written by Lorna Street, board member.

Two of our young volunteers (Harris and Abby) went to the Scottish Parliament for the ‘Teach the Future’ campaign reception on 22nd March, with a trustee in tow, me – Lorna Street.

Here, Harris and Abby share their experience of the evening:

Harris: We went to a Parliamentary reception organised by Teach the Future, an organisation led by young people who are demanding climate education in the school system. We heard from young people on how the current education system does not have adequate education on climate change and the need for more up to date relevant content. We also heard from teachers and politicians who are working on implementing lessons and courses for primary and secondary schools addressing these issues. We then had a chance to talk to other people attending the reception.

Abby: We got the amazing opportunity to go to a parliamentary reception organised by Teach the Future. At the event members of the TTF Scotland team presented their updated asks (which demand real, up-to date climate and environmental education in Scotland). As a young person it often feels like you’re shouting into the void, especially when it comes to climate justice, so it was really encouraging to see the room filled with so many people. We got to hear from a wide range of MSPs, students, teachers and other relevant organisations who all reflected the urgent need for action.

What was it all about?

Teach the Future are a youth led organisation working to ‘urgently repurpose the education system around the climate emergency and ecological crisis’. Ross Greer MSP hosted the reception to promote the campaign and youth leaders from Teach the Future revealed their four ‘asks’ to the assembled MSPs, councillors, teachers and other stakeholders:

ASK 1: Mainstream inclusion of climate justice education across the curriculum

ASK 2: Inclusion of the climate emergency and ecological crisis in teacher education

ASK 3: Increased priority for sustainability in school inspections

ASK 4: Educational buildings put at the front of the queue to be retrofitted to net-zero standards

It was an inspirational and eye-opening evening. In some ways heartening, there were warm words of encouragement from those in power: ‘you are pushing at an open door’ from Ross Greer and ‘you will have allies in us’ from Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills at the time.

In other ways I found it troubling. One of the speakers was Alexander Carter, a teacher at Falkirk High School. He highlighted how little students learn about climate change and sustainability at school, especially if they don’t take Geography at National 4 or 5. Teach the Future aims to put that right: to appropriately prepare young people for the future, to meet the challenges and find solutions. But I couldn’t help thinking we should be there already – my generation should not have left it to today’s young people to fight for climate and sustainability education.

It was inspiring to be in a room full of such engaged, skilled, determined, eloquent activists, and a pleasure to spend the evening with Abby and Harris. Huge thanks to them for doing a great job of representing the Green Team.

You can find out more about the evening from Teach the Future here.

Find out more about how we can help your school develop their outdoor learning here.