Best Practice

Using the DfE Climate Change Strategy to develop your school's sustainability ethos

The DfE’s sustainability and climate change strategy sets out a range of actions across five key areas. Author of Leadership for Sustainability, Dr David Dixon, picks out his highlights and sets out why having a sustainability ethos is the only sensible option for schools


At COP26, the Department for Education (DfE, 2021a) announced its draft Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy which outlined five “Action Areas”.

Whereas before there was only very skeletal guidance along the lines of emphasising that schools had the freedom to pursue these areas if they so wished, this new guidance has the potential to go much further.

Indeed, there has not been such a radical approach since the Labour government of the noughties aimed for every school to be a sustainable school by the year 2020.

So, let’s have a look at the five areas and see what implications there are for school leaders.

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