Tuesday saw the launch of ‘Root to Branch’, a paper developed by Gregory Barker MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, together with the Education Commission, at Frost and Reed Gallery in London. ‘Root to Branch’ explores the place of the Environment in schools, examines the barriers to a hands-on understanding of the natural world amongst school children and highlights the lack of a ‘green’ approach in many school buildings.
Both the BES’s Policy Officer and Education Officer attended this event, at which David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, delivered a short speech on his vision for a green Britain, with sustainability developed using market forces.
The BES contributed to the early stages of development of the policy paper, briefing the Shadow Minister’s office on the Society’s education work and vision for encouraging a greater understanding and appreciation of ecology in our schools. While the paper acknowledges the importance of engaging young people with the natural world and reflects many of the concerns teachers have with delivering practical experiences we feel that it’s disappointing that the paper goes on to make recommendations that seemingly focus on popular sustainability recommendations such as children walking and cycling to school rather than addressing some of the more complex issues it’s own research highlights.
The BES will continue to engage with the Shadow Minister’s office as Root to Branch develops.