Scots school set to host UK climate change summit

Dollar Academy is set to host the first ever UK summit tackling sustainability and education, inviting delegates to discuss how schools across Europe can address the climate crisis.

The leading Scottish independent school is running the event in conjunction with The University of Cambridge and Sustainability Education.

Designed for school leaders (both pupils and staff), policy makers, politicians and business leaders, the UK Education and Sustainability Leadership Summit will take place from 18 to 20 May 2020 and focuses on a central theme of ‘disrupting education for a sustainable future.’

The University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership has helped to organise the summit at Dollar Academy by providing access to world leading experts and co-curating the programme of speakers.

Key speakers confirmed to date include Will Day, University of Cambridge Fellow and PricewaterhouseCoopers Sustainability Adviser and Professor John Calland, from the University of Cape Town and the University of Cambridge. Also speaking will be one of the founders of NuVu, a pioneering Massachusetts-based innovation school.

The programme for the three-day summit will feature discussions around climate change, the political economy and how to ensure education is future smart.

The idea to host the summit came about after Ian Munro, newly appointed Rector of Dollar Academy, and two pupils attended the Education for a Sustainable Global Future conference in Berlin.

Ian Munro explained: ‘We left Berlin under no illusion as to the groundswell of interest and passion amongst young people around matters of sustainability, from issues connected to our climate to those that deal with poverty and inequality.

‘I also realised that, as the global sustainability movement continues to grow, there is an urgent need for informed voices from a whole host of perspectives to join the narrative so that the next generation can make informed, evidence-based decisions.’

Katie Hudd, a Dollar Academy fifth year pupil, commented: ‘Attending the Berlin conference made me realise that, if we are going to make a real difference, sustainability should be deeply intertwined with everyday life – both in our education and at home. I hope that hosting the summit at Dollar Academy will inspire many more schools and their communities to take sustainability seriously and ensure it becomes a priority.’

The summit at Dollar Academy will aim to emphasise the purpose of education in the context of the climate crisis, examine how alternative curricular approaches can equip pupils to lead more sustainable futures, and explore how schools, industry and government can collaborate in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Ian continued: ‘As an independent school, Dollar Academy possesses the organisational flexibility and agility to be curious and try new things that can benefit our pupils. In doing so, the Academy is also well placed to model new ways of working that other organisations can perhaps learn from.’

In addition to hosting the summit, Dollar Academy has introduced a number of initiatives to improve sustainability, including a carbon survey of the entire school, a pupil-led steering group looking at lifestyle and behaviour habits, reducing single-use plastics on campus and increasing recycling.

For further information or to register interest in attending the summit, email: For further information about Dollar Academy, visit