The Climate Action Survey (CAS) was developed as a way of supporting students to inspire and enable their school community to take action on climate change.

Harnessing data to drive positive behaviour change

At the core of this project is a survey which provide schools with an understanding of how their students currently think and feel about climate change, what students are doing to take climate action, and what would motivate and enable them to do more. 

Students are then supported, through step-by-step resources, to use the survey insights to identify what needs to change in their school (to encourage more students to carry out climate action), and then make decisions about how best to achieve change. We then look to support students implement their specific plans.  

Our data can also be brought together from individual schools and analysed on a regional and national level. We hope this research can help others, such as councils, in their effort to mobilise greater climate action among young people. 

How does it work?

1. Run the Climate Action Survey

Students leading the initiative will use our step-by-step resource to roll out the online survey across their school. By asking as many students as possible to complete the survey the intention is for everyone to ‘have a say’ and be involved in plans for climate action.

2. Identify what needs to change

Students leading the initiative are supported to use insights from the survey to identify the barriers to climate action, and what will trigger future activity.

3. Decide how to achieve change

The third stage of the CAS is a resource which supports students to decide the most effective methods to engage target stakeholders, and to draw up their final action plans.

4. Feedback and national data analysis

Students provide feedback and data is brought together from individual schools and analysed on a national level

Case Study: Balcarras School

In 2021, 649 pupils at Balcarras school in Cheltenham participated in a student-led initiative to run the Climate Action Survey in school. By running the survey, student leaders were able to understand that:

  1. Pupils at Balcarras are motivated; 649 pupils, (93% are concerned or somewhat concerned about climate change)
  2. Pupils are engaged in climate action (81% of students have taken action at home to address climate change) (33% of students have taken some climate in school)
  3. Pupils want more opportunities. (Over 62% of younger students want to be more involved, and 70% of 13 year old students say they want to do more).
  4. Pupils identified the changes they want to see in school, including structural changes to make it easier to take action (e.g. facilities), and tracking and showcasing progress against goals such as how much energy or excess waste has been saved.


Over 3,500 secondary school students have participated in the survey so far in 2021. We are working with schools which have participated so far to turn the valuable data insights from the survey into climate awareness and action.

To coincide with Youth and Public Empowerment Day at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, we launched a report analysing the survey data on a national level.

Supporters and Partners

The initial development of the Climate Action Survey was supported through Climate Voices programme, with core funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT).

We are grateful to the Applied Sociology Department at the University of Gloucestershire, Globescan and Humankind Research for their input in developing these resources.

If you would like to enquire about supporting the further development of the Climate Action Survey, or partnering with us, please use the button below.