Meet the UK’s first Climate Change Teacher

Ms Bec Wakefield is the first teacher in the world to be a UN accredited Climate Change Teacher. This innovative programme was launched on April 22 and is completely free! All primary and secondary school teachers need to do is log onto the Climate Change Teacher Academy to access the free lessons (

Ms Bec Wakefield can now deliver up to date climate change lessons to her Reception class at Down Hall Primary School and plans to share Best Practice with all teaching staff so that they too can take part in a new innovative programme being trialled in UK Schools.

The UN Climate Change Teacher Academy is being delivered by Harwood Education, in partnership with the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn). Not only will teachers be able to teach their pupils vital lessons about climate change but they will also earn CPD and certification from the United Nations.

Ms Wakefield says, “I am passionate about the environment and being the first Climate Change Teacher in the UK is really exciting. It was an easy course to do and I am delighted to be sharing my new knowledge with the class and the rest of the school. Making the next generation climate literate is one of the most important things we can do for our children right now”

Once teachers have completed the five units of the course, they will be accredited by UN CC:Learn to deliver climate change facts and mitigation best practices. They will be able to encourage and generate social innovation, and prepare today’s youth to protect the planet.

Teachers are being offered the chance to take part in a climate change education programme created by Harwood Education, with The One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UNITAR/UN CC:Learn) and sponsored by YPO. The online training for teachers in primary and secondary schools has been designed to equip educators with the knowledge and confidence to deliver lessons on the topic of climate change to their class and across the school curriculum.

A target of 80 schools are being urged to sign up to take part in an initial trial of the course, lasting around two months, which covers topics including climate change science, gender and environment, children and climate change, cities and climate change, and human health. The complete programme will then be made available to all schools across the UK with first lessons expected to be delivered in the classroom from September 2019.

Mrs Lou Nelson, Headteacher of Down Hall Primary School, Rayleigh, Essex, explains why her school is one of the first in the United Kingdom to take part in this innovative teacher training trial, “The Climate Change Teacher Course is particularly geared for the needs of teachers in primary, middle and secondary schools. It is anticipated that the Climate Change Teacher will engage and support other teachers within our school, eventually developing a wider cross section of Climate Change Teachers across year groups and all subjects throughout the curriculum. Down Hall Primary School leads by example to all schools throughout the County of Essex and this was an opportunity my team and I jumped at as soon as it was made available.”

Education specialist Melanie Harwood, whose company Harwood Education have created the easy to assimilate audio/visual courses for the Climate Change Teacher Course, has also created the eduCCate Programme, which will be delivered as part of the second phase of the project, which hopes to achieve a broader vision of delivering hundreds of climate literacy lessons to every school throughout the UK. Melanie Harwood explains the context of the project further: “Young children are far more vulnerable to climate-related disasters and associated health risks than any other social group. We need to give them the tools to understand the effects of a changing climate so that they can take well informed and effective action in the future. In these days of a Climate Emergency, now more than ever, teachers all need the knowledge in these five courses that make up the Climate Change Teacher Course to ensure they deliver clear Climate Literacy to all their pupils.”

YPO, the official sponsors of the launch of the Climate Change Teacher Course and the UN CC:Learn Educate Programme for schools say, “We are honoured to be sponsoring a programme that is addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

YPO’s managing director Simon Hill commented, “Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change, helping young people understand the impact of global warming and how they can play a part in future trends. Recent strikes by schoolchildren as part of a growing global campaign for action on climate change makes the programme even more relevant to educators. As a sponsor of the programme, YPO will help support delivery of climate change lessons in the classroom, and the need to better train teachers to improve the climate change curriculum and provide quality resources.”

Angus Mackay, Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, said “We are delighted to be able to support this important educational initiative in the United Kingdom. Anyone below the age of 20 is part of the ‘climate generation’ living all or most of their lives having to deal with climate change. The Climate Change Teacher Training Academy is an excellent idea because it will give children an intuitive understanding of the issues and it is solutions based”.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Ms Bec Wakefield, Mrs Lou Nelson or Harwood Education:

call Claire on +44 (0) 7939 044 542

or Melanie on +44 (0) 7595 099 144

You can download press images and videos here:

Video of Ms Wakefield delivering Climate Literacy to the pupils at Down Hall Primary School:

To register for the Climate Change Teacher course go here:


Notes to Editors:


UN CC:Learn is a partnership of more than 30 multilateral organizations. At the global level, the partnership supports knowledge-sharing and the dissemination of common climate change learning materials. It coordinates training interventions through collaboration of UN agencies and other partners, contributing to a growing critical mass of professionals and individuals with the necessary understanding of the basics of climate change to inform their decisions and take effective action.

At the national level, UN CC:Learn supports countries in addressing learning priorities relevant to their national climate change action plans by developing tailored learning strategies, in collaboration with national education and training institutions. UN CC:Learn is currently operating in over 20 countries and is hosted by the UN Institute for Training and Research.

About Harwood Education

Harwood Education delivers innovative and outstanding education resources, programmes, training and learning schemes to the entirety of the education sector as well as direct to the home learning sector, both in the UK and International markets. Harwood Education follows a stringent joint venture and licensing process, both of which assure schools of a high standard of quality in both product and customer service.


YPO, which specialises in providing products and services to help run schools, including training for teachers, is the sponsor of the initial course trials and the official education resource provider for the UN Climate Change: Learn education programme. Delivered by Harwood Education, this ambitious project will seek to develop a comprehensive package of interactive classroom materials on climate change for school teachers and children.

Registration for the course trials follows Earth Day (April 22nd), to underpin YPO’s efforts to align with the UN’s sustainability goals including climate action.

Find out more about the eduCCate programme and register to take part in a trial of the free Climate Change Teacher Course here:

YPO is the largest public sector buying organisation in the UK. Fully owned by 13 local government member authorities, YPO has also established formal relationships with a further 65 organisations - known as associate member authorities - across local government and the wider public sector.

Attached Media

About Harwood Education

Harwood Education has teamed up with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to develop and deliver an innovative Climate Change Education Programme for primary and secondary schools in the UK. This ambitious multi-annual project will seek to develop a comprehensive package of interactive classroom materials on climate change for school teachers and children:

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