smallClick here to here what the NUS said to Ofsted about its new inspection framework.  This was a key point: “Given the environmental and sustainability is popular with students, we see it as enriching the curriculum, and something that positively contributes to student achievement.”

As far as we can see, only NAEE is calling on Ofsted to do the following:

NAEE thinks that Ofsted’s quality of education judgement needs to take into account the imperilled nature of the biosphere and support and encourage a curriculum that helps young people understand the nature of the problems we face, and needs to help them prepare to play a part in taking positive action in relation to the problems.  NAEE also thinks that any school not doing this in an age- and pedagogically-appropriate manner ought to be seen by Ofsted as offering an education of poor quality and therefore be judged as requiring improvement.

A reminder that our full submission is here.


Climate Education Week starts today, Monday, April 15th and runs up to Earth Day, on Monday, April 22nd.  Here is a web-based, cross-disciplinary Toolkit from the Earth Day Network that includes a range of lesson plans and educational activities focused on the issue of Biodiversity which can be used this week or anytime during the year.


The University of Auckland came top of the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings that assesses the social and economic impact of universities based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  THE says that this is the first global attempt to document evidence of universities’ impact on society, rather than just research and teaching performance.  The top UK institutions were Manchester [=3] and King’s [5].


Last week we featured resources listed on Pinterest.  Here are more, this time around the theme of Forest Schools.  This has a strong focus on keys and other identification aids.

– Click here for the latest publications from IUCN.  These include IUCN’s 2018 report, and the Proceedings of the international conference on island invasive species (2017).

– And click here to see the latest from NHBS Grapevine.  This includes a feature on new Bird, Bat and Bee Boxes for 2019.

– Meanwhile, Richard Louv makes the case for nature camps.


The Global Education Digest is a bibliography of recently published academic and research material relevant to the field of global education. This is compiled by Development Education Research Centre (DERC) on behalf of Global Education Network Europe (GENE) in the framework of ANGEL activities.  This latest edition looks at material published in 2018, and follows on from the 2015-17 edition published last year. It also includes all relevant publications from 2017 that were not yet available when the previous edition was officially launched (February 2018).  You can access it here.


The Environmental News Network has a feature on Thetford Forest which straddles the Norfolk / Suffolk border.  This is how it begins:

“The patchwork of pines, heathland and broadleaf trees that make up Thetford Forest has been carefully managed since its beginnings nearly a century ago, when the Forestry Commission was tasked by the UK government with reforesting a nation depleted by the demands of the First World War.  Today, the Forest is prized for the value of its timber and its biodiversity, and attracts a million-plus visitors every year.  But modern forestry faces new challenges. “Around a third of global forests are managed for timber production, but these forests also play a vital role in helping to look after the planet’s biodiversity, water, soil and carbon,” says PhD student Eleanor Tew who works with Professor William Sutherland in the Universityʼs Department of Zoology. …”


NAAEE says” The wild turkeys on my street don’t wear booties in the winter and the mouse in my house doesn’t wear bonnets from a closet!” and asks: Should environmental education start with realism in the early years?  This is how the post by Dr Suzanne Major begins:

Books and movies have made animals, insects and plants so charming and sympathetic, and at times so frightfully magnificent and impressive.  Can young children do without these entertaining animations and anthropomorphism, that is, making animals, insects and plants look and behave like humans?  Do we dress them up, make them talk and have them drink tea from porcelain cups because we don’t know anything about them?  Or do we think that young children can’t appreciate them for what they are?  Young children across the world easily demonstrate that they are capable of perceiving, observing and remembering the descriptive elements belonging to an animal, a plant or insect.  They can collect information and draw knowledge from it.  …”


Evidence was given by the Secretary of State and the Minister of State for International Development about the SDGs in the UK to the House of Commons International Development Committee.  You can listen to the oral evidence here and/or download a PDF.   For other evidence (by the Co-Chair of UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development, and others), click oral evidence | PDF.


The Guardian has an article on the species that it says humans are eating into extinction.


The Nature Connections 2019 conference (July 2nd) will be held at the University of Derby.  Booking and paper abstract submission is here.  The deadline for abstract submissions is April 28th.

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