Learning for the Future – Waltham Forest

Learning for the Future Waltham Forest (LftF WF) is a network of people who practice and promote transformative learning to create an equitable future for all. I initiated the network so local people who believe that education should do more than get young people ready for the work place could come together, share ideas and collaborate.

This article I wrote for the Waltham Forest echo introduces the network and sets out why education should be seen as central to climate emergency solutions.

Spring Into Action

Spring into Action is a webpage of lockdown learning activities that was established by Learning for the Future Waltham Forest schools first closed due to COVID-19 in April 2020.

With support of other network members I collated and published links to resources and related ‘Spring Actions’ in themes ranging from rivers to palm oil to anti-racism.

Learning for the Future WF’s Aspirations:

Together we aim to raise the profile of education and training as a solution to the climate emergency and social injustice.

For individuals and communities, from toddlers to taxi drivers, empowering people through knowledge and skills is vital for building resilience and personal wellbeing for our unpredictable future.

We value connection, collaboration, knowledge-sharing and teamwork; supporting each other’s individual work and working together to bring about change for a flourishing future.

Actions so far:

We submitted a set of recommendations for education and training to the Waltham Forest Climate Emergency Commission in January 2020.

A pilot Carbon Literacy Training course was run online to promote and demonstrate one of the recommendations – Carbon Literacy training for all council staff including teachers, adult eduactors and leadership.

We supported the National Youth Climate Summit run by London Schools Eco Network and Global Action Plan in November 2020. We encouraged local schools to take up this opportunity and continue to share resources, training opportunities and initiatives for young people, teachers and educaiton institutions.

Members of the LftF WF network are going to help deliver a Youth Social Action programme in 2021 with OrganicLea which will highlight another of the recommendations.

In December 2020 the Waltham Forest Climate Emergency Commission published its report, ‘A Call to Action’. We are delighted that in line with some of the networks recommendation the Commission recommends that:

  • The Climate Emergency be a top priority for the Council and the borough
  • Tackling the Climate Emergency be embedded in all Council practices and processes, with all services working collectively to reduce carbon emissions and support a greener borough.
  • Every member of staff has mandatory training on carbon literacy
  • The Council must focus resources and channel funding channelled towards the Climate Emergency to reinforce and expand delivery capacity.

The Commission has also underlined the need for cross-cutting areas of action such as education across the Council’s departments and partnerships, and the need to ensure that all parts of the Council work together to achieve the common goal to reduce emissions.

The ‘Behaviour Change’ section of the report includes:

  • Roll-out mandatory carbon literacy and sustainability training to all Council staff to reduce carbon emissions at work and at home.
  • Educate young people about the Climate Emergency and empower them to take action by embedding it within the school curriculum and providing them with a platform to lead the borough.

Inspiring people and activities featured in the Spring into Action – Lockdown Learning blog

The colour scale represents the change in global temperatures covering 1.35°C from 1850-2017 [data] Source: climate-lab-book.ac.uk