Eastbourne MP welcomes new GCSE following campaign success

Eastbourne’s MP has welcomied the launch of a new Natural History GCSE.

Caroline Ansell campaigned for the new GCSE and led a parliamentary debate on the subject last December.

She said it would help children connect with their concerns about the state of the environment.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Mrs Ansell said, “I receive emails and letters from schoolchildren and young activists concerned about the future of our planet – from climate change and plastic pollution to deforestation and species decline.

New Natural History GCSE is launched. Photo: Chris Radburn

“The natural history GCSE would reflect progression within the existing curriculum. It builds on nature observation content in key stages 1 to 3, providing a good capstone assessment at 16 that brings together those threads in a way that existing courses in geography and biology cannot.

“One of the most exciting and potentially dynamic elements of the new GCSE is that it goes beyond a purely scientific approach where it might rest on biology or even geography and extends to our understanding of the natural world as manifested in art, music and literature.”

Speaking after the news was shared she said, “I really welcome this new GCSE.

“I think it reflects the changing nature of our educational priorities and the changing emphasis we must place in our society if we are to educate future generations on how we can tackle climate change and help our natural world.

“The interest from young people for this subject is huge and, as a former teacher, I really see the benefits and this is why I pushed the Department for Education to look at it.

“I would also like to thank all those other people both inside and outside parliament who have campaigned for this to happen for many years.”

The new GCSE, which has been designed by exam board OCR, will start in September 2025.

Read more from Eastbourne: