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Meet Yorkshire’s first Climate Change Teacher, accredited by the United Nations.

Mrs Siama Mahmood is the first teacher in Yorkshire to be a UN accredited Climate Change Teacher. Mrs Mahmood can now deliver up to date climate change lessons to her pupils at Batley Grammar School and plans to share Best Practice with all teaching staff so that they too can take part in this new innovative programme being trialled in UK Schools.

Mrs Mahmood, Subject Leader for Geography, Batley Grammar School, says, “Climate Change is a serious issue affecting everyone. It is crucial that young people are educated about the effects of climate change and the impacts it can have on them and their surroundings. Educating the ambassadors of the future is the only way in which they will be able to mitigate its impacts and make a difference.

I intend to take part in Phase 2 trial of the eduCCate Programme which will give me and my teaching team access to thousands of cross-curricular lessons that have climate literacy at the heart of each lesson…...."

Furthermore, Head teacher Gary Kibble, says “Mrs Mahmood is passionate geographer, who is keen to enhance the curriculum with current topics and debates that our students will be experiencing and have the ability to influence through their own actions. These developments are critical in order for the school to develop young people who are able to become positive role models in our local community.”

The UN Climate Change Teacher Academy is being delivered by Harwood Education, in partnership with the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) and sponsored by YPO. Not only will teachers be able to teach their pupils vital lessons about climate change but they will also earn CPD and certification from the United Nations.

The innovative programme was launched on April 22 is free for primary and secondary school teachers. All they need to do is log onto the Climate Change Teacher Academy to access the free lessons. Once teachers have completed the five units of the Climate Change Teacher Course, they will be accredited by UN CC:Learn to deliver climate change facts and mitigation best practices. They will be able to encourage and generate social innovation, and prepare today’s youth to protect the planet.

The online training for teachers in primary and secondary schools has been designed to equip educators with the knowledge and confidence to deliver lessons on the topic of climate change to their class and across the school curriculum. 

A target of 80 schools are being urged to sign up to take part in an initial trial of the course, lasting around two months, which covers topics including climate change science, gender and environment, children and climate change, cities and climate change, and human health. The programme will then be made available to all schools across the UK with first lessons expected to be delivered in the classroom from the end of June.


Education specialist Melanie Harwood, whose company Harwood Education have created the easy to assimilate audio/visual courses for the Climate Change Teacher Course, has also created the eduCCate Programme, which will be delivered as part of the second phase of the project, which hopes to achieve a broad vision of delivering hundreds of climate literacy lessons to every school throughout the UK. Melanie Harwood explains the context of the project further: “Young children are far more vulnerable to climate-related disasters and associated health risks than any other social group. We need to give them the tools to understand the effects of a changing climate so that they can take well informed and effective action in the future. In these days of a Climate Emergency, now more than ever, teachers all need the knowledge in these five courses that make up the Climate Change Teacher Course to ensure they deliver clear Climate Literacy to all their pupils.”

YPO, the official sponsor, at the launch of the Climate Change Teacher Course and the UN CC:Learn Educate Programme for schools, “We are honoured to be sponsoring a programme that is addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

YPO’s managing director Simon Hill“Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change, helping young people understand the impact of global warming and how they can play a part in future trends. Recent strikes by schoolchildren as part of a growing global campaign for action on climate change makes the programme even more relevant to educators. As a sponsor of Climate Change Education Programme, YPO will help support delivery of climate change lessons in the classroom, and the need to better train teachers to improve the climate change curriculum and provide quality resources.”

Angus Mackay, Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research,
“We are delighted to be able to support this important educational initiative in the United Kingdom. Anyone below the age of 20 is part of the ‘climate generation’ living all or most of their lives having to deal with climate change. The Climate Change Teacher Training Academy is an excellent idea because it will give children an intuitive understanding of the issues and it is solutions based”.