What is the Schools Climate Summit?

The Schools Climate Summit is an event that takes place over several days during the annual London Climate Action Week bringing together schools and the education sector in London and beyond. It started in 2021 as a response to the schools and education-based activities that had taken place during the (virtual) London Climate Action Week 2020 and built on the debut LCAW 2019’s London Schools Climate Curriculum initiative.

Given the proliferation of schools-based initiatives and networks, it was felt that a platform was needed to:

  1. engage schools as a sector, going beyond individual school initiatives and addressing schools of all types, including faith schools, special needs schools and pupil referral units,
  2. go beyond the focus on curriculum, to address broader policy and institutional issues such as physical infrastructure, financing, and careers, and
  3. engage the broader school community, including governors, business managers, parents & carers in a whole-school mission.

The debut Schools Climate Summit in 2020 introduced the importance of climate adaptation as an issue for schools, working closely with the Mayor of London to promote unique new guidance for schools. The Summit’s objective is to illustrate practically how the education sector can make a difference and how London’s 3500 schools become sites for delivery of London’s ambitious climate change and circular economy goals and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

You can find out more about the rationale for the Schools Climate Summit here.

The Schools Climate Summit brings together all the leading organisations, networks and initiatives working on the schools climate agenda from education NGOs and student-led campaigns, to university research centres, local authorities, and parents’ groups. You can find out more about our partners here.

The Schools Climate Summit comprises a number of activities covering the 5 themes – the four ‘C’s and the 1 ‘F’Campus, Curriculum, Community, Careers and Finance. These activities take place across the week and range from schools-based workshops, assemblies and performances, to Deep Dives and TeachMeets. Events are held across London – including a Careers session at Excel this year and the annual GLOBE Student-MP Climate Surgery on the last Friday of LCAW (1 July). The activities also connect classrooms from London to the rest of the world, working in partnership with the British Council and UN partners. This year has a special focus on Africa, as Egypt will be hosting COP27, the next UN climate summit in November 2022.

The Schools Climate Summit also produces an annual snapshot of climate action taking place across London’s schools. Called the London Schools Climate Action Map, the survey takes place ahead of the Summit with the results being released during London Climate Action Week. You can download last year’s survey here and take this year’s survey here.

How can I take part?

You can take part by either organising your own activity focussed on one or more of the five themes, or by participating in those already planned. To register your own event, please take a look here. To find out which events are taking place across London and beyond, please take a look here.

If you are with a school, we encourage you to make sure your school takes the London Schools Climate Action Map survey. More information here.

How does it connect with London Climate Action Week?

The Schools Climate Summit is one of the flagship events of London Climate Action Week. It is a key part of LCAW’s Whole of Society theme and contributes to the Education and Skills theme of London Climate Action Week.

Is the Schools Climate Summit only for London schools?

No, while the focus is on London schools we welcome a range of partners who work on the climate and sustainability agenda in primary, secondary and tertiary education, and on the careers and green skills agendas.

Do I need to be in a London school to participate?

No, you don’t need to be in a school to participate. You are welcome to participate if you are working with schools or connected with schools as a parent or in another relevant capacity. Or if you have a particular interest or expertise to share.

Does the Schools Climate Summit only take place during London Climate Action Week?

The Summit takes place during London Climate Action Week, but we support activities during the year and survey schools through the London Schools Climate Action Map ahead of LCAW. The Summit is intended as an annual focal point to profile and share London school climate action, network and collaborate with others. It also serves as an annual review or audit of climate action in schools across London.

Does it cost anything to take part?

No, in principle it does not cost anything to take part. The only exception is where an event organiser may charge for their event.

Can I volunteer with the Schools Climate Summit?

Yes, we have volunteer positions for the Schools Climate Summit. Including a research position for interested Sixth Formers for the London Schools Climate Action Map. Please email [email protected] for further information.

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