Questions for school governors – environmental crisis

by | 14 Apr 2021 | CPD, Diversity, Geography, History, Maths, Mentors, PGCE Updates, Science | 0 comments

Following on from our PGCE GREEN conference in January…

On Monday 26th April, we are contributing to the University of Manchester School Governor Conference. It has the theme ‘Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change’. There are a few places left for governors from Partnership schools via the following link (as ‘type of governor’ please select ‘other’).

In our session we’re going to make the case that the environmental crisis requires a change in the pedagogic relationship between teachers and pupils.

Shifting the pedagogic relationship: young people, environmental activism and schools

Shifting the pedagogic relationship is arguably a crucial step towards a more relevant, engaging and responsive approach to education in our schools, which has particular and urgent relevance in the context of climate crisis. There are several steps towards this which we are working on, through our initial teacher education partnership:

  1. teacher engagement with pupil voice: putting the agency of teachers and young people at the heart of the educational process
  2. greater recognition of school education as a part of learning through life – a challenge in the context of a narrow outcomes focus
  3. engagement in the NW region on environmental education and response to climate emergency, at a time when an agenda for change is building fast, with implications for employment and local community action.

We’re suggesting the following questions for discussion by governors:

  • In 2021, how should a school be responding to environmental crisis? For example, should it be focusing on listening to young people, or enriching the curriculum, or reducing the school’s carbon footprint? Or all of these? Or something else?
  • Are young people and beginning teachers (and others!) welcome to challenge accepted practice in relation to environmental issues, in your school?
  • Do governors have a role in supporting or responding to such challenge?

We’d welcome your feedback on this plan! – and your response to the questions! Please email me at

Best wishes,

Andy Howes