Our innovative Climate Action Toolkit supports secondary school students, and their teachers, to successfully engage and collaborate with the whole-school community on climate action.

Harnessing insights to support positive climate action

Schools across the UK are planning and delivering a wide range of climate-friendly steps, such as reducing waste, making buildings more efficient, or encouraging greener travel.

Success in this area means having the support of the whole school community. Everybody has a part to play. Students – and staff – have lots of different views, and there will be different activities and approaches that can help motivate them. It is therefore important to have a clear picture of these views and motivations so that you can then provide the best options to support climate-friendly choices. This is where the Climate Action Toolkit comes in. 

How does the toolkit work?

A lead team of students (e.g. an eco-group) work with us, alongside their teacher, to:

1. Complete the Climate Action Survey

Students leading the initiative roll out a comprehensive online survey across school, ensuring everyone can ‘have a say’. 

  • View the Climate Action Survey resource here.

2. Generate insights

We will analyse the data and provide schools with a personalised insights report of their students’:

  1. views on climate change;
  2. what they are doing to take climate action;
  3. what barriers are preventing them from taking further action;
  4. what would motivate and enable them to do more.

See an example of a school’s insight report here.

3. Create an action plan

Follow up activities and analysis will support schools to use their insights to create a tailored plan, outlining what would motivate change and how to engage others. 

  • Take a look at an example follow up activity.

4. Deliver the plan

We provide mentoring to help schools implement their specific plans and sustain change.   

Climate Action Toolkit in the community 

Our data can be analysed on a regional or national level by bringing together findings from individual schools. The survey can also be tailored to help others, such as councils and businesses, in their effort to include young people’s views on Net Zero strategy and mobilise greater climate action.  

National impact

Almost 4,000 secondary school students participated in the survey in 2021. 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. These insights were brought to wider attention nationally via a webinar in December 2021. 

Regional impact

We worked with Solihull Council (2021 – 2022) to support their efforts to enable young people to positively influence climate action locally and support the delivery of Solihull’s Net Zero Plan. This included working with the Council to adapt the survey for the locality, and then provide a bespoke report.  

It really paints a vivid picture of how young people are feeling about climate change in Solihull.

Marketing and Communications Officer (Climate Change & Sustainability), Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

Case study: Lyndon School

During 2021, the Toolkit helped enable a group of students at Lyndon School in Solihull to form a Climate Action group with the help of a highly proactive Geography lead teacher.  

The teacher involved expressed the interest from this group to find out more about levels of awareness, understanding and action on climate change amongst others at school. They agreed to take part in ICN’s Climate Action Survey, which they were able to complete online despite the lockdown and closure of schools for face-to-face learning. Subsequently, presentations about their findings have been given to:  

  • Years 7-10, in which they also educated students on the role that plastic has on the environment and climate. 
  • Senior Leadership Team, which also included what they thought the next steps should be. 

With the responses from the survey a new Climate Action group of students had the insights and knowledge of where to prioritise their efforts.

The group developed two core aims: 

  • To educate pupils on the impact that their actions have on the environment and the world around them. 
  • To mitigate this impact by enacting strategies which can be adopted in everyday life at Lyndon by staff and pupils. 

The group has begun to influence the wider school community to take climate action, including teachers and the senior management team. They’ve also had media coverage about their work, such as an interview that was played at drive time on local radio stations. See the short film above.

Partners and Supporters

We are grateful to the expert input into the survey and activity design provided by our pilot schools, sociology students at the University of Gloucestershire alongside the research firms Globescan and Humankind Research. The development and rollout of the toolkit has been made possible through the support of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the abrdn Charitable Foundation and the Dr Martens Foundation.

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