NewVIc: 'We need to take meaningful action on the climate crisis'

Students at NewVIc college

Only 4pc of students in England felt that they knew a lot about climate change in 2019. - Credit: New VIc

As a sixth form college, we have a unique role in helping address the climate change challenges.

We are uniquely placed at the heart of communities to support transition to a green economy, supporting young people to get the skills they need for green jobs and helping employers with their own green journeys.

According to the research conducted by Teach The Future UK, 70 per cent of teachers feel they haven’t received adequate training to educate students about climate change and only four pc of students in England felt that they knew a lot about climate change in 2019.

Whilst climate change is covered by some modules in specific subjects, it’s clear from this research that not enough is being done in schools and colleges.

What’s more, the Association of Colleges has found less than one pc of post-16 students are currently on a course with broad coverage of climate education.

NewVIc principal, Mandeep Gill, advised students to work hard to provide teachers with the evidence

Mandeep Gill says sustainability and climate change need to be taught across the whole curriculum - Credit: NewVIc

In order to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed for the green jobs of the future, sustainability and climate change need to be taught across the whole curriculum, not just in specific subjects.

At NewVIc, our students work closely with Friends Of The Earth through their enrichment programme and take part in student union-led campaigns. Their work reflects the deep concerns young people have regarding climate change and their desire to see actions and urgency from leaders, rather than just words and vague commitments.

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As a sixth form college, we recognise that the education sector needs to do a lot more and take meaningful actions in its own commitment to become net zero.

The Association of Colleges has recently published The Green College Commitment, setting out how colleges are delivering on sustainability across three priority areas:

  1. Delivering green skills and supporting green jobs
  2. Educating students and communities to build a more sustainable future
  3. Developing net zero campuses and building resilience to environmental change

We are committed, through our education and training of thousands of students, to develop a wider understanding of what a more sustainable future looks like and recognise the vital role we have in helping the country meet its obligations on net zero.