Leeds to host regional hub for climate education

A climate education hub that will help young people across all educational settings turn their sustainability ambitions into action will be hosted by the University of Leeds.

The Climate Ambassador Scheme will provide nurseries, schools, colleges and universities across England with free access to local experts. To support the expansion of the scheme, nine regional hubs across England have been set up so that experts can be matched with education settings in their area.

The hub in Yorkshire and Humber will be hosted by the University of Leeds and led by Professor Amanda Maycock from the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science.  

In an announcement at the World Education Forum in London, Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan MP, called for 1,000 expert volunteers to join the government’s national climate education programme.

“Our staff and students have a real drive to help combat climate change and support climate education.”  
-Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education.

Zoe Gilbank, Regional Hub Manager for Yorkshire and Humber, said: “The Climate Ambassador programme presents new and exciting opportunities for experts across the region to work collaboratively with educational settings, providing tailored support to schools, nurseries and colleges to integrate climate education into their curricula and empowering them to take ownership of their Climate Action Plans. 

“Building a community of Climate Ambassadors, educators and young people committed to a sustainable future will drive impactful change across Yorkshire and Humber, and I am excited to collaborate with the other regional hubs across the country to deliver the programme inclusively for all young learners.”

The scheme is a £2 million Department for Education programme, in partnership with the University of Reading and EAUC (the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education), with support from STEM Learning. 

In December 2023, nine host institutions including the University of Leeds, joined the programme to expand the Scheme to all 30,000 education settings across England. Now, this extended programme is aiming for all education settings to have a climate action plan in place by 2025. 

In her speech at the Education World Forum, the Secretary of State for Education said: “I am announcing the extension of the Climate Ambassadors scheme, which provides education settings with access to a network of regional climate ambassadors. 

“The scheme provides local expert support and peer to peer learning opportunities, with Ambassadors helping nurseries, schools and colleges turn their climate ambition into meaningful climate action.” 

Experts will make a critical difference to the ability of nurseries, schools and colleges to reduce their carbon emissions, improve biodiversity and young people’s connection with nature, while also helping them adapt to climate risks and provide a world-leading education in sustainability and climate change critical for their future lives. 

Volunteer experts from across the region, including staff and students from the University, are encouraged to sign up to the programme, where training will be provided in order to allow Climate Ambassadors to go into local educational settings to help provide training and support to deliver an effective climate action plan. 

Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students and staff to get involved and give back to the local community.

“The University is committed to a sustainable future both locally and globally. Our staff and students have a real drive to help combat climate change and support climate education.”