The Carbon Footprinting in School Programme aims to support educational organisations to raise awareness and understanding around climate change amongst students and children. University students are central to enabling this as the programme provides them with the knowledge and skills to teach children in primary and secondary schools about climate change. This approach was piloted at the University of Leicester, where the university students also created a carbon footprint for the local schools they visited.
Through involvement in the programme, students gain employability skills, specifically developing social and environmental skills which are increasingly desired by business leaders (NUS, 2015). Pupils and school teachers also become empowered to change their behaviours and learn how they can reduce their school’s carbon footprint.
Children and young people are not being given the opportunity to learn enough about climate change, while schools and teachers are not always equipped to teach climate change effectively or address their carbon footprint. This shows the need for the programme, whilst the demand is highlighted through the numbers of young people and students that are taking part in the Youth Strikes for Climate, students creating petitions to demand that climate change is embedded into the school curriculum, and our research has shown that 85% of school pupils think that all schools and colleges should be encouraging and helping pupils to do things to help the environment.