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Carbon Literacy Training for Education Sector

Today’s Climate & Sustainability Strategy from the UK Department for Education announced the creation of Sustainability Leads across the sector – all of whom are to be trained in Carbon Literacy. These staff will lead the creation of Climate Plans and will be able to use a shared Carbon Literacy training kit to train their colleagues in how best to contribute to these plans. There will be a Sustainability Lead in every maintained nursery, school, college and university in the country. The idea of a teacher using a training toolkit to train their colleagues originated with The Carbon Literacy Project and Manchester Metropolitan University. It is envisaged that such training can take place in inset days and will build the capacity of staff to maximise their part delivering the new strategy. Speaking at the launch of the Strategy, Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP said, ‘We are going to speed up Carbon Literacy training throughout our education communities so that by 2025 every nursery, school, college and university can put in place a Climate Action Plan. Innovation and green growth will not flourish unless we deliver a workforce with the right skills to make this a reality.’ Shared Carbon Literacy toolkits are already in use across substantial parts of the public sector to enable the rapid roll-out of such training by staff in the workplace to their colleagues. Kits consist of slides and a comprehensive trainer manual – which can be adapted to the location or specialism relevant to the learner cohort. Like all Carbon Literacy training, these courses are accredited to enable the certification of the learners by The Carbon Literacy Trust. The aim of action-based training is to maximise the learner’s ability to tackle the climate crisis in their workplace. There are training kits in use across UK universities and colleges – and these will form the basis of a new kit focused on school settings. Enabling staff to deliver the new strategy will lie at the heart of the sessions and all learners will devise significant actions to do this within the day’s-worth of training. The Carbon Literacy Project is a Manchester-based NGO who enable employers, educators and communities to adapt and use their unique framework for climate action training. It is owned by the charity The Carbon Literacy Trust and delivered by the social enterprise, Cooler Projects CIC. Last week they announced that 31,000 learners had been certified by The Project. Phil Korbel is The Project’s Co-Founder and Director of Advocacy and he said: ‘When the DfE announced its intention to launch this Strategy we thought long and hard about our best potential contribution. We then put ourselves in the shoes of a teacher tasked with delivering the strategy with little training on the climate crisis, and thought ‘this is what we do!’ The resulting proposal is built upon a foundation of large scale best practice and some amazing partnerships that will enable us to get things rolling fast and at scale. We can’t wait to get to work on this.’

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