Birkenhead college students to work with House of Lords on climate change

Birkenhead Sixth Form students have been selected as one of a small number of schools and colleges to work with the House of Lords on government policies regarding the important issues of climate change and the environment.

The College is one of just six schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland chosen to express their views and offer ideas to the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Select Committee. 

Students across Environmental Science, Politics and Geography A Level courses will now have the opportunity to raise issues and scrutinise policies that the government plan to put to the floor in Parliament, taking part in committee meetings with members of the Lords and other government ministers.

Committee chair Baroness Kate Parminter will visit the College in the near future to meet the students involved, and before taking part the students will learn about the inner workings of the committee and the House of Lords itself via special briefings from Parliament.

Baroness Parminter said, “It’s great to see so many young people keen to get involved with efforts to combat climate change and protect the natural world.

“We look forward to hearing from and working with the students who’ll help us to do our job of holding the government to account and ensuring that policies meet climate targets.”

Environmental Science teacher at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Mike Graham, said, “I think the most important thing that students will take from this project is having their voices heard. The topic of climate change is close to the hearts of so many students here and young people across the country, so it’s vital that they have their say and have the opportunity to influence decision making.

Environmental Science A Level is a new course to the College, having been introduced in September 2021, and has already proved extremely popular, with the topics covered being supremely relevant to the modern world and international importance.

Mike said, “Students regularly speak about climate change in class and have both strong opinions and great ideas about action that should be taken, in both a small and local sense and also in the wider scale. To be chosen as one of just six schools across the UK to be able to speak directly to the government and have their ideas listened to is a real coup, and is definitely an opportunity that the students will grab with two hands.”

Politics teacher Jane Cavanagh coordinated the College’s application to be part of the scheme.

Jane said, “Politics students will be able to get a great insight into how a House of Lords Select Committee works. The chance to discuss ways that the government can encourage behavioural change to tackle environmental issues is crucial too, and to echo Mike’s sentiments, giving young people a voice and a platform to be heard is so important. This joint project across the various subject courses in the College is a brilliant opportunity for students to make a genuine difference.”

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