I’ve been working remotely most days but in the city and College on Tuesday, and on Friday in College as duty manager. The city campus has a great range of Cop26 events on and the Riverside Campus is hosting the large International Cop26 Maritime Hub. Both building and libraries are open for students and there is a full programme of events for learners and the community.
My commute from south side into City centre has been pretty much as normal and if anything the city is much quieter than I expected it to be. I’ve not experienced the disruption and road closures around the UN Blue Zone north of the river. But was very aware of the increased police presence across the city centre. Particularly on my walk back to central station on Tuesday evening I was suddenly in a phalanx of armed police but I think Leonardo DiCaprio was doing some shopping nearby.
I thought there would be more going on and a more visible presence of all the visitors. I do hope they are getting out and about and enjoying the city. The autumnal rain has been torrential this week
I was kindly invited to participate and contribute to a Herald and Epson sponsored event on education and #cop26 on Tuesday morning. Thanks to Doug Belshaw for line and it was a 'white manel' but the audience was diverse and included school pupils.
There was some pessimism about role education can play in whole carbon neutral agenda 80% of school buildings today will still be with us in 2040 and they are hard to heat and insulate. Consensus seems to be that without gas boilers best way to heat schools is by biomass boilers.
I am really fortunate to work in a new build and an institution that has thought through its own contribution towards the zero carbon agenda and as a skills based organisation leading out changes to other sectors of the economy.
There has been lots of progress around getting a green curriculum into schools in most subject areas. This is easy to understate and some in the audience felt that special new green subjects should be shoehorned into the curriculum.
My bigger reflection; the schools and media do need to end their fixation on SQA changing its name is not going to change culture. One of the panel even suggested that everything can change, but attaining 5 highers will still be the gold standard, that’s not really change at all. The debate strayed for a while onto global warming is really all SQA's fault.
We really need to get away from a knowledge based curriculum and move to a competency based system. What you know is good , what you can do is much better.
On Saturday I did my own bit and went out and enjoyed the #COP26 demo. I think there was around 150,000 people out on the streets and met many international folks and protesters from across the UK. Not tens of thousands as the BBC reported - pretty shocking really. The rain was torrential.
I hope next week brings some sensible and workable actions from #COP26 .