Eastbourne headteacher explains why he supported students to join the youth climate strike

The headteacher of a school in Eastbourne has explained why he agreed to support students to join the youth climate strike in the town centre today.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 4:44 pm
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 5:51 pm
Students marching in Eastbourne today
Students marching in Eastbourne today

Andrew Wood, headteacher at Roedean Moira House school in Upper Carlisle Road, said students had approached him last week about taking part in the global event.

He said: "They are very passionate about the whole climate change issue."

While the school discusses climate change in classes a lot, the students were keen to take part in some direct action - though they were concerned about the impact missing lessons would have on their school record, he said.

Students marching in Eastbourne today

Mr Wood said he and other staff 'overwhelmingly' agreed to let the students take some time out of the school day to walk into the town centre and join the protest before returning to classes.

Some teachers went along with the students to supervise.

Fortunately the strike coincided with lunchtime, but Mr Wood said he would have been happy to support them anyway.

"The girls wanted to go and have their actions speak louder than their words, and we felt it was absolutely the right thing to do at this moment," he said.

Students marching in Eastbourne today

He acknowledged that it 'probably was unusual' thing for a school to allow, but he said: "It's not unusual for us. The girls and the staff here have always been working together for the best of the school."

Dozens of young people marched through the town centre today, chanting 'global warming's got to go'.

Mr Wood said the students had had a great time, adding: "They said there was a wonderful atmosphere in the whole area and lots of people supporting them."