A big thank you to more than two thousand people and organisations who took part in our consultation on creating a GCSE in Natural History. Our six-week consultation has now closed.
The level of engagement has been fantastic. We received over two thousand responses to the main consultation from a variety of interested parties including environmental and education organisations, teachers and parents. To make it as easy as possible for students to share their views, we also ran a bespoke consultation for young people and received 200 responses. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share their views; all your comments have provided valuable evidence to support the proposal being presented to the Department for Education.
The consultation took place in response to the call for developing a GCSE in Natural History. Last year we were approached by naturalist Mary Colwell, who has been spearheading a campaign to address the gap in natural history content in education for a number of years. Since then we have been working closely with Mary, The Natural History Museum, the Eden Project and many others to understand the purpose and themes of such a qualification. Hundreds of advocates for the subject took part in the online launch of the consultation on 4 June 2020 (watch again) and took to Twitter to share their support and encourage others to do the same using #GCSENaturalHistory.
As Jill Duffy, our Chief Executive explained: “We think there's a gap in the curriculum that isn't encouraging a connection with the natural world. At the same time, we know that young people are very much engaged in the debate on the environment and they understand what their role should be and could be in protecting it for the future.”
The consultation has received a lot of support from key advocates and from leading environmentalists and organisations, as well as media coverage. Organisations supporting the consultation include:
With the consultation now closed, we are reviewing all of the feedback received and the responses are helping inform the next steps. The next stage will be for us to publish a summary of our consultation findings and to submit a proposal for a GCSE in Natural History to the Department for Education.
To be kept informed with the latest on our Natural History proposal, do sign up for email updates.