Kate Pahl presents to the Department of Education (DfE 25th April)

On Monday 25th April two representatives from the DfE in London came to share ideas and experience in the field of sustainability.

The Department for Education have come up with a radical plan for sustainability, which is to create National Education Nature Park composed of the entire education estate – including universities – and then focusing on biodiversity and sustainable education within that framework. You can read more about this here.

Born from COP26 the civil servants in charge of this are serious about a whole systems approach that includes climate science and digital innovation but also working with schools and young people as leaders. They were very interested in co-production as a methodology and plan to create some ‘Champion Pilot Areas’ in areas of social disadvantage with a focus on children and young people as climate leaders. They were keen to hear about Man Met’s experience of becoming a leader in sustainability.

What was exciting about their vision is they understood schools as spaces that could be transformed and also the principle of young people as leaders in this process.

They enjoyed hearing about the Voices of the Future Treescapes project and asked some good questions about re-wilding playgrounds. They were pleased to see that artists were involved. They also were keen on the aspect of the project that was about encouraging young people to take up careers in environmental issues, as well as the focus on young people as leaders.

All in all, I went away excited about the possibility of a different kind of thinking within education about our project.