Pupils skip school to take part in UK-wide climate change protest

Protesters march in Edinburgh

Friday, September 20, 2019

Hundreds of schoolchildren have taken time off school to take part in climate change protests across the UK.

The protests have been inspired by teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who skipped school to demonstrate alone outside the Swedish parliament, beginning the 'School Strike for Climate' movement.

Much of the debate around the protests has been over whether students should be encouraged to take the day off in order to demonstrate.

Business, energy and clean growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng said he could not endorse children skipping school, although he has insisted “their voices are being heard” by the government.

Jeremy Corbyn addressed protesters in London

However Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan both backed the demonstrations, with City Hall staff encouraged to take time off to observe the strike.

Addressing protesters in London, Mr Corbyn said the young people in attendance were “leading by example” and “educating" others about the climate crisis.

London march attendee Nella said she brought her two children to protest as it was “an important education” for young people.

Protester Nella brought her two children along

“We need to act now. I've brought my two children down today. The school were very supportive,” she told talkRADIO.

Sarah from Woolwich also attended the demonstration in Westminster.

“It is moving to see so many children and young people here. We've seen pretty much a whole primary school here waving flags and chanting,” she said.

And Chris from South London told talkRADIO the government wasn't "doing enough" to tackle climate change.

“If we don't act now we'll face a migrant crisis as people flee from areas affected by floods and drought caused by climate change,” he said.

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