Westminster Education Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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Greening the curriculum - qualifications, curriculum design and implementation, supporting teachers, and progression routes into further study and employment

Morning, Tuesday, 19th October 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will discuss recent proposals for a new qualification in Natural History, as well as wider considerations around incorporating the environment and sustainability themes into education provision in England.

We are delighted to be able to include a keynote session with Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder, Eden Project, as well as contributions from Craig Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, The Wildlife Trusts; and Paul Steer, Head of Policy, OCR.

The discussion takes place with the proposal for a new GCSE in Natural History, put forward by OCR, currently being considered by the Department for Education - as well as in the context of campaigning by youth movements, such as Teach the Future and School Strike for Climate, for the integration of further discussion on climate change into school curricula, and faster action on tackling climate change.

The conference will also be an opportunity to discuss the role of the education sector in improving understanding of the natural world, the practicalities of incorporating this into education, and fostering an awareness of environmental issues, especially in the context of wider discussion around policy priorities for tackling climate change ahead of the COP26 conference being hosted in Glasgow later this year.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • the composition and development of new qualifications
  • supporting teachers to deliver a green curriculum and the practicalities of finding timetable time and the necessary resources
  • the delivery of outdoor learning, and issues around accessibility and inclusion
  • green skills, carbon literacy, and progression into further study


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from Defra; the Department for Education; the Planning Inspectorate; and Ofwat. Also due to attend are representatives from Academies Enterprise Trust; Ascentis; Cambridge Assessment; Camden Council; Durham County Council; Ellen MacArthur Foundation; Environment Agency; Global Action Plan; Harris Garrard Academy; National Association for Environmental Education; Natural History Museum, London; Plumcroft Primary School, London; Royal Society of Biology; Surrey Wildlife Trust; University of East London; Wellington College, Crowthorne; and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

A press pass has been reserved by a representative from Satellite Evolution Group.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from schools, colleges, multi-academy trusts, businesses, careers advisors, universities, academics, industry representatives, employers, local authorities, think tanks, qualification and training providers, sector skills councils, education suppliers, awarding bodies, exam boards, learned societies, environmental and sustainability advocacy and campaign groups, child mental health services, law firms, education consultancies, publishers, charities, teaching unions, parents groups, SEND groups, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Meryl Batchelder

Subject Leader of Science, Corbridge Middle School and SDG Ambassador, TeachSDGs

Keynote Speakers

Craig Bennett

Chief Executive Officer, The Wildlife Trusts

Meryl Batchelder

Subject Leader of Science, Corbridge Middle School and SDG Ambassador, TeachSDGs

Paul Steer

Head of Policy, OCR

Mary Colwell

Producer and Author


Lord Lucas

Caroline Lucas MP

Member, Environmental Audit Committee


Kabir Kaul

Conservationist and Wildlife Writer

Marianne Cutler

Director, Curriculum Innovation, Association for Science Education (ASE)

Claire Robinson

Headteacher, Holme Grange School, Wokingham

Charlotte Bonner

National Head of Education for Sustainable Development, Education and Training Foundation

Dr Matthew Adams

Principal Lecturer in Psychology, University of Brighton

Dora Martínez Carbonell

Sustainability Initiatives Co-ordinator, West Suffolk College

Dr Timothy Lane

Lecturer in Physical Geography and Programme Leader, BSc Climate Change Degree, Liverpool John Moores University

Tim Oates

Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment

Mark Castle

Chief Executive, Field Studies Council

Sir Tim Smit

Co-Founder, Eden Project