Labour donor and Just Stop Oil backer plots ‘eco-curriculum’ across 12,000 schools

Dale Vince believes that children should be taught about 'focusing on the energy we use, the way we travel and what we eat' - Adam Gerrard/Daily Express
Dale Vince believes that children should be taught about 'focusing on the energy we use, the way we travel and what we eat' - Adam Gerrard/Daily Express

A multi-millionaire bankrolling Just Stop Oil protests is plotting the rollout of an “eco-curriculum” across 12,000 UK schools after successful trials across the country.

Dale Vince, a new-age traveller turned “green industrialist”, wants to embed environmental considerations across the curriculum from primary school age.

Children should be taught about “focusing on the energy we use, the way we travel, what we eat and the importance of making room for nature”, according to plans set out in the annual report of Mr Vince’s charitable foundation.

Trials of “greening up the national curriculum” were implemented across 15 primary schools and 10 secondary schools last year. And by the 2022 school year more than 100 schools were “engaging” with literature and other educational tools provided by Mr Vince’s “Ministry of Eco Education”.

Filings with the Charities Commission by the Green Britain Foundation read: “Young people developed a deeper connection with nature and increased knowledge and understanding of the climate and nature emergency.

“Young people experienced increased positive engagement with the local community. Teachers felt more supported and confident to teach education for sustainability.

“Throughout the year the Ministry of Eco Education actively sought relationships to build the scope of the curriculum as well as enlist more schools to take part.”

Mr Vince and the Ministry of Eco Education now wants to extend and adapt the curriculum for a secondary school audience, with plans to reach 10,000 primary and 2,000 Secondary schools by 2025.

‘Pioneer schools’

So-called “pioneer schools” include Minchinhampton Academy in Stroud, Wycliffe College in the Cotswolds, and St John’s in Marlborough. Paul the “radical geographer” is listed on the Ministry of Eco Education’s website as a leading advocate.

Vince, the founder of electricity supplier Ecotricity, hit the headlines last week by pledging to double any donations to Just Stop Oil over a 48 hour period despite a growing backlash against the group and its attempts to ruin sporting and social events.

In an email to Just Stop Oil supporters on Wednesday, he said: “I was on the front page of Monday’s Daily Mail and Radio 4 this morning for supporting Just Stop Oil, like that’s a crime or something.

“Along with thousands of others, I am proud to donate vital funds to the cause.

“I’m inviting you to join me in supporting the brave people who are currently slow marching, causing disruption and risking their freedom to save us from the climate crisis.

“If you give a donation in the next 48 hours I will match it, pound for pound.

“Winning this argument is all that matters.

“The ordinary people powering Just Stop Oil need our support to keep on doing what they are doing so effectively - and ultimately bring about the change we all demand.”

‘Eco nut’

The self-styled “econaut” has an estimated net worth of more than £100 million after founding Ecotricity, a green energy provider.

But the energy tycoon’s green credentials and Labour donations were not enough to prevent a recent Ministry of Eco Education from falling victim to trade union industrial action.

“Due to the forthcoming train strikes we’ve had to postpone the London Climate Teacher Gathering. We’re hoping to reschedule for July and will keep everyone updated with a new date,” the organisation tweeted.

He has also sought to transform Forest Green Rovers, which will next season play in England’s fourth tier of professional football after being relegated in 2022/23 from League One.

The club offers vegan pies, jerseys made from coffee granules and fertiliser made with the urine of away fans.

The United Nations has said Forest Green Rovers are the world’s first carbon-neutral football club. Global football body Fifa says the club is “the greenest team in the world”.