The NUS and Green Schools Project are running a survey to find out about pupil attitudes towards and experiences of environmental sustainability in schools. This year, we are being supported by RSPB, Friends of the Earth, WWF and the UK Student Climate Network to build on the research that was started last year.

In the first year of research, we received responses from 2,990 pupils across England in years 5 to 13. Some of the findings were as follows:

  • Over a third (42%) of young people aged 9-18 say they have learnt only a little, hardly anything or nothing about the environment at school.
  • Only 4% of pupils surveyed feel that they know a lot about climate change.
  • 68% are interested in learning more about the environment.
  • 86% agree that ‘all schools and colleges should be doing things that help the environment.’
  • Tackling climate change and the destruction of nature and wildlife were two of the top three concerns chosen from a list of important issues facing the world. (Finding a solution to Brexit came 11th out of 13)
  • Half (49%) said that they would like to be involved with projects or activities at their school or college that help the environment.

The research was used by organisations such as the NAEE and Global Action Plan in calling for greater provision of environmental education.

Read the full report here.

This year we are aiming for a greater number of responses to get more information about young people’s attitudes. We hope that it will provide valuable information for campaigns such as Teach the Future, run by SOS-UK, the NUS’s new sustainability focused charity.

We are encouraging all teachers and members of staff to get their school to participate in the survey. It is a great opportunity for student voice to be heard and every school that provides at least 50 responses will receive a bespoke report with data from their students. As an extra incentive, there is a cash prize draw, with prizes for primary and secondary schools.

A member of staff must complete a consent form before getting students to complete the survey, links to that and the survey itself are contained in the information note. The survey is currently open and the deadline for completion is 20th December.

The NUS Insight team are members of the Market Research Society which has a code of conduct and ensures that the survey is fully GDPR compliant.

Getting just one class to complete the survey would be great, but getting a whole year group or more would significantly contribute to the process and we may feature your school in a national press release when the report is complete.

Surveys can be completed in form period time if you have access to laptops or computers. Or if you can get approval from a senior member of staff and the IT department, IT lessons are an ideal opportunity to complete it with a number of classes. The survey takes just 5-15 minutes to complete, so it could easily be done at the start of a lesson. As an extension task, you could get them to research the impact that climate breakdown will have on their future.

Here is the full information note with links to the survey and the online consent form.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

NUS and Green Schools Project Pupil Environmental Attitude Survey Year 2

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