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Posted on: 20/09/2019

Morpeth School Declares a Climate Emergency!

In response to increased climate change media coverage and the growing school strike movement, Morpeth School in Bethnal Green is declaring a climate emergency.

To make Morpeth’s ‘Climate Emergency’ meaningful the school is:

  1. Acknowledging the science e.g. IPCC reports on warming and UN reports on loss of biodiversity and consequences of economic growth.
  2. Accepting the true urgency of the situation: if we have a real chance of tackling these issues, we must take urgent and immediate action.
  3. Acknowledging that our role as educators is to build bright futures for our children; and that this is severely threatened!

Putting actions to words, Morpeth School will be taking all students off timetable on Friday 20th September in solidarity with the global strike happening that day and hosting an NEU-backed protest after school (journalists welcome at both).

Morpeth is also holding a Climate Emergency launch week on the 23rd to 27th of September, with every department contributing different activities throughout the school day including:

  1. Hosting guest speakers from Extinction Rebellion for whole-school assemblies.
  2. Morpeth’s student-led Eco Council making ‘I declare a climate emergency’ badges, staging rallies, and distributing information to fellow students over breaks and lunches.
  3. All teachers incorporating content on climate change within their lessons.
  4. Department’s running workshops/ activities at lunch times and after school.

Head teacher Jemima Reilly says:

We’re declaring a Climate Emergency to see what tangible, practical things we can do as a school to minimise our environmental impact, but importantly this is also a way of raising awareness. We need to make sure that everyone at Morpeth understands the seriousness of the issue and sees how they can make a difference.’

English teacher and Eco Council founder Amy Fletcher says:

‘We know that our role as teachers and educators is to prepare our pupils for the future world; in this case that means they need to be prepared to stand up to stop a climate catastrophe.’

In the months following the launch, Morpeth’s Climate Emergency team aims to increase student awareness/advocacy, cut the schools environmental impact, and develop a curriculum which truly reflects the gravity of our ecological crisis. Morpeth will also produce a guide to help other schools wishing to declare a meaningful climate emergency to do so.

View Morpeth School Eco Council video on declaring a climate emergency

Listen to Science teacher Mr Stubbs' interview on the Vanessa Feltz breakfast programme, BBC London on BBC Sounds (starting 07.08)

Note to Editors:

We welcome interest from journalists throughout and beyond our launch. The scope of our climate change declaration, and the wide-ranging plans we have for next year, far exceed the space available in this press release so please contact us if you require any more information.