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Green Shoots: A sustainable chemistry curriculum for a sustainable planet panel discussion

12 January 2022 16:00-17:00, Online

Panel discussion: A sustainable chemistry curriculum for a sustainable planet

We recently asked young people and educators about their views on sustainability and climate change within the chemistry curriculum, and we shared the results in a new report, which is accessible from the link on the right.
Join us for a discussion on the outcomes of our report, and the future of the chemistry curriculum. The discussion will be led by panellists from the fields of education and policymaking.
Christian Wakeford, United Kingdom

Christian Wakeford is the Conservative MP for Bury South.
He was educated at both Lancaster University and the Open University earning degrees in Politics and Chemistry.

He has a particular personal interest in education and has campaigned for a new High School for the town of Radcliffe within his constituency and to improve school standards and funding across Bury South.

Wakeford is a member of the Education Select Committee and is one of 22 UK MPs who are members of the International Parliamentary Network for Education (IPNEd) whose priorities are to achieve higher total and better-quality financing for education, ensure policy makers prioritise helping the furthest behind first and secure a focus on the quality of education and improved learning.
He is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Literacy where he is focussing on improving literacy rates for the 9 million people living in the UK who either can’t or struggle reading. He is also Vice-Chair of the School Food APPG where he has been working to champion the benefits of school breakfasts.

David Paterson, United Kingdom

David Paterson is an experienced teacher of Chemistry and Physics, currently working part time at Aldenham School, Elstree. He also works part time for CLEAPSS as a Chemistry Adviser. David is a former Head of Science in schools in North Hertfordshire, and former Subject Adviser for the OCR exam board. David has a particular interest in teacher development and the use of effective practical work in the classroom. David was awarded the RSC School Education Award in 2020 for the development of innovative and accessible ways of ensuring that chemistry in schools remains a rigorous practical subject. He is a Chartered Science Teacher, and an active member of RSC and the Association of Science Education.

Sarah Robertson, Director Education and Professional Practice, RSC , United Kingdom

Sarah Robertson joined the RSC in 2015 and has been developing the organisation’s support for chemistry teaching and its growing leadership and campaigning on sustainability. The chemical sciences will play a pivotal role in solving challenges associated with sustainability and climate change in the future and our society needs citizens capable of making informed decisions, with the skills to work in green jobs in the chemical sciences. We have been working with teachers to help us focus our education policy work in this area by asking about their experiences of teaching sustainability and climate change and listening to their views on the skills and knowledge learners will need. Our work on sustainability in education is complemented by parallel programmes to support teachers’ professional development and to address barriers to participation to ensure that all students have access to an excellent chemistry education.

Scarlett Westbrook, Teach the Future, United Kingdom

Scarlett Westbrook is a 17-year-old leading climate justice activist and is currently the youngest person in the world to have an A level in Government and Politics, which she self-taught attained at age 13. She is the youngest regular policywriter in Europe, having contributed to 3 Bills and 7 party manifestos, and is a leading organiser of the British School Climate Strikes. She is Head of Political Engagement at Teach the Future, and is leading on the Climate Education Bill.

  • Panel host: Ann Mroz MBE, former editor of TES and THE United Kingdom
  • Daniel Kebede, President NEU United Kingdom


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