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Taking Action Together at the Education Assembly


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May 17, 2024

The Education Assembly saw projects, educators, and groups gather to find ways to collaborate for climate, nature and our children's futures. A video summary of the event can be found here.

The national government strategy for sustainability in schools stipulates that education establishments need to have a climate plan and a climate lead in place by 2025. The Education Assembly, held in Kingsbridge on 20th April, addressed how the wider community can help to support schools in reaching their sustainability goals and how we can learn from projects that are already happening. 

We were joined on the day by an incredible array of researchers, community groups, environmental educators, exemplar projects and organisations who are bridging the gap between schools and community action in their work.

The event was opened with talks from Professor Alison Anderson from University of Plymouth, Nicky Bailey from South Devon National Landscapes, Alex Seal and Jo Pettifer from Let’s Go Zero, and Alex Mack from Resource Futures.

Attendees were then able to explore the exhibitor stands to discuss local initiatives and meet representatives from organisations such as Devon Wildlife Trust, Growing Devon Schools, CAG Devon, and more. There were opportunities for round table discussions before sharing ideas and discussions over lunch in the sunshine. 

The day rounded up with spotlight sessions with talks, Q&A, and discussions on specific subject areas. 

Delegates in Spotlight Room 1 looked at themes of hope and resilience, with Bethia Stevenson-Paul from Planet & People discussing ways in which we can empower the next generation and Roger Higman from Network of Wellbeing addressing the need for changemakers to focus on their wellbeing. Room 1 also had a presentation from Patricia Hannam introducing Philosophy for Children – exploring how we think and talk about the kind of world we want to live in.

Meanwhile, Spotlight Room 2 saw presentations from projects who are already collaborating with young people and schools, with Bobby Hughes from Recycle Devon explaining Devon’s Resource and Waste Education Programme, and Cliff Harris from YEM Project presenting their schools programme. 

Lastly, Spotlight Room 3 saw the Devon Wildlife Team hold a World Cafe in which delegates were asked a question and had to work together as a team to come up with solutions. This was followed by a creative session led by Nicky Bailey from South Devon National Landscapes in which delegates collaboratively wrote a poem about nature. 

Organiser and Director of Sustainable South Hams Rosa Hannaford said: “This assembly was a welcome first step in a wider conversation about how we connect schools and community groups more effectively to amplify action for climate and nature. It was great to see such a mix of organisations, groups, projects, educators and representatives from local government come together on the day – it made for a rich conversation with lots of ideas and knowledge shared, and many new connections made.”

Materials including keynote presentations and feedback can be found here. With huge thanks to South Hams District Council and The Naturesave Trust for sponsoring this event.

For more information on ways that you can get support for your school from your community, contact