Pupil voices to be heard at climate change event

The decision today (Tuesday 5 March) to allow school pupils to attend the Youth Strike 4 Climate day of protest outside the Scottish Parliament next week has been welcomed by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Vice Convener for Education.

Councillor Alison Dickie, seconded the motion put forward by Green Councillor Mary Campbell at today’s Education, Children and Families Committee, which allows young people to attend the event on Friday 15 March to protest outside the Scottish Parliament.

Schools will treat the absence of any pupils who attend the protest as an ‘authorised absence’ from school as long as a parent/carer has sent prior written permission to their child’s school and a clear statement that the parent/carer will be responsible for their child during their absence from school.

Cllr Dickie said: “I am utterly proud of our young people!  There can be no more powerful learning experience than getting actively involved in real life global issues, such as action on climate breakdown.  It encapsulates the very spirit of the Curriculum for Excellence.  I’m proud too that we are choosing to celebrate, rather than stifle the positive energy of our young people, and it showcases the very caring and responsible citizens we are shaping across our schools.

“The global day of action on 15th March is fast approaching and I’m excited to see our young people making sure their voices are heard. This event gives them a great opportunity to make a real difference to the world we live in. I hope to join in too!’

Full motion:

Committee recognises that children and young people in Edinburgh have self-organised involvement in the worldwide Strike for Climate. This involves children striking from school on Fridays to protest outside the Scottish Parliament for action on climate breakdown, with a global day of action planned for the 15th of March involving 50 nations. 

Committee believes that school staff should support and engage with pupils who feel so passionately about climate breakdown, who are trying to play their part as responsible citizens and make their voices heard. This could be expressed through a variety of methods that link to experiences and outcomes within Curriculum for Excellence. There should be no punitive action for pupils who are concerned about climate breakdown and feel they need to participate in the climate strike.

Committee requests that the school strike for climate action taking place on Friday 15 March outside the Scottish Parliament should be considered by the authority as an authorised absence from school as long as a parent/carer has sent prior written permission to their child’s school and a clear statement that the parent/carer will be responsible for their child during the absence from school.

ENDS.

 

 

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