Every child in Milton Keynes should be encouraged to become a mini Greta Thunberg as part school curriculum says education expert

All primary school children in Milton Keynes should be taught  from the age of five about climate change as part of the curriculum,  an education expert has insisted.

They should learn how the "devastating" effects of human activity on the planet will affect their generation more than any other, says Oli Ryan, who works for lesson-planning and resources experts PlanBee.

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg

A former primary school teacher, Oli believes children will learn to become "socially responsible global citizens" if they are taught about climate change from an early enough age.

"Ignorance and complacency about the world we live in is no longer acceptable... Teaching children about issues directly related to climate change should go hand in hand with learning about ethical trading, and the harm caused by unchecked, rampant consumerism," he said.

"But how do we do this? The school curriculum is packed, and teachers are already spending excessive hours planning for the existing curriculum subjects."

Oli believes the answer lies in providing "affordable, prepared lessons" about climate change, social responsibility and global citizenship that are ready to teach and easy to use.

Greta placards

Greta placards

"Given that schools already teach their pupils about environmental issues, you might think that they do so because it is already included in the National Curriculum. But in primary schools, this is simply not the case: apart from a single reference to exploring the effects of littering and deforestation, there is no mention of other environmental issues," he said.

His words come after teen eco warrior Greta Thunberg made an impassioned speech to the United Nations and moved many to tears.

Oli said: "Children are aware of some harmful effects of human activity, but we have not adequately equipped them to address many of the issues contributing to climate change. We are failing them. Unless we give children the practical skills to tackle climate change, we risk leaving them feeling helpless and ill-prepared for their increasingly uncertain futures.

"This generation realise that it is not only our personal responsibility to recycle, reduce waste and save energy, but also to demand that government and businesses do more to protect the planet. Now, we must support them, involve them, and provide the practical skills they need to make change happen."