2.52pm Kit Rackley

Tuesday 6th April 2021
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colin.hill
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2.52pm Kit Rackley

Post by colin.hill » Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:28 pm

Presentation Title:
Climate Change: A Safeguarding Issue?
Details:
With stigma and barriers in dealing with mental health dropping, the rise of eco-anxiety and the impacts of climate change becoming more tangible, now is the right time to put forward the argument that climate change issues should be considered when it comes to a school’s safeguarding duties. Framing the climate crisis as such will strengthen the argument to your SLT in moving the issue away from tokenism to whole-school agency.

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geogramblings
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'Climate Change: A Safeguarding Issue' - Abstract

Post by geogramblings » Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:24 pm

Session abstract:

Statements such as, ‘All teachers have a duty to safeguard their students’ are as familiar as they are unimpeachable. There is little room for interpretation in how different education establishments approach strict statutory guidance for keeping children safe, but we can expand within that guidance. How about, ‘All teachers must aid students to safeguard themselves and others, including giving them the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions to do so’? This, to me, is key to the success of safeguarding. Call it what you will: building resilience, being aware and mitigating own risks, and so forth. We teach children to cross the road safely, rather than acting as a crossing guard for their entire lives, after all. Of course, the danger from traffic is one of the myriad things that we need to protect children from and such everyday risks usually don’t get singled for mention in safeguarding policies. Rather it is issues such as online safety, various forms of abuse, radicalisation, to name a few, that do, and justifiably so. But what about climate change?

The article sets out an argument that now is the time for climate change to have its own focus in safeguarding policy, and to go beyond just tentatively linking issues such as eco-anxiety to official mental health guidance for schools. The probability that each of us will teach students who are directly impacted by events attributable to climate change is increasing, whether it is the loss of a stable home due to flooding, or indeed the mental-health impacts. The article poses some questions that schools could ask themselves in order to develop their own approaches in incorporating climate change into safeguarding policies, such as:

  • Are there children who are at greater risk to eco-anxiety and what are their risk factors?
  • Is the school catchment area situated in an area that is at risk, or increasingly at risk, of events attributable to climate change?
  • What messages of positivity or empowerment (e.g. successful efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, community projects) are being communicated?

How a school chooses to formalise, mandate and act on the outcomes of such discussions should be the next step. Since we all have a duty of safeguarding, when it comes to the issue of climate change, providing a safe environment and activities that focus on empowerment, success and change are things we can all do.


Further info and link to published article by the Geographical Assoication: https://geogramblings.com/2020/09/23/cl ... ing-issue/
Last edited by geogramblings on Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kit Rackley. 13 years as a Geography high-school teacher, now freelancing as an educational blogger, author, consultant, speaker & trainer. Pronouns: they/them. See: https://geogramblings.com/about/

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'Climate Change: A Safeguarding Issue' - References

Post by geogramblings » Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:31 pm

References:
  • Mental health and behaviour in schools (UK Government Department for Education, published November 2018): https://bit.ly/33n6C2l
  • Transform Our World Press release: Turning anxiety into action (Global Action Plan, released 28 January 2020): https://bit.ly/3k8QjNi
  • Rise of ‘eco-anxiety’ affecting more and more children says Bath climate psychologist (University of Bath, published 19 September 2019): https://bit.ly/3k7rRM5
  • Climate Attribution and the Australian Bushfires (Kit Rackley, Geogramblings, 2 February 2020): https://bit.ly/32klwHh
  • Matthews et al., Super Storm Desmond: a processed-based assessment, Environmental Research Letters, Volume 13, Number 1, January 2018: https://bit.ly/2FdpQPU
  • Briefing Note: Severity of the November 2019 floods – preliminary analysis (UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, 22 November 2019): https://bit.ly/3im55Qi
  • Keeping children safe in education: Statutory guidance for schools and colleges.’ (UK Government Department for Education, published September 2019), accessed via https://bit.ly/3k5zgLZ
Last edited by geogramblings on Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kit Rackley. 13 years as a Geography high-school teacher, now freelancing as an educational blogger, author, consultant, speaker & trainer. Pronouns: they/them. See: https://geogramblings.com/about/

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Questions for you to consider (for CPD accreditation)

Post by geogramblings » Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:49 am

Considering climate change as a safeguarding issue should be a reflective process, considering the context of your school's situation and demographics. These questions, linked to the UK Government's statutory safeguarding policy for schools, will help:

Safeguarding link: "Providing a safe environment in which children can learn"
  • What messages of positivity or empowerment (e.g. successful efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, community projects) are being communicated?
Safeguarding link: "What school and college staff should look out for (early help)"
  • Are there students who have directly been impacted by an event attributable to climate change?
  • Are there children who are at greater risk to eco-anxiety and what are their risk factors?
Safeguarding link: "Contextual safeguarding" (wider environmental factors present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare)
  • Is the school catchment area situated in an area that is at risk, or increasingly at risk, of events attributable to climate change?
  • To what extent are children themselves aware of risks, and how to find out about them?
  • What pedagogies are used, and topics taught, that allow children and their families to mitigate risks themselves?
Safeguarding link: "Online safety"
  • How can climate change be used as a topic to explore ‘fake news’ and sensible use of social media?
  • Are children aware, and can use, authoritative or reliable online sources to learn about the issue? (e.g. Met Office, IPCC)

Kit Rackley. 13 years as a Geography high-school teacher, now freelancing as an educational blogger, author, consultant, speaker & trainer. Pronouns: they/them. See: https://geogramblings.com/about/

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Re: 2.52pm Kit Rackley

Post by Jennesha29 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:16 pm

Do you think linking climate change to safeguarding, could help to take control of climate to avoid or minimise the effect on learners? At all ages?

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Re: 2.52pm Kit Rackley

Post by geogramblings » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:21 pm

Jennesha29 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:16 pm Do you think linking climate change to safeguarding, could help to take control of climate to avoid or minimise the effect on learners? At all ages?
Absolutely, yes - if we manage to achieve it on an institutional level with a systematic approach. Therefore, failure to address climate change is seen as a failure in safeguarding, and therefore will bring serious legal and institutional consequences. Also, it has been well established and studied that one of the most powerful things we can do to tackle any kind of environmental problem is education with empowerment. For instance, Project Drawdown have actually quantified that empowerment and education of women and girls is one of the biggest reducers of carbon emissions: https://drawdown.org/solutions/health-and-education

Kit Rackley. 13 years as a Geography high-school teacher, now freelancing as an educational blogger, author, consultant, speaker & trainer. Pronouns: they/them. See: https://geogramblings.com/about/

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