Broadstairs College named as Trailblazer for new Environment Leaders Programme

Tutor Sam Bulter, Jess Clarke Head of Forest School & Maths and Peter Donovan Learning Support Practitioner

Broadstairs College has been revealed as one of 25 sixth forms and colleges in the country working with the Leadership Skills Foundation, WWF and the RSPB to trial a new qualification based on making positive change in the natural world.

The schools and colleges supporting the work will be known as “Trailblazers”, with the programme’s delivery taking place between January and July 2024.

The college says the announcement marks a significant moment in its commitment to sustainability and biodiversity.

The Environment Leaders Programme, will support students to develop essential leadership skills as they plan, lead and evaluate projects that have a positive impact on the natural world. Broadstairs College will work with the three partners to provide feedback and insight from both teachers and students to help inform the resources and shape the qualification.

Jess Clarke, Head of the post 16-years Forest School provision said: “Its an exciting time for all of us being involved in this pilot and we are looking forward to working with the Broadstairs Town Council, Cllr Mike Garner and Cllr Kevin Pressland on some exciting projects as well as joining forces with the local RSPB.”

Students who complete the Environment Leaders Programme will achieve a Level 3 Qualification in Leading a Project for Positive Change , which will also provide them with   to support higher education applications and help them bolster their CVs.

Richard Norman, Chief Executive for the Leadership Skills Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be working with Broadstairs College as a Trailblazer centre on the Environment Leaders Programme.

“We believe that young people should be actively involved in the creation and shaping of programmes and initiatives that will make a difference to their future and the natural world, and we are incredibly grateful to the students and teachers at Broadstairs in giving us their time, energy and support with this vital programme. We can’t wait to see the kinds of projects the students decide to plan and lead as part of this work.”

Jon Turner, Head of Education for WWF-UK, added: “If we can support young people to develop the skills needed to make a difference, they have the potential to create vital and sustainable change in the world.”

Martyn Foster, Head of Education and Families for the RSPB, said: “Having worked in environmental education for around 25 years this is genuinely one of the most exciting initiatives I’ve been involved in during that time.

“The potential of this programme is enormous and the contribution that young people could make to tackling the nature and climate crises, through leading their own projects, gives real hope for the future.”

The Environment Leaders Programme is accessible to students online and through classroom-based learning. The resources are broken down into manageable sections to allow students time for reflection, planning, practically applied learning, and peer-to-peer support.

The Environment Leaders Programme will be available to all sixth form and colleges in England from September 2024.