Young people from 9 schools helped shape and test a new climate behaviour change survey during lockdown, a tool that will really help to have a say about climate action they can take:

“Have Your Say” and “Changing the world one survey at a time”

These are just some of the ideas for titles for our new survey that will help students to ask for views on the Climate Emergency and what can be done to take climate action in their school.  The results can be viewed here.

ICN worked throughout lock down with undergraduate students on the Applied Sociology course at the University of Gloucestershire.  Together we developed a useful tool for secondary students to have a say on what actions and changes in behaviour will make a difference in their school. 

We asked for feedback on the draft survey and were delighted that even through lockdown we heard from 14 students from 8 secondary schools and colleges.  Concern about the Climate Emergency clearly did not go away during COVID-19.  This concern also came out in the test run of the survey with 9 schools* in total (see here for more on this). 

A clear message from the feedback is that students need to know that they are being listened to and that their views can help shape what can be done.  A student-led survey on climate behaviour was described by one young person as “an opportunity to have a genuine say on climate change and how the subject is approached at school”. 

For several students, they said that climate change is not just a threat but a chance to become more involved in action, as a community and starting with each of us as individuals. 

Another student said of the survey,  “It should address whether people would rather take a passive role in being eco-friendly or want to create change by going to these conferences, setting up green initiatives.” 

We are grateful for all the work of 5 Applied Sociology students at the University of Gloucestershire and their course leader Dr Hazel Roberts .  In turn, these undergrads told us that they ‘strongly agreed’ that by working on this survey, they had become more interested in the topic and were now likely to carry out climate action themselves.   

The survey is being finalised and it will form a key part of Climate Voices programme with schools in our areas of work. Thanks go to Gail Steeden, founding partner of Humankind Research for her expert input, and especially to all the undergraduate and secondary students who have helped shape it into such a useful way for young people in school to have their say, and for the great logos designed by two of the students.   

* Ashton Park School, Chosen Hill School, Gumley House School FCJ, Hanley Castle 6th Form, Pate’s Grammar School, Isleworth & Syon School, Reading Girls School, Reading School, St Mary & Temple School.