, of Imperial College London, explains how carbon capture and storage works, and Wang Jian, a tech chief of Alibaba, explores how data can be harnessed to make cities more efficient.  In addition, three low-tech innovations are set out that could make a big difference to sustainable living. ∫∫∫

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The Foundation for Education Development [FED] is working to create a long-term plan for education in England.  Its approach will be based upon the following principles:

– The co-construction of education policy is the bedrock that will help shape our education system and practice.

–  Education policy should serve the long-term interests of all young people and the long-term needs of a 21st century economy.

–  Education policy should be built on evidence and have cross sector and cross party buy in and support. 

If you’d like more details, please contact FED Chair, Carl Ward at: carl@fed.education . ∫∫∫

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Here’s a reminder that the Woodland Trust has a free trees scheme for schools and communities. ∫∫∫

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Finally for this week, here’s a positive circular economy story from the South Australian wine industry.  Cheers! ∫∫∫