PUPILS have launched a lobby for change as they try to protect the future of the planet.

Students from St Gregory the Great Catholic School in East Oxford have become invested in the issue of climate change, and held a 'climate summit' alongside students from The Oxford Academy.

The summit, which took place earlier this month, was organised by students of the climate club at St Greg's and teacher David Henwood, to discuss what action should be taken.

Students resolved to lobby Ofsted to make environmental sustainability part of its school assessment criteria, and to propose changes to the board of governors to make the school itself more eco-friendly.

Ideas included reviewing electricity use, planting a community orchard at the school, and investigating solar panel use.

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Lord Mayor of Oxford, Craig Simmons, attended the summit and said it is 'imperative' that decision-makers listen to the voices of young people.

He said: "The younger generation will have to live with the consequences of the decisions that our politicians make now.

"I hope this inspires similar events across the UK and beyond."

The summit organisers will share their findings with the Oxford City Council’s citizens' assembly - the first citizens' assembly in the UK to address the issue of climate change.

The summit will be held regularly, with hosting taking place on monthly rotation between schools across Oxford.

David Henwood, a city councillor and teacher at St Greg's, said: "The responsibility to change is now upon us, and we need to embrace it now.

"We genuinely want to make a difference, and welcome the opportunity to discuss with other students how we can collectively make difference."

At the end of June, students from the school attended a mass protest in Westminster, to lobby for climate action.

The trip was subsidised by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, and pupils met Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds to discuss their concerns.

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The school's lay chaplain Fran Walsh, who led the trip, said: "We have been overwhelmed with the passion our students have for the environment and climate crisis.

"We think it is important that their voice is heard and that we, as a school, offer them opportunities to grow in political awareness and their sense of personal responsibility for what Pope Francis calls ‘our common home’.

"Students have been exposed to the realities of climate change through the curriculum and the media and are now wanting to act in ways to effect change in our world locally, nationally and internationally for some of the most vulnerable people in our world."

Her colleague Mopsa English, an experienced protester, added: "Our students’ enthusiasm and commitment was a pleasure to see."

Students invited members of the lobby to sign their climate change banner, gaining hundreds of signatures.

Sean Tucker, the secondary school's headteacher, said: "Our young people often show great courage in their convocation - no less so, in their drive for change in the way we use our precious resources.

"Long may this continue as we seek to provide a secure environment for the future."

In March a group of schoolgirls from Cheney School in Oxford began a petition, calling for climate change to become a core part of the curriculum and for Ofsted to make school sustainability a feature of inspections.

It is still gaining signatures, and more than 81,000 people have signed so far.