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Should children be allowed to take part in climate strikes on school days?

PUBLISHED: 10:24 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:08 20 September 2019

The third Youth Strike 4 Climate protest outside City Hall, Norwich in May. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The third Youth Strike 4 Climate protest outside City Hall, Norwich in May. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Scores of children are expected to take to the streets tomorrow to make their voices heard over climate change fears.

Following in the footsteps of Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg, schoolchildren are set to hold Norwich's fourth Youth Strike 4 Climate outside City Hall on Friday, calling on the government and local authorities to take environmental issues more seriously.

Previous demonstrations have seen children pull themselves out of school in their droves and picket, pushing the message that more needs to done to protect their generation from the devastating impact of climate change.

However, as youngsters again prepare to make their voices heard, schools and academies are faced with the difficult conundrum of how to approach those who do choose to take action.

Meanwhile, others are using the action day as inspiration to gear learning towards climate messages within the school environment.

A spokesman for the Ormiston Academy Trust said: "Our view is that children should only be out of school in exceptional circumstances and we have a duty of care to ensure their safety. However, we recognise the importance of social action.

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"As a result, across the Trust we ensure they are able to participate in social action in school. We have established a number of platforms and initiatives to help our students participate."

A spokesman for the TEN Group, which is responsible for Attleborough, Fakenham and Wayland Academy said the strike had not been brought up by students, student bodies or parents in any of the schools.

He said: "The presumption, therefore, is that students are not planning to travel to Norwich to take part in any strike.

"Any absences will be treated in the usual way by each school."

One of the county's primary schools, St Martin at Shouldham, is planning a strike of its own, with children from Years Two to Six taking part in a march around the village green as part of the action day.

It comes after county councillor Barry Stone said he felt children should be at school rather than taking part in climate strikes.

Is your school planning to take part in the day of action? Contact david.hannant@archant.co.uk


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