COP26 - What schools can do to help prepare for a greener future

COP26, Glasgow - world leaders discussed the global response to climate change, an industry reaction from Simon Carter, Director at RM – a leading supplier of technology and resources to the education sector, supporting schools, teachers and pupils across the globe. Simon discusses what actions school staff should consider they can take themselves – for example, the removal of on-site computer server rooms as they consume a lot of energy.

Simon Carter, Director at RM:

“It’s crucial that schools use this week’s COP26 conference to kickstart a dialogue between staff and students about how toSimon Carter, Director at RM, comments on COP26 and what schools can do to help prepare for a greener future. prepare for a greener future.  Where snow days and heatwaves were once thought of as one-off, uncommon weather gift for pupils, the figures published by the London mayor’s office this summer warning that “a fifth of London’s schools are now susceptible to flooding” demonstrated just how catastrophic weather conditions could be for schools without a continuity plan in place.

“For educators, then, the environmental challenges faced are now twofold. On the one hand, schools should be readying themselves for the possible consequences of climate change, with disruption to their normal mode of teaching, by making hybrid learning part of their new normal. Secondly, school staff should consider what actions they can take themselves – for example, because on-site computer server rooms are hot and consume a lot of energy, can a school move to a serverless, cloud-based network instead? And, do worksheets need to be printed off for pupils, or can they be completed online?  Do tests and assessment need to be undertaken in printed format, or can they be done digitally?

“Neither challenge can be underestimated, but both rely on having the best education technology, and virtual communication technology, in place to guide informative and interactive discussion around today’s United Nations' conference– both at schools and at home. Whether it’s a case of building a robust continuity plan in the case of a tricky environmental issue, or building a more digitally savvy community of students and staff to champion initiatives the whole school can be proud of, recognising the critical role that technology can play within our education system.”