A SCHOOL has welcomed one of the first climate change teachers in the country.

The United Nations has accredited the new role and the first climate change teacher in Sussex has been assigned to St Catherine’s College in Eastbourne.

Teachers in the new position also lead classes on gender and the environment.

Emma Pavey, head of geography at St Catherine’s, is one of the first teachers in the UK to have completed the course.

She said: “Climate change has been in the curriculum for years but nothing has changed. The information I learnt on the course is astonishing and we really need to provide our students with the knowledge about this so we can empower them to make the decisions that can make a difference.”

The UN Climate Change Teacher Academy is being run by Harwood Education in partnership with the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership.

The programme is free for all primary and secondary school teachers – they need to log on to the Climate Change Teacher Academy to access the courses.

A target of 80 schools are being urged to sign up to take part in an initial trial of the course, lasting about two months, which covers topics including climate change science, gender and environment, and children and climate change. The first lessons are due to start at the end of the month.

Melanie Harwood, of Harwood Education said: “Young children are far more vulnerable to climate-related disasters and associated health risks than any other social group. In these days of a climate emergency, now more than ever, teachers all need the knowledge in these five courses that make up the Climate Change Teacher Course to ensure they deliver clear climate literacy to all their pupils.”

Supply company YPO is the official sponsor for the launch of the Climate Change Teacher Course

Simon Hill, of YPO, said: “As a sponsor of Climate Change Education Programme, YPO will help support delivery of climate change lessons in the classroom, and the need to better train teachers to improve the climate change curriculum and provide quality resources.”

Angus Mackay, director of the UN Institute for Training and Research said: “Anyone below the age of 20 is part of the ‘climate generation’ living all or most of their lives having to deal with climate change. The Climate Change Teacher Training Academy is an excellent idea because it will give children an intuitive understanding of the issues and it is solutions based.”