Teaching qualifications

Education Chiefs Approve First Climate and Environmental Action Qualification for NI Schools

Students across Northern Ireland will be able to earn a qualification in climate change and environmental action from September. The new OCN NI Level 2 Certificate in Reducing Carbon Footprints through Environmental Action will be open to GSCE and AS Level students.

Now on the list of courses approved by the Ministry of Education, the modules will focus on issues such as fast fashion, single-use plastics, biodiversity recovery and the climate crisis.

Foyle College’s Nicole Sloan is one of 30 NI teachers taking a free DAERA carbon literacy course to help them educate the next generation about the impacts of global warming. She says she is “excited about the new RCO” because of the doors it will open to students.

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“I think this new opportunity to gain a formal qualification in climate change and carbon literacy is extremely important,” she added. “Our school has been an active member of Eco-Schools for a number of years and we have seen the benefits this has brought to so many of our students.



Foyle College teacher Nicole Sloan with Minister Poots, Scott Howes of Keep NI Beautiful and students

“It broadened their vision and allowed them to connect and intersect with other parts of the program under a global and green theme, which I think is so important for their future. Knowledge is power and no matter what career path a young person intends to follow, that knowledge is important now. »

The qualification, which will be fully accessible through coursework, has also been welcomed by the NI Eco-Schools program for Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

Its director, Charlene McKeown, said: “We are looking at schools adopting this new qualification as a key Stage 4 option to complete courses like geography or travel and tourism. The development of this new qualification has been an extremely positive collaboration between a number of organizations with an exciting outcome for young people.

OCN NI chief executive Martin Flynn thinks it will be a “popular option” with young people. He said: “The younger generation has already demonstrated their growing passion to not only understand the climate change debate, but are committed to taking action that will help halt and reverse its effects in the future.

“We believe the new qualifications, which will be available to schools and their pupils from September 2022, will prove a hugely popular choice with young people.”

Terry Waugh, CEO of Action Renewables, added: “Our funding for the development of a Climate Advocacy branded resource pack to support the teaching of this new qualification is very exciting and reinforces our charitable goals in educating people. youth.

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