Spotlight on Sustainability: Summary and initial reflections on the DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy

The DfE’s much anticipated ‘Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy’ – outlining the role for education in helping to tackle climate change and build a better, greener world for future generations – was released on 21st April. It is a document that will have a significant influence and impact upon the work of CEOs, COOs and other leaders across trusts over the next decade.

The Strategy begins with a bold and ambitious vision, that the United Kingdom will be the ‘world-leading education sector in sustainability and climate change by 2030’. This vision is, of course, commendable. However, whether the plans outlined in the Strategy go far enough to make this grand ambition a reality by 2030 will undoubtedly be the subject of much debate in the coming weeks and months.

There is much to be welcomed in the Strategy, and very few trust leaders in 2022 would argue against the importance of the proposals. This includes a greater emphasis on sustainability within the curriculum, moves towards ensuring buildings and estates are more sustainable and energy efficient, and increased opportunities for all young people to engage with the natural world. I do, however, anticipate some concerns in response to the Strategy; chiefly, does it go far enough, fast enough? And – glaringly – how will all of these changes be funded? But before considering those questions, let’s take a look at some of the key policies for you to consider as trust leaders, including a number of new additions since the draft Strategy was published in November.

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