Skip to main content

Sustainable Development: Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL14296, tabled on 16 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide environmental training to primary and secondary school teachers to ensure they are equipped to teach sustainable development.

Answered on

29 March 2021

The curriculum already includes a great deal about environmental and sustainability issues. From primary onwards, there is coverage of environmental matters in both the science and geography curricula. Under the key stage 2 non-statutory guidance for citizenship, pupils are taught about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. Pupils are taught that resources can be allocated in different ways and that these economic choices affect individuals, communities and the sustainability of the environment.

As the national curriculum is a framework setting out the content of what the department expects schools to cover in each subject, teachers have the flexibility and freedom to determine how they deliver the content in the way that best meets the needs of their pupils. They can choose to cover particular topics in greater depth if they wish and as knowledge of sustainability develops, teachers can adapt their school curricula for these subjects.

The department has made £4.84 million available for the Oak National Academy, both for the summer term of the 2019-20 academic year and for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide teachers with video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to year 11. These lessons and their accompanying resources include coverage of the environment, climate change and wider sustainability topics. To supplement their teaching, schools have access to a variety of resources on the teaching of science and geography.