Climate change in, but sustainable development out

GOVE HAS listened to the letter not the spirit of campaigners’ demands.


In response to the announcement of changes to the National Curriculum unveiled today, Cherry Duggan, Head of Schools and Youth at WWF-UK, said:


“Michael Gove has listened to the headline demands for climate change but weakened the curriculum when it comes to sustainable development. This government pledged to be the greenest yet but this message doesn’t seem to have reached the education department when applied to the natural world.


“We welcome the inclusion of climate change in the geography curriculum at key stage 3, although we’re seriously concerned about the lack of learning about sustainability and climate change at primary level. Even at secondary level, students are only required to learn the facts about how humans cause climate change. Missing is the broader understanding and debate about sustainable human and societal interaction with the environment on which we all depend.


“Children have a right to the skills, understanding and knowledge they need to prepare them for and ensure that they have a sustainable future. If government won’t show leadership around the sustainability agenda in schools, it will be for schools themselves to take up the challenge. There are many schools out there doing just that: we urge every school to do so, using the greater flexibility offered by the slimmed down core curriculum. And WWF will continue to support schools and young people in learning about climate change and sustainability.”


Michael Gove announced that climate change will be reinstated in the geography curriculum at Key Stage 3 (age 11-14), following calls from a range of campaigners, scientists, conservationists, students and politicians. However, the curriculum is still lacking in any reference to sustainable development, and climate change is not included in the primary curriculum.