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UYSEG research highlights the issue of sustainability in education during COP26

Posted on 18 November 2021

A Manifesto for Education for Environmental Sustainability, co-led by Dr Lynda Dunlop of the University of York Science Education Group and Dr Elizabeth Rushton of King's College London, was launched by BERA on 1 November.

The Manifesto titled 'Manifesto for Education for Environmental Sustainability (EfES) published by BERA Research Commission' is a result of work with education partners and over 200 teachers and young people to find out how they felt about the role of schools in achieving environmental sustainability, and how it could be achieved. The researchers identified barriers to sustainability in funding, curriculum design and accountability regimes, but also found that teachers and young people were full of ideas for incorporating sustainability into the education system, including in teaching content, school leadership and community links. The Manifesto argues that sustainability should become a core element of every part of the education system.

Dr Lynda Dunlop and Dr Elizabeth Rushton write about the Manifesto in this article in Schools Week: The education for sustainability teachers and students want (, while Tes reports on the Manifesto's call for education policies that make sustainability a key element of inspections and school development plans: Call for climate change to be included in Ofsted school inspections | Tes. Tes also explored the Manifesto in greater depth in light of an announcement by the respective education ministers that new schools in Wales will need to meet net zero carbon requirements, and English schools will teach students about climate change through a new model science curriculum. Dunlop and Rushton are quoted in the article as saying that the DfE's plan would have benefitted from co-production with teachers and students, and that the government needs to commit the necessary resource to make the changes needed, rather than adding another task to the load of already overstretched teachers: COP26: What do teachers need to do know? | Tes.

Dunlop's research on young people's responses to local gas fracking was also featured in a COP26 podcast and a subsequent article in The Conversation about the youth climate change movement. See Where does the youth climate movement go next? Climate Fight podcast part 4 (