School children come together for annual Climate Assembly

Primary school students plus secondary and college youngsters discussed their ideas in the town hall chambers

School children come together for annual Climate Assembly

Schools from across Stockport have once again debated how they can help to combat the challenges of climate change in debates held at the Town Hall.

The Schools Climate Assemblies were held on March 13 for Primary Schools and on March 20 for High Schools and Colleges.

The events have been facilitated by the council’s dedicated Climate Action Team, with the debates held in the Council Chamber at Stockport Town Hall.

This is the third annual Stockport Schools Climate Assembly, which sees young people setting the agenda for tackling climate change in Stockport.

More than 130 ideas were submitted by schools and colleges in December 2023 that were shortlisted down to the following five and debated on:

• Harrytown High School proposed to introduce a ‘Clean Air Day’ across Stockport by encouraging people to use public transport, bikes rental or walking, and promote through a poster competition.
• Brookside Primary School suggested that public buildings and areas that have the space, to have ponds installed with aquatic plants as these plants are good for carbon capture and biodiversity enhancement.
• Norbury Hall Primary School put forward the idea to enable schools to move from meat based to a more vegetarian diet, by creating a collection of recipes and looking at local suppliers.
• St Mary’s Primary in Reddish proposed a scheme to support schools to set up swap shops, recycling bins and compost areas.
• St Thomas’ Primary School in the Heatons suggested that there should be an annual borough-wide Stockport litter picking day.

The events are run by young people, for young people, and were chaired by pupils from Mellor Primary School at the primary school debate, with young people from Stockport Youth Council taking the lead during the high school and college debate.

Students from Stockport College provided media coverage for both debates.

Since the programme launched in October 2023, 44 schools and colleges across Stockport have taken part in the programme with an estimated 1,000 youngsters participating.

All ideas submitted will be shared with Councillors at the Full Council meeting in July.

Youngsters attending the debates voted for their favourite idea, with the winning idea to be acted upon by the council.

The primary school children voted in favour of the following idea: “Support schools to set up swap shops, recycling bins and compost areas”. The high school and college’s debate backed “Enabling schools to move from meat based to more vegetarian diets by creating collection of recipes and looking at local suppliers”.

Cllr Mark Roberts, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “It’s so important that school children and college pupils are a part of what we do, that as a council we listen to them, and they feel supported to tackle the serious issue of climate change. It is, after all, they who will have to live with the consequences of climate change the longest in our society.

“I’m really looking forward to the young people bringing their ideas to full council in July and developing a response to their request.

“The ideas brought forward in the past two years, sustainable period products and community gardens, have been really well received and I am sure this year will be no different.”