Trust Deputy COO joins Bear Grylls at DfE’s launch of new Climate Change strategy at National History Museum

By Jill Dando News

Helen Burge, Deputy Chief Operations Officer at the Priory Learning Trust in Somerset attended the launch of the DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy at the National History Museum. 

She was representing the UK School’s Sustainability Network Operations Group, having previously contributed as part of the working party on the strategy, which has the aim to help the UK schools become Carbon Net Zero.

Speakers at the event included global adventurer Bear Grylls, Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, Phoebe Hanson, Youth Panel member for the Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy and the Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP, Secretary of State for Education.

Helen has been Deputy Chief Operations Officer for TPLT since February 2019.

The schools she helps includes Worle Community School Academy (WCSA) in Weston-super-Mare, which has won several regional, national and world awards for its student-led eco work. 

Its student leader Archie, aged 14, has had his eco work backed by TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh. 

Helen said: “It was a fantastic launch. There was a huge feeling of hope, generated by Bear Grylls and others, and Phoebe Hanson’s amazing speech was incredible.”

“I believe the strategy isn’t perfect but all those people in the Natural History Museum were determined to help schools and others become net zero.

“We all want to see the reverse of the rapid heating up of our world, which if it continues on the current trajectory will see the widespread life-threatening events for species including humans and have massive fundamental irreversible changes to how we can successfully live on our planet.” 

WCSA has won UK and world awards for its futuristic eco work including electric car chargers, bikes, travel to school changes and communications, and installation of 1,132 solar panels.

Ex student Jack Clark, also participated in working groups on the strategy, having previously  set up the Climate Justice Revolution (CJR) group at WCSA and created The Green Gazette magazine.

The academy also finished semi-finalists in the international Global Social Leaders competition involving over 600 teams from 105 countries. It was awarded the prestigious Green Flag for its achievements. There are more visionary plans being unveiled by 14 year old student leader Archie.

The schools in TPLT are Worle Community School Academy, Priory Community School Academy, The King Alfred School Academy, St Anne’s Church Academy, Castle Batch School Academy,  Pawlett Primary School Academy, West Huntspill Primary Academy and East Huntspill Primary Academy. 

The Little Learners in TPLT nurseries and pre-schools are also learning how to be kinder to the environment.