Monday, 31 August 2015

Letter from the Shadow Education Secretary – Tristram Hunt

Those of you who follow me regularly will know how strongly I feel about getting children and young people into birds, wildlife and nature and how important it is for them to understand about conservation and protecting the environment.  We, young people today are the world's future and there is no future without us. That’s why I do so many practical workshops with them (like at Scouts, Guides, primary and secondary school children, why I organised Camp Avalon and why I give talks to people including this age group.
I have contacted the four major parties in England (Conservative Party, Labour Party, Lib Dem Party and Green Party) about talking on this topic at their Annual Conferences. .  I have not heard from the Conservative party, I am too young for the Labour Party (I need to be 14 years old) and I am hoping to be involved with the Lib Dems and Green Party annual conferences.  I plan to contact the Conservative Party again through 10 Downing Street this time and SMP.

I have also been in touch with various teaching unions and hope to also get involved in some of their Annual Conferences.  So far I am speaking at the Union for Science Teachers and the Union for Geography Teachers.

I hope that I can get my message across and make a difference.

I have also e-mailed Mr Tristram Hunt, Labour MP and Shadow Education Secretary about these topics being covered in school and got a fantastic response confirming that he agreed these topics were important that this would be something they would look at when looking at their future policy development.  I plan to respond and ask to be involved when they consider the issue.  This is the exchange I had with him:

From: HUNT, Tristram

To: Mya-Rose [] Sent: 25 August 2015 
Subject: Saving our planet

Dear Mya,
Thank you for your email regarding teaching conservation and environmental issues in schools. I enjoyed reading your blog posts and found them very informative.
I agree with you that educating young people about conservation is certainly important. It is vital that young people understand the environmental issues and their long term impact on our world.
Thank you for raising this issue, it is certainly something we will look at in our future policy development.
Many thanks again for your email and best of luck for the future.
Best wishes,
Tristram Hunt
Tristram Hunt MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
Member of Parliament for Stoke on Trent Central

* House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
( 0207 219 1179

From: Mya-Rose [] 
Sent: 08 July 2015 To: HUNT, Tristram

Subject: Saving our planet
My name is Mya-Rose Craig, I am 13 years old and am will be in Year 9 at Chew Valley School, a state comprehensive.  I am a conservationist, writer and speaker passionate about wildlife and getting children into nature and the environment.  I am used to giving talks at places like the Scottish Birdfair.
I attach a link you my blog posts to two open letters that I wrote to BBC Wildlife Magasine on this topic:
As these essential subjects are not on the National Curriculum, it is left to the individual teachers and subject heads to decide what to teach, if anything. 
Unlike many people and organisations that are lobbying for these subjects to be added to the National Curriculum, I believe that things are best left as they are.  This is because the National Curriculum is already crammed full.  I think that these subjects would be better taught, as they are to some extent, in science and geography as well as in English and other broader subjects. This is really important for our future.
I asked to speak at the Labour Party Annual Conference to your members about why I think it is essential that young people are taught about the environment, conservation and nature in their lessons.  

Future generations will only care about saving our planet and everything on it, if they know about it. You can't care about something you don't know about.
I will be 18 on the actual day of the next election but as I am under 14, I can not ask to speak to the conference yet.
Will you commit to children being taught about these important issues in school, so that they care about saving our planet?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely
Mya-Rose Craig

About the Writer

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She is loved going Mountain Gorilla Trekking in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. 

She has been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter

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